Mee Calong: The Traditional Fish Ball Noodle Soup from Beserah Pahang
Mee Calong (or Mi Calong), a speciality noodle dish originating from Beserah in Pahang, is a delectable combination of noodles, fish balls, tofu puffs, and a rich fish broth. As a fishing village, Beserah’s cuisine heavily features fish, with Mee Calong priding itself on using fresh, handmade fish balls. The dish’s name is derived from ‘calong,’ which refers to the handmade fish balls or a local slang term for a type of knife. Mee Calong stands out for its commitment to using homemade fish balls, as commercially made ones won’t suffice.
Mee Calong’s fish balls are meticulously crafted from fish varieties like ikan tenggiri, ikan selayang, ikan tamban, or ikan parang. The deboned fish flesh is finely pounded into a paste, combined with corn flour, ground pepper, salt, sugar, garlic, shallots, ginger, and other seasonings. These fish balls can be made small or used as stuffing for tofu puffs. The leftover fish bones are then utilised to create the flavoursome fish broth, seasoned with black pepper, garlic, shallots, and other spices.
When you order Mee Calong, the raw fish balls, stuffed tofu, vegetables, and noodles are cooked in the boiling fish broth. The piping hot Mee Calong is served with garnishes like fried shallots, chives or coriander, and sometimes a poached egg for an extra touch of elegance. To add an extra kick, it is accompanied by special chilli sauce or sambal.
While Mee Lidi, a special type of wheat noodle, is commonly used for Mee Calong, there are other noodle options available. These include thick yellow noodles, thin rice noodles, and flat rice noodles, providing a range of choices to suit different preferences.
Mee Calong has become an iconic dish not only in Beserah but also a comforting favourite for people in Pahang. People from Pahang and neighbouring states often travel to Beserah to savour an authentic bowl of Mee Calong. Nowadays, Mee Calong stalls can also be found in nearby cities, towns, and even in Terengganu, offering the opportunity to enjoy this delicious fish noodle delight beyond Beserah’s borders.