Kolo mee is a specialty noodle dish from the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. Ask anyone what you should eat if you visit Sarawak and kolo mee will be one of the the top choices.
Kolo mee is basically parboiled noodles which are tossed in a garlic infused oil and served with barbecue and minced pork, crushed garlic and fried shallots.
So what makes it so awesome? Lard! Sure you can substitute vegetable oil for the lard but lard is the fundamental ingredient. It coats every strand of noodle with meaty deliciousness.
Lard gets such a bad reputation. We are talking about moderate consumption, people. I lived in Germany for three years and when I first moved there, I couldn’t figure out why the french fries tasted so delicious. And surprise, surprise, lard was the secret ingredient there too. If you don’t have a cholesterol problem or heart disease risk, it’s tough to give up lard. It really adds to the flavor profile for some dishes.
People from Sarawak are crazy for their kolo mee. There are food blogs dedicated to kolo mee and the quest for the best tasting kolo mee cafe.
Want to start an instant debate? Ask anyone from my hometown of Kuching, where the best kolo mee is and you will invariably get very different answers.
I was in Kuching for Chinese New Year in Feb and a lot of the Chinese food vendors were closed for the holidays. It was a desperate situation. If you were lucky enough to find an open food court, the kolo mee vendor would always be the first to sell out. There were people queuing up for kolo mee!
One of my Kuching friends brought 10 packs of kolo mee back to Singapore with her on the plane, after a visit home. Yes, it is that good and if you’re ever in Sarawak, you should most definitely try kolo mee. Until then, here is an easy recipe you can try at home.