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Penang Food: Curry Mee (Noodles) in George Town

Food Tour, Malaysian Food, Penang Food, PenangHeritage on a PlateComment

Hello, friends! We’re back again this month with more delicious Penang food for you. This time, let’s look at the spicy, quirky and creamy Penang curry mee!

Curry mee is usually a breakfast, brunch or lunch meal although there are some vendors who offer it in the evenings. There’s just something about waking up to that beautiful, fragrant aroma and convening around small plastic table for a steaming hot bowl of spicy broth and noodles on a weekend morning.

I think that octopus is waving at you

I think that octopus is waving at you

There are many variations to curry mee in Penang, and you’ll find quite a few different styles depending on the location, time and vendor. What they tend to have in common is a curry base featuring copious amounts of coconut milk. Fragrant chili paste and oils, and usually some type of seafood make up the rest of the notes in the flavour. Penangites usually order it with a mix of egg noodles and vermicelli in the same bowl, but you can also get it with either one.

Penang food is pretty legendary at this point and every vendor, restaurant and food stall wants to stand out from their competition. Many vendors make their own signature in-house oils and paste, the recipes are kept an utmost secret. Shrimp, cockles, fragrant tofu, bean sprouts and mint leaves often make an appearance in curry mee and some Chinese vendors will included cubes of coagulated pork blood. You can always ask for a bowl without, if that’s not your thing.

You’ll find a variety of styles of curry mee - from the super spicy, to the more sweet and coconut milk-creamy. You can find vegetarian and halal versions as well. Personally, we like the seafood flavours with medium spice, and plenty of mint.

Think we got enough chili?

Think we got enough chili?

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try some of the curry mee styles outside of George Town. On some parts of the island but especially on “the mainland“ heading north, you’ll find different interpretations of this dish. The broth is often thicker, sweeter and creamier. Instead of seafood, you’ll get chicken and long beans. Definitely different, but just as good.

So when you visit Penang, make sure to be on the lookout for some curry mee. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some delicious noodles to enjoy!

If this post hasn’t sated your noodle hunger, check out These 3 Types of Penang Noodles