Mee Grob Recipe

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Mee grob is Pad Thai’s distant cousin; the ingredients are similar, but the balance is more toward the sweet, sour and crunchy, with a hint of citrus.

There are two ways you can have mee grob, as a snack or as a part of the meal. As a snack, mee grob is served is with bean sprouts, Chinese chives and pennywort, sprinkled with fried beaten egg and pickled garlic.

However, the mee grob that is part of a meal is made with simpler ingredients and aimed at long storage. Mee grob, in an air tight container at room temperature, will stay fresh and crunchy for at least 2 weeks. In a cool, dry climate, it can stay good for a few months.

When I was a kid, my grandmother made her mee grob in a large batch and kept it in a special pot in her kitchen. Unbeknownst to her, every time I walked by I would sneak a few bites. I found out later that my cousins were doing the same thing!

At Ampawa Floating Market, Thailand, I found one of the best mee grobs, made with som sah, a type of orange that I believe is Seville orange. If you're visiting, I'd recommend buying a lot and bringing it back home.

10 Servings, Prep Time: 25 Minutes, Total Time: 25 Minutes

Tips and Techniques

  • When pressed tofu is not available, use extra firm tofu instead. Extra firm tofu has higher water content which will take longer to fry until crispy.
  • What makes mee grob unique is the zest of an orange grown in Thailand, som sah(ส้มซ่า). I believe it's the same as Seville orange but I've not been able to confirm. When I get the Seville oranges in January, I'll report back on the finding. Substituting regular orange with som sah seems to work on one level, citrus aroma, but it's just not quite the right aroma.
  • The tamarind that in this recipe is the dry paste, thick like sour cream.
  • If you are using tamarind in pods not the processed tamarind, use 2 ounces of tamarind with 1/2 cup of water. This will yield about 1/2 cup of tamarind. Omit the water in the recipe.
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