Pan Mee is

One of the greatest foods known to mankind, in my opinion at least.

Pan Mee or flour noodles (what I called it growing up), one of the few good things from Malaysia, has been a staple of my diet ever since I was a young boy. There’s just something wonderful about sinking your teeth into juicy chunks of flour dough that’s been cooked in delicious soup. Add in some minced pork, mushrooms, mani cai, deep-fried shallots, a helpful serving of sambal and you couldn’t ask for more. My favorite part about pan mee – when eating the hand-pulled variants, you can finish the meal with just a spoon.

It’s also deceptively filling. I’m not sure if it’s because the flour expands in your stomach (that’s what I’ve heard), but it’s not hard to get full on a single bowl (especially if you take it with soup). While it’s one of the best dishes available in Malaysia, and it’s not too hard to cook, it makes me wonder why it isn’t a widespread phenomenon yet. It’s not outlandish or filled with exotic ingredients, I can’t believe it hasn’t spread globally yet. I’m pretty sure someone could start up a Pan Mee restaurant in a western country and do well there.

Pan Mee is widely available in Kuala Lumpur and is cooked in many different styles depending on which restaurant you go to. The most common ones are cooked with soup, dry with black sauce (with optional chili flakes). One of the things I like about the dish is that you can’t really go wrong ordering it – the worst you’ll get is something with insufficient flavor or stale anchovies. Also, super biased opinion, my mom makes the best Pan Mee ever.

While typing this piece, I realized why I never write about food. I have no idea how to describe flavor. Or appearance. Or aroma. Or whatever goes into describing food. Also, I have no idea why I wanted to write about Pan Mee – I was just inspired after having a delicious bowl of it for dinner. Feel free to drop any Pan Mee restaurant recommendations you have if you think I should check it out!

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