From Kolo Mee to Instant Noodles

Kolo Mee (noodles) is an all time favorite hawker dish in Kuching, Sarawak.

What is so awesome is that we now have Kolo Mee in dry form of instant noodles.  The authentic Kolo Mee from Kuching or Kampua Mee from Sibu that now come in packets that you can store in the pantry and cook whenever you feel peckish.  Preparation time 5 minutes.

My deliveries all the way from my sister in Kuching.

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Related articles
One person’s perspective of Kuching
All about Kuching Kolo Mee
More about kolo mee from Johor Kaki

From kolo mee to chillies

I love chillies (chili peppers).1chilli

I must have been eating chillies since I was a twelve year old or even younger.  As far as I remembered, I had my first taste of chillies while eating a bowl of kolo mee (refer image below).  After putting in the toppings, chillies were added to the kolo mee then packed in a piece of plastic for takeaways.  If dining in, the chillies serving will be placed in a small saucer as shown.


Back in the 1970s a bowl of kolo mee sold for only 70 cents and now it retails at around RM3.50 still a very much cheap eat.  Now living away from home, whenever I have a craving for this authentic Kuching dish, I would improvise and make my own.

Chilli pepper

Chili peppers originated in the Americas. After the Columbian Exchange, many cultivars of chili pepper spread across the world, used in both food and medicine. Chilies were brought to Asia by Portuguese navigators during the 16th century.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The incredible health benefits of eating chillies

1. Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease

Research has found that foods which are high in saturated fats, such as those found in red meat and dairy, can lead to the development of high cholesterol levels. This in turn can result in cardiovascular disease and even death. Cayenne, which is one of the major components of chilli peppers, has been found to be effective not only in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but can also decrease platelet aggregation which often leads to fatal blood clots. These health benefits are all very important for people who are concerned about the development of cardiovascular disease, or who have already been diagnosed with the condition.

2. Reduced inflammation

Another great health benefit associated with the consumption of chilli peppers is the ability of this product to reduce inflammation, such as that associated with arthritis. Chilli peppers have also been found to be an effective pain reducer. The reason behind these health benefits appears to be the high amount of capsaicin in the peppers. There are currently several creams being offered that contain high amounts of capsaicin, all of which appear to be extremely effective in the treatment of arthritis, back pain and other similar conditions. It is important to note that in this case, the cream is used externally only. No research has yet been found regarding the ability of ingested capsaicin to produce the same results.

3. Improved digestive conditions

For years, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals have told people to avoid chilli peppers if they suffer from acid reflux or stomach ulcers. But recently, researchers found that cayenne, which as discussed earlier is found in high amounts in chilli peppers, may actually be important to reduce the occurrence of stomach ulcers. Cayenne has been found to be a major supporter in the production of hydrochloric acid, which has been found not only to be important in the digestion of food, but may also help to ease stomach pain associated with ulcers. In addition, cayenne has been found to be great for the reduction of gas and bloating.

4. Maintains bone health

Researchers have found that chilli peppers contain high amounts of calcium, which is important in maintaining strong bones and teeth. As some people have allergies to dairy or simply choose not to consume it as is the case in lacto-vegetarians, chilli peppers can provide them with the same minerals essential to keep their teeth and bones strong.

5. Lowers blood sugar levels

Eating chillies can have a very positive impact on people that are overweight or suffer from diabetes, say a team of researchers at The University of Tasmania, whose research was published, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in July 2006.

6. Improve heart health, boost circulation, thins blood and helps protect against strokes.

Often overlooked as circulation boosters, chillies can have a dramatic impact on your health by helping to boost circulation and also act as a thinner to help protect against strokes. Eating food with chillies everyday is all you need to do to enjoy the multiple and important health benefits they have to offer.

7. Provides pain relief and reduces inflammation

Capsaicin is well-known to contain a neuropeptide associated with the inflammatory process. Chilli related alterations in plasma proteins have been reported in patients with auto-inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid and arthritis.

8. Limits spreading of prostate cancer

Cancer Research published a study in March 2006 which concluded that capsaicin helped stop the spread of prostate cancer. The capsaicin found in chillies triggered suicide in both primary types of prostate cancer cell lines.

9. Chillies help to burn fat

Other effects

Lastly, eating chillies has recently been shown to lower cholesterol, and to reduce the amount of fibrin in the blood, and as a result, lower the blood’s tendency to clot.

– Article extracted from –

Irregardless of any health benefit or not, I just love chillies.

 They sure spice up my food.

Are you a chilli lover?


Related article

Kuching Kolo Mee

Daily Prompt: Simply Irresistible – You are my favorite dish

Daily Prompt: Simply Irresistible by Krista on November 26, 2013

Tell us about the favorite dish or food that you simply cannot turn down.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TEMPTATION.

via Daily Prompt: Simply Irresistible.

This Daily Prompt is ‘Simply Irresistible’ indeed.  A topic close to my heart.

I will show you my favorite dish.

This is a local vegetable found in Malaysia.  It is the first dish I would ask for everytime I go back to my home country.  Leaves of vegetables cooked with egg.

This is a local vegetable found in Malaysia. I crave for this dish.  Leaves of vegetables (Mani Chai) cooked with egg.

This is Kuching's kolo mee (noodles) that comes with a soup dish of mined pork, fishballs and salted vegetables and seaweed on its side.  Simply delicious.

This is Kuching’s kolo mee (noodles) that comes with a soup dish of mined pork, fishballs and everything else with salted vegetables and seaweed served on its side. Simply delicious.

The list will go on and on but these two are the first dishes that came into my mind, something authentic from home that I cannot find where I live, simply irresistible.

Years ago, I had a boyfriend who used to say to me
‘Simply, irresistible.  You are my favorite dish’,
a statement full of inner meaning.

Foodie heaven – it seems all Malaysians are foodies

Returning to Kuching, the capital of Sarawak,  after staying at an Iban longhouse  (on the beautiful Batang Ai lake)  my driver tells me  ‘Go to stall number 25 at Topspot. That’s the one I always go to and I always have the wonderful  omelette with oysters.”A local radio station reporter introduces me to ‘the best laksa in China Street.’  We walk under  Harmony Arch on Jalan Carpenter where, directly opposite the Sang Ti Miao temple, is an unpretentious but very busy  Chinese hawker food hall. She is right! The laksa served there was wonderful and for the rest of my 8 weeks in East Malaysia it became the standard I used to compare various dishes of Sarawak Laksa.

via Foodie heaven – it seems all Malaysians are foodies.

I totally agreed with Travel Writer, Heather Hapeta that all Malaysians are foodies.  We just love food, be it cooking or eating.  Most of our eating places are opened till the wee hours of the early morning.  Most Malaysians have four meals a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper.  It is amazing that we eat so much and yet obesity is not so common in Malaysia.  Nutritionist often said that eating “mini meals” every two to three hours, or four to six times per day  can lower cholesterol and promote weight loss although there isn’t much proof to back most of these claims.

Travel Writer is currently visiting my hometown and I love her stories and photographs of events and food around Kuching and Sarawak in general.  In Malaysia, we love to eat in hawker stalls that serve the most authentic local dishes that both locals and tourists enjoy.  (Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak, a state in East Malaysia.)

Here are some (only some) photos of our authentic hawker dishes.


Sarawak Laksa


Kolo Mee

kolo kueh tiaw

Mee Goreng


Sibu Heh (Prawn) Mee

Ang Ku Kuih

Cha Kuih (Fried Carrot Cake)


Kuih Salad


Bidin (Wild Ferns)

Sarawak Rojak


Homemade Toufu (this is not a hawker food), a signature dish of Sarawak Club Restaurant


Belacan Beehoon




kuih chap


Cha Taugeh Kuih Tiaw (Fried Rice Noodles with Beansprouts)


Tomato Mee


Oyster Omelette

 Photo credits from various sources, self, facebook friends or Kuching food critics page contributors.

(Kuching’s) Kolo Mee

Kolo Mee (Noodles) is one of the most popular, readily available (locally) wholesome meal for the locals and visitors alike. It is a substitute staple food for rice.  Eating is the past time of every Asians.  Kolo Mee is a local favourite be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper.  Toppings are mostly with cha siu (bbq pork), minced pork, minced pork or chicken & dried mushroom (Kai See Mee).


Prices per standard bowl of Kolo Mee was 70 sen (1970s), $1.20 (1980s), $1.50 (1990s), $2 (2000s), $2.50 (2010s), $3.50 (today).   Extra toppings such as with prawns or seafood would cost a couple of ringgit more. The above picture shows a standard bowl of Kolo Mee with cha siu (BBQ pork).

When I was a child, locals would queue up at the shops opposite my school, St Mary’s Primary to buy their favourite Kolo Mee.  Other popular spots were the corner shop at Sekama Rd, popular for their Cha Siu Ewe (marinate leftover after seasoning BBQ meat) Kolo Mee (see below).  Selling today at $4 ????


A corner shop (in between the alley way) at China St sells the popular Chicken & Mushroom Kolo Mee (Kai See Mee).  Today’s price $4 ????


Bishopgate St’s Kolo Mee which is served with a big bowl of tasty soup (cost was $4 in 1980s and $8 tody’s price).

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Today, Kolo Mee is available in every nook and corner of Sarawak.

However being ‘home away from home’, I have learnt to cook my own Kolo Mee.  I am now an ‘expert’  Kolo Mee cook’ and proud to post my own signature Kolo Mee (perhaps I should name them ‘Jes Sie Mee’.  All rights reserved for below pictures, all original publications of ‘Jes Sie Mee’.  Although they taste almost similar to authentic kolo mee, I do improvise the toppings depending on what is available in my fridge, bacons, minced pork, chicken, fish cake, fish balls or prawns.





Below is a gallery of more Kolo Mee.  Most of the pictures were snapped by yours faithfully while some pictures were extracted from  my local facebook group with thanks and credit to all of you concerned.

The history of (kuching's) Kolo Mee
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And last but not least while we are on the topic of Kolo Mee, I am pleased to share that my 4 ku (Fourth Uncle) is Singapore’s noodle king.  While he is king in making noodles, I am queen in eating it.  Slurp…Slurp !!!

Sharing below the recipe for my homemade Kolo Mee

3 pieces of fresh noodles *
100 grammes of minced pork
6 pieces fish ball (cut in halves)
3 pieces of dried mushroom (chopped in pieces)
1 garlic (finely chopped)
spring onions for garnishing (chopped finely)
6 tablespoons of oil

Seasoning (for 3 servings)
3 teaspoons of fish sauce
1/3 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of chicken seasoning powder (optional)
1 teaspoon of char siu gravy (optional)
1 teaspoon of light soya sauce
a couple of dashes of white pepper powder
1 teaspoon of black vinegar
3 tablespoons of light cooking oil

1. Pour some oil and fry the garlic till brown. Leave aside.
2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add fresh noodles boil for 5mins.
3. Remove noodles from pot using a net or colander and run it through cold or tap water. Return noodles to boiling water to heat it up again and thereafter, drain the noodles after 30 seconds. Set aside.
4. Using the oil from the garlic,stir fry minced pork till completely cooked (about 2 minutes). Add the mushroom and then the fish balls. Dash a little soya sauce. Remove cooked minced pork and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, add all the seasoning and stir well. Add cooked fresh noodles and stir till evenly coated by the seasoning. Separate the noodles onto three serving plates. Add some cooked minced pork and garnish with fried garlic and spring onions.

Here’s something about my 4 ku.


Chin Boon Foodstuff Trading was established in 1989 by Mr. Phua Koon Heng to meet the increasing demand for freshly made noodle products.For the past 18 years, we have been dedicating continuous effort to improve the taste and quality of our noodles besides daily production. We are the first to venture into full-scale automation using modern technologies. We replaced small manually-operated machineries with large-scale automated production line. This streamlines our manufacturing process to meet the growing demands while ensuring good quality control of our noodle. Consistency in the quality of the noodle is maintained daily under high standards of hygiene.As our modern machineries are custom-designed and specially tuned by our founder, Mr. Phua Koon Heng who has more than 40 years of noodle making experience, it gives our noodle the unique Chin Boon trademark taste and texture. We also ensure the freshness of our noodle by speedy delivery to our customers.

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