Prawn mee, or Hokkien mee as we call it in Penang, is undoubtedly one of the most popular hawker dishes on the island, you would find it in almost every kopitiam or hawker centers, and being someone who hailed from Penang, it is of course one of my favorite street food dishes.
wantan mee and prawn mee stall at Mt Eskerine market
Prawn mee often comes with yellow noodle, meehun, or a combination of both (my usual go-to). However, if you find yourself on the island, there’s one special stall that offers a unique concoction you don’t find anywhere else – wantan mee in prawn mee soup & ingredients.
The reason they can do this is simple, this stall at Mount Erskine morning market offers both wantan mee and prawn mee. In fact, the first time I had this was probably some 30 odd years ago, operated by the current seller’s parents then (I assume).
wantan mee with hokkien mee soup
I like this unique combination not for novelty sake, but the thin type of wantan mee soak up the flavors of prawn noodle soup very well and offers great texture. Try it, after all, how can you say no for only RM 4 per?
Enjoy and stay safe!
Address: Mt. Erskin Morning Market
Jalan Mt. Erskine, Tg. Tokong, Penang GPS:5.4484813, 100.3013870 Operating Hours: 11am to 4pm
If you’re someone who’s in Kota Kinabalu having a craving for proper Penang hawker food, I have good news for you. Jin Siang kopitiam at Luyang happens to serve a pretty competent bowl of Penang style prawn mee, with another hidden option!
Jin Siang Prawn Mee at Luyang, Sabah
Jin Siang is located at Luyang Commercial Centre, about 5 kilometers away from KK town center in, well, where else but Luyang? Parking isn’t usually a difficult affair, but I believe you do have to pay for it.
I was actually last there about 3 years back when covid wasn’t in our lexicon, traveling was only restricted by your wallet, and face mask is associated with the likes of batman & spider-man. How I wish we’re transported back to that life again… but I digress.
Penang Prawn Mee and Fried Prawn Mee
I tried the Penang prawn mee here and thought it was a pretty competent recreation of what they serve in Penang. The soup was fragrant, and all the ingredients checked out. The sambal was perhaps an area that could be improved a bit but overall it should certainly satisfy anyone’s cravings, being over 1,700 km away from the island of origin.
my KK food buddy
My dining buddy Yann May opted for something more special instead – fried prawn mee! I am not sure if you can even find this in Penang (or KL). It was as you would expect, prawn mee with all the same ingredients but fried, I thought it was interesting and a good change of pace, though personally may not be something I would order.
Jin Siang also has char kuih teow on their menu, we did not try it. If you’re in Kota Kinabalu thinking of Penang hawker dishes, this is a place to check out.
Last weekend after a morning hike at Taman Tugu (best jungle trail in the city), we decided to stop over in KL for breakfast prior to my afternoon futsal session. Initial plan was ICC Pudu but alas, the place was way too packed, and this is when I recalled I’ve always wanted to check out San Peng prawn mee, which coincidentally is just a few minutes away from Pudu.
San Peng Prawn Mee stall, KL
San Peng Prawn Mee is located in a make-shift semi alfresco “shop” right in the middle of Jalan San Peng (hence the name), the old school stall has been around for a long time, and is among the rare one that is fully operated by locals (family probably?).
Over here prawn mee and lam mee are their two most popular dishes, but they also offer kai si hor fun, fish ball soup, and various other combination you can think of.
Since this was our first time here, we decided to try the two dishes on the trademark.
The old lady who took our order had a very convincing sales tactic, which led to us ordering both dishes with extra prawns (RM 25 each). And as it turns out, it’s not a bad idea if you have enough cash, the prawns were huge, fresh, and absolutely delicious.
Prawn Mee & Lam Mee with extra prawns
The prawn mee is slightly different from the more famous Penang version. While both soup base involves prawn shells, chicken instead of pork is used in this interpretation. Apart from that, there’s also kangkung, fried shallots, smaller (normal size) prawns, mee + meehun, and chunks of perfectly poached chicken.
The soup was slightly lighter but packed with sweetness from prawn. I also like the fact that the big prawns have it’s head (the best part) attached, while the shell is otherwise removed from the body.
these prawns are fresh and super delicious
The lam mee is similarly delicious and came with similar ingredients except for the use of thick noodle that’s not entirely unlike udon and a thicker soup base. Personally I prefer how loh mee, but this version is pretty good too.
This is just the two most popular dishes here, I’m going to go back again and try some of their other dishes (and side dishes & extra ingredients). If you’re a fan of prawn mee, this version should be one to try out as well.
Despite having lived in Klang Valley for some 2 decades now.. the lure of proper Penang hawker dishes is always something that I can’t escape from. Over the years I’ve found quite a good selection of decent Penang style hawker dishes this part of the country, but they’re not “even”, some dishes are harder to find than others.
One such trickier dish is Penang style Loh Mee, which is distinctly different from the KL version, and I’m happy to add one to the list, with this candidate from Restoran Weng Soon in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam.
Weng Soon Kopitiam, Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam
Before we start, the difference between KL loh mee & Penang loh mee, while can be difficult to spot with a single glance, is actually quite substantial.
The KL loh mee uses a much thicker version of noodle, often without option for meehun. Additionally, the KL version will spot a very different type of chili paste, if provided at all. Bean sprout & fried shallots are also only available in the dish from North.
Back to Weng Soon (or Weng Soon Tek) kopitiam in Taman Sri Muda. I was introduced to this spot by one of my Instagram connections who has been frequenting it for years.
The restaurant is a pretty unassuming kopitiam not unlike any other, perhaps only with the number of slseepy cats & dogs. The stall itself serves both prawn mee and loh mee, owned by a guy from Penang with a helper.
Penang style Prawn Mee & Loh Mee
What you get here is a very “average” bowl of Penang style loh mee or prawn mee, if you’re in Penang. Translation – since we’re in Klang Valley, that makes it a very good find and one that satisfy my cravings properly. The important ingredients are all there – prawns, mee, meehun, pork slices, 1/4 hard boiled egg, fried shallots, bean sprouts. The loh mee also comes with vinegar + finely chopped raw garlic.
To be fair, the sambal could use a bit of improvement, but I’m nitpicking. I’m going back to have more.
Ask anyone about prawn mee in Penang and chances are the name Old Green House kopitiam will be in among the top 10 lists, doubly so if the list is created by youngsters who does not like to go to bed at reasonable hours.
Green House prawn mee stall, with extras to choose
Well, if you’re one of those who likes to have your prawn mee in for dinner or in the wee hours (operating from 6pm to around 3am), the stall at Old Green House kopitiam is the perfect choice.
In addition to the usual ingredients of prawns, egg, your choice of mee/meehun, and pork slices, there’s a host of different additional “extras” you can choose from depending on availability – from pork intestine, ribs, meatball, pork skin, roast pork, and even sausages. Additionally, you can have it with classic prawn mee soup, loh mee, or a mix between the two (often my choice!)
A standard small portion goes for RM 6.00, and additional ingredients run from RM 1.20 to RM 3.00.
pork intestine, and roast pork, two additions to the standard bowl
The soup is flavorful enough, and ingredients given are plentiful (see video), I was hoping they do also provide the classic kangkung but unfortunately it was missing on my visit. Both intestine and roast pork did give it that extra edge for me, and I’d be returning for those pork skin next time!