Dry Chilli Pan Mee: How a Man in KL Reinvented a Classic Dish
The traditional pan mee is most commonly served either in soup or slicked in soy sauce. However, in 1985, all this changed.
One man created a version of Pan Mee that would spearhead the trend of Pan Mee from that point onwards – the Dry Chilli Pan Mee. Tan Kok Hong, 70-year-old owner of the legendary Restoran Kin Kin in KL, is responsible for reinventing the dish while testing Malaysians’ threshold of heat.
The white noodle is rolled out like regular Pan Mee, but made thinner and rounder like spaghetti. The noodles are chucked into a plastic bowl, and topped with a poached egg, anchovies, minced pork and green onions. Chili paste is scooped onto the noodles and everything is tossed everything together so the chili and egg coats every strand. The result is a fiery punch in the gut, a thoroughly heart-stopping combination of ingredients that awakens the senses. The fiery noodle is often accompanied with a small bowl of sayur manis soup for soothing the spiciness.
The dish became so popular that other shops in Klang Valley started to replicate Dry Chilli Pan Mee, which further spreads its glory throughout Malaysia.