Mee Siput: The Traditional Crispy Snack from Muar
Get ready to embark on a flavoursome journey with Mee Siput, a beloved traditional snack that traces its origins back to Muar, Johor. This delightful treat first emerged in the 1950s, capturing the hearts of school kids in Muar and quickly gaining popularity.
The name “Mee Siput” translates to “snail noodles” due to its distinctive spiral shape and satisfyingly crunchy texture. This snack is traditionally handcrafted using a dough made from wheat flour. The dough is skillfully stretched into long noodle strands, arranged in a circular spiral pattern, and left to dry under the warm sun. Finally, the dried strands are deep-fried to achieve their crispy perfection.
On its own, the fried noodle strands have a mild flavour. To enhance the taste, Mee Siput is typically served with a bag of sambal tumis, a spicy chilli sauce variant that incorporates belacan (fermented shrimp paste) for added depth. The crispy Mee Siput and flavoursome sambal tumis create a harmonious combination that delighted school kids and snack enthusiasts alike.
Originally, Mee Siput was produced by small businesses and home-based ventures. However, over time, it gradually faded into obscurity as more snack options flooded the market, such as the popular Mamee Monster introduced in the 1970s. People started to forget about Mee Siput until recent years when it experienced a revival, thanks to the power of social media and word-of-mouth recommendations. This resurgence prompted larger-scale production, with different producers developing unique sambal tumis recipes to stand out from competitors and cater to various taste preferences.
In the present day, Mee Siput has become one of the most sought-after souvenirs from Muar. You can easily find it in shops not only in Muar but also in other parts of Johor. It’s worth noting that Mee Siput is available in two forms: ready-to-eat and raw. Ready-to-eat Mee Siput can be eaten straight from the packaging, while raw Mee Siput requires deep frying before enjoying. Alternatively, you can rehydrate the raw Mee Siput by soaking it in water and then stir-fry it like regular noodles.
Whether you’re a fan of nostalgic treats or a curious food explorer, Mee Siput offers a delightful snacking experience. Its signature spiral shape, satisfying crunch, and spicy sambal tumis make it a standout treat from Muar. So, make sure to indulge in this unique and flavoursome snack during your visit to Muar or when exploring the culinary treasures of Johor.