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An Article From The Michaelian - Mee Making And Gopeng Mee
Mee is a favourite food with the Chinese just as macaroni is with many Europeans. The mee we eat is made of flour, eggs, a little lye and water. By mixing up the ingredients in proper proportions, we form a dough. This is heavy and thick. By continual kneading it becomes tough and ductile. When it is well kneaded it is cut into long strips like the mee we see at mee-stalls.
Kneading by hand is slow but people say hand-kneaded mee tastes better. But nowadays most of the mee sold is kneaded by machinery.
There are different ways of cooking mee. The most common are by frying, by stewing and by steeping it in boiling water for a few minutes and transferring it to a cold bath. If we wish to have the mee fried or boiled, we add meat or fish and some spices to make it tasty. It is important to use a little pepper dust. Mee steeped in boiling water and then washed in cold is the most popular form of mee. It is generally served with hot tasty soup.
I am sure many people would like to know which is the best mee stall in Ipoh. According to my taste the best mee is sold in a stall in Leech Street, at the entrance to Panglima Lane, and by the side of a restaurant. The owner of this stall is a Cantonese. He has been selling mee the greater part of his life and his mee is very delicious. He has a wife and a son to help him and is generally surrounded with customers.
Mee-hawking is a very profitable small business. You need only a small capital to start a mee stall. Mee stalls are often patronised by office-workers during tiffin hours. Many workers have their homes far from their places of work. So instead of going home for tiffin, they generally take a cup or two of mee as their mid-day meal.
By selling a cup of mee for seventy cents, a hawker gains nearly 50% profit. Rumour says that a certain mee-seller in Ipoh makes more than a thousand dollars profit a month. He pays no income-tax!
Have you heard the story of Gopeng Mee? Gopeng is a small town, 12 miles from Ipoh. Before the war, there was a little shop there selling chicken mee. The mee enjoyed a great reputation. Many from Ipoh and other towns went to Gopeng just for a plate of the tasty mee. The old proprietor died and his son has transferred the business to Ipoh. Now Gopeng Mee may be had in the Jubilee Amusement Park and also from a stall in Hale Street.
Std VI A