New Recipes

Pan Mee (Hakka Flat Noodle Soup)

Pan Mee
Pan Mee pictures (2 of 5)

Pan Mee (板面) is a popular Hakka noodle dish in Malaysia, especially in central and southern part of Malaysia where most Hakka people reside. Hakka Pan Mee is made with a simple flour-based dough, with anchovy broth, and topped with crispy fried anchovies, ground pork, shiitake mushrooms, and some vegetables. Pan Mee is also known as Mee Hoon Kuih (面粉糕), which is commonly prepared at home.

I will be honest, before I develop this Pan Mee recipe here, I have had Pan Mee once. Yes, once, some twenty years ago while I was visiting Kuala Lumpur. While I was growing up in Penang, Pan Mee was never sold in the hawker centers or street food stalls, so it has never been in my culinary dictionary.

Pan Mee

Anyway, what prompted me to develop a recipe for Pan Mee? Well, it all started with a HUGE bunch of mani cai (马尼菜), or cekur manis/sayur manis in Malay. Mani cai, my favorite vegetable and a key ingredient of Pan Mee, is not available in the United States. The vegetable is not grown here and thus it’s one of those things that I could never get in the US. My friend Eddie grows his own plant, and gave me a big batch of his harvest. I promised him I would make Pan Mee.

I reached out to my friend Anna and she taught me how to make pan mee. It was a success and Anna, who used to live in Pan Mee paradise of KL, gave me her thumbs up. I invited a couple friends over to my house to taste my Pan Mee and they all gave me their rave reviews. I, for one, who have never been a fan of Pan Mee, is now a converted fan. I finally understand why so many people love Pan Mee. It is a Hakka comfort food in a bowl—nothing flashy or glamorous about this dish, but it is tasty and very satisfying.

Pan Mee

If you are of Hakka descent and far away from Malaysia, I hope my Pan Mee recipe could bring the tastes of home to wherever you are. Happy cooking!

Enter to Win FREE Prizes

Vinturi Vertical Lever Wine Corkscrew Giveaway
Tovolo Christmas 2015 Bundle Giveaway
Jacob Bromwell U.S. Embossed Tin Cup Giveaway

22 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Amy gal

    I’m from KL and love Pan Mee (Min Fun Kueh) a lot! Unfortunately there’s no Pan Mee in Perth. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Gonna try next weekend! :)

  2. Shu Ennis

    I’d like to grow some manichai in Vancouver b.c. How did your friend get his plants? Is it possible for me to get some starter plants too?

  3. Richard

    I am from the USA but I live in Southern China and when it is 37C+ and the humidity is 80%+ the last thing I want (but the first thing I get) is some hot tea and hot noddles or dumplings. A Chinese friend suggested sour noodles. The noodles, although cooked were served cold. The noodles were wide, about 4-5cm and there were peanuts in it. A cold beer made this a great meal. I have looked all over the Internet but cannot find a recioe…how is it made? Does anyone know?

  4. Tsu Lin

    Hi Bee Yinn,

    Is there any substitute for the dough? I know i know – that is the gist of the dish but I hate kneading and wonder if there are any good substitute for it?

  5. angeline

    Hi Bee, I’m from Klang, M’sia and pan mee/mee hoon kueh is my favorite food and especially for Klang ppl too. From what I understand, we called mee hoon kueh like the recipe you gave. But for pan mee, it is the same dough but rolled thinner and rolled out through a machine to make them into strips that look like mee. There are also other add-ons like in my case, I will fry small lala, take off the shells and add into the mee hoon kueh/pan mee when it is cooked. It is a lot tastier.

    • Hi Angeline, yes, correct, that’s why I stated in the Method section to roll out the dough using pasta machine into fettuccine, for those who have the pasta maker. The reality is that most people don’t have the pasta machine, and hence the hand-torn pieces, which I personally think is better because of the texture and irregular shapes, each mouthful is a surprise. :)

  6. My hubby has been asking for the dried version of pan mee for ages. And promised to get me a noodle roller. LOL! I made this before several times but always playing by the feel of the dough. Sometimes it is delicious, sometimes it just isn’t. Great to have a guideline here so at least I can have more consistent results. :-)

    In Klang, as someone already mentioned, the peeled version is called Mee Hoon Kueh but once you roll it out fettuccine style, it becomes pan mee. In Klang at least. And it made me really mad recently when I ordered pan mee and was served a bowl of mee hoon kueh. Same difference? In my mind I was pitching a hissy fit but ultimately, it’s the same thing. haha! I finished the whole bowl, just so you know.

  7. Lee

    I only knew this as mee hoon kueh, made by my grandmother who is now very far away in Melaka while I’m here shivering in Vancouver BC. Although she taught me how to make this, it wouldn’t be the same without her. You’ve made me very nostalgic with this post and recipe.

  8. chinthing

    I love 面粉糕! I add steamed pumpkin to the flour topped up with a bit of water if required. The “noodle” will be softer and fragrant. To make the flat pieces of “noodles”, (dip fingers into the cooled oil from the fried shallots and garlic that I will usually sprinkle as a topping) I grab a handful of dough and pull the dough into a thin layer (usually gravity will do its job), peel and put into the boiling soup, and repeat. At home, we replace the mani cai with Chinese spinach, lots of it! We also eat with a dipping sauce of coarsely chopped garlic, soya sauce, black vinegar and a squeeze of lime.

  9. SW Wong

    We have mani cai sold in Richmond, VA. You can try to find them in Vietnamese grocery store (those Vietnamese call it “Vietnam Kao Gei” – hope you understand my Cantonese). For the dough, I suggest to use cold water as it gives you the “QQ” feeling and hence no need to knead so much, :). For the soup, you can add “mang guang”, which taste much better (I am a Hakka from KL and my mom used to sell Pan Mee).

  10. Yen

    Being a Hakka girl, I grew up eating this dish. My mom made them using the pasta roller and that’s how I like it. When I am lazy to make my own, I just used those thiner udon and they taste just as good. We can’t really find sayur manis here in Hong Kong where I live now so I used baby choi sum as substitute and for the soup, I always add some chicken bones or feet to the soup to give it an even more flavourful soup. I also ‘toast’ my ikan bilis a bit to give it a bit of ‘smoky’ flavour….thanks for sharing this recipe. It makes me feel closer to home and fond memories of my deceased mom as we used to make the noodles together when I was a kid…

  11. Violet

    Hi Bee
    Wow, my mum used to make this a lot when I was little. I come from a Hakka family. We have 2 restaurants here in Sydney ( Albee’s Kitchen in Campsie & Kingsford) that sell this and it’s just as good as mum’s. ok, looking at the bowl you just posted, looks like I will be going there soon for a one. This brings back so many childhood memories. Thanks for the great reminder

  12. Serene Ng-Brown

    Dear Bee,

    I was wondering for the soup stock. Can I just use the chicken stock instead of anchovies/ikan bilis as my husband doesn’t like them very much, being Caucasian. I don’t mind adding the fried anchovies as toppings in my bowl of Pan Mee.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *