When I moved to KL from Penang many years ago, one thing that I was never able to really get used to is the taste of sambal. In this region, sambal is often a pretty sweet affair, prepared with oil, galangal, turmeric, sugar, and involves process of cooking.
What I’m more familiar with instead, is mom’s version that is ultra simple and requires only 2, or maximum of 3 ingredients. This sambal is superb as a condiment with fatty food such as tau eu bak, and can also be used as an ingredient for other recipes such as sambal fried rice.
Here’s how you can prepare yours, all you need is fresh cili (maybe also some cili padi if you want it really spicy), and good quality belacan.
- toast 2 tablespoon of belacan in frying pan until dry and fragrant
- remove seeds from red chili (a dozen), and cut into small chunks
- pound with pestle and mortar until they’re crushed
- keep in fridge, squeeze a calamansi when serving and it’ll be instantly “fresh”
Good luck, stay safe, and happy cooking!
While many Penang hawker dishes such as char kuih teow, hokkien mee, and laksa are famous all over Malaysia, wantan mee is always a bit of an odd ball. Being a traditional Cantonese dish in a predominately Hokkien area, wantan mee was sort of adopted by the islanders.
the wantan mee stall at kedai kopi seng thor
Like languages and culture, food that is separated geographically from its place of origin usually evolve and adapt to the local taste. This is evident in the case of wantan mee in Penang as well.
sambal goes very well with wantan mee
A prime example is the wantan mee at Seng Thor kopitiam at Carnarvon street. The dry version comes with both deep fried and boiled wantan, vegetable, charsiu (bbq pork), and the all important Penang style sambal belacan.
While the chasiu isn’t nearly as good as those you usually find in Klang Valley (for some reasons charsiu in Penang is usually dyed and not nearly as flavorful), I like the extra dimensions offered by deep fried wantan, and of course, the sambal belacan makes a huge difference, pretty much transformed the entire dish like how chili pan mee is different from normal pan mee.
If you love sambal and food in general, you should try wantan mee here (and many other stalls in Penang).
of course, you shouldn’t miss the best ochien in town
Of course, if you are already in this kopitiam, don’t forget to order the fried oyster omelet here. One of the bests ever.
Kedai Kopi Seng Thor
160, Lebuh Carnarvon,
10100 Georgetown, Penang
GPS: 5.415495, 100.33468