Mee kola

I love food like this. I love how it reminds me of mum’s cooking, and the mix of Cambodian and Vietnamese elements (although it originates from Burma).

Mee kola is not hard to make, but you need to have all the right ingredients.

Mee kola

There are different ways to make mee kola, but it’s traditionally vegetarian. Unless I make it… I add crispy Chinese sausage because it’s delicious.


I don’t really have a recipe – it’s all about making enough to serve.

To give an idea of the quantities, for each serve you will need roughly:

  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
  • 1 Tbs ground dried shrimp (ground in a spice grinder, or pounded in a mortar and pestle)
  • 1 tsp preserved radish, rinsed and finely chopped
  • half a Chinese sausage, sliced
  • 1/4 C pickled vegies
  • 1 to 1 1/2 squares of rice noodles
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs chopped chives
  • 2-3 Tbs nouc cham (‘special sauce’)


First get your toppings ready, make your special sauce and pickled vegetables.

You can make a quick pickle using sliced or grated carrot, sticks of cucumber, roughly shredded cabbage, small florets of cauliflower etc. and some vinegar that’s sweetened quite a bit with sugar. Put these in a bowl and squeeze the vinegar into the vegies lightly with your hands, and toss to combine. Leave for an hour or so before serving, or do this ahead of time. You can store this for a week or two in the fridge.

Then do the rest.

  1. Soak rice noodles in boiling water for about 10 minutes – or simmer for about 5 until just cooked.
  2. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Heat up a wok and fry sliced Chinese sausage until crisp. Remove sausage and drain on paper towels, but leave the fat from the sausages in the wok. If you’re not using sausage, you’ll need about a tablespoon of oil for the next step.
  4. Fry some minced garlic in the fat / oil until it starts to brown. Turn the heat down low.
  5. Add the drained noodles with a dash of light soy and dark soy sauce. You just want a light flavour and colour.
  6. Toss gently with some chopped chives until heated through.
  7. Put a serve of noodles into each bowl.
  8. Top with sliced boiled egg, ground dried shrimp, preserved radish, pickled vegetables, and some ‘special sauce’ to taste. You could serve the sauce in a small dish for people to add themselves. 
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