Ginger wine noodles at its best

The broth of the ginger wine noodles is rich with umami flavour.

THE food court at Pudu Integrated Commercial Complex (ICC Pudu) is famed for tasty and authentic local food.

Be it yong tau foo, curry mee, Hainan coffee, char kuey teow or baked pastries, visitors are spoilt for choice when getting their breakfast or lunch fix.

The traders at ICC Pudu are mostly from the famous Imbi Market along Jalan Melati, who were relocated to this complex in April 2016 to make way for the Tun Razak Exchange development.

Back then, the market was already one of Kuala Lumpur’s much-loved breakfast haunts as hungry people would indulge in the variety of local favourites found there.

I had not visited the place for some time and was glad to discover that the overall quality and taste of the food had not changed.

One stall that impressed me the most served ginger wine noodles.

The cook behind the self-crafted recipe is 72-year-old Wong Mee Lan. She has now taken a back seat, allowing her 40-year-old son Lee Chee Wai to take over the stall.

I was lucky to have seen her in front of the stall peeling prawns for the noodles and Wong shared her journey on selling food at Imbi Market in 1983.

“At first, I sold only Hokkien mee and wat tan hor (fried kuey teow in egg gravy). I had a steady stream of customers.

“A few years after that, someone asked me to cook ginger wine noodles with eggs, so I tried it out,” she said.Wong said she remembered the taste of that dish from when she was young.

“My late mother cooked that dish for me once, so I knew which ingredients to use.

“After much trial and error, we began serving ginger wine noodles at the market.

“It has been over 30 years and age is catching up with me.

“So, I decided to let my youngest son handle the stall as I could not stand for long hours cooking the noodles,” she said.

The broth of the ginger wine noodles is sweet and has a rich umami flavour.

Wong revealed that the broth was cooked with pork bones while the mild xian (taste of seafood, usually associated with fish and crustaceans) was from freshwater prawns.

The broth paired well with eggs that were cooked with finely diced ginger, while the use of handmade mi xian (rice noodles) gave a firmer noodle texture compared to bee hoon.

At RM9.50 a bowl, every ingredient combines perfectly in its savoury goodness.

“At first, we added pork intestines and liver but as customers are getting more and more health-conscious, we decided to leave those out.

“We will include them only at the request of customers,” said Wong.

The stall also offers fish-head noodles, Hokkien mee, Cantonese fried noodles and loh mee.

The stall opens from 6.30am to 2pm daily, except Mondays.

ICC Pudu is located in Jalan Kijang, Pudu in Kuala Lumpur, and has its own dedicated parking space for visitors.

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