In my previous post, I mentioned Ban Meen. But what exactly is it? 板麵 (Ban Meen in Cantonese, Ban Mian in Mandarin) translates to “board noodles”. The name comes from the preparation method. Traditionally, Hakka Chinese cooks would knead, roll and cut the dough on top of a wooden cutting board thus the name. But nowadays, the noodles are flattened with pasta rollers.
The noodles should be made with eggs and flour, without water. This way, the noodles are aromatic and do not turn soggy if overcooked. However, Ban Meen vendors here typically add water to cut costs.
The noodles are served with an anchovy broth. Anchovies and garlic are stir-fried in hot oil until fragrant (golden brown), then water is added and the broth is simmered for an hour. If the anchovies aren’t fried enough, it would lose color and turn undesirable pale white after the simmer.
Blanched katuk leaves (sauropus androgynus) are added to the noodles along with crisp anchovies as toppings. Additional toppings such as sliced mushrooms and cooked minced pork could be added if desired.
The Ban Meen vendor I visited today sells her noodles in three locations different throughout the day. During breakfast hour, noodles are sold inside her house’s courtyard in Kampung Baru Batu 11 Cheras, No. T36, Jalan Indah 3/6, 43200 Kajang, Kuala Lumpur.
Greetings from abroad! I am currently in Malaysia visiting family and friends.
A few days ago, I went to a small morning market (or as people here call it pasar pagi) for breakfast. I ate Ban Meen (板麵), a flour noodle that is typically handmade and served with soup. Here are some photos:
This is a makeshift vegetable stand that sells almost everything at $1 (much cheaper than the supermarkets around it). It is on Main Street between 41st Road and 41st Ave. Behind the stand is an actual store. The store sells Chinese herbs and ginseng.
The normal vegetables sold there involve herbs, potatoes, lettuces and other Asian greens. Once in a while, they have red radishes, multicolor grape tomatoes, and even large salad bags (as big as a Northface backpack) at about $3 or lower. The metal bins indicate that all the produce in the bin is $1. Vegetables not placed in bins are usually priced from $1 to $2. Produce can be sold so cheap because the owners are street vending without paying for the vegetable/fruit truck. I’m pretty sure they divide the rent with the herb shop in the back.
Next time you’re in Flushing, you might want to grab yourself some cheap vegetables. But be warned, some vegetables they sell spoil quick. So far, the worst purchases from this spot I’ve had were avocado and asparagus. Use your instinct to purchase; if it doesn’t look good don’t buy it.