Red Glutinous Wine Mee Sua

Foochow Red Wine Mee Sua Recipe

Update (4 Aug 2014): First posted in Apr 2010, now updated with new photos and improved recipe.

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Whenever my mum goes back to her hometown in Sitiawan, Perak (Malaysia), I will beg her to bring back some her hometown’s famous mee suah (aka flour vermicelli 面线) and ang zao jiu (aka red glutinuous wine 红槽酒) back for me. Details on where to buy them at the end of this page. The Chinese population in Perak is largely Foo Chow (hock chew 福州) and the Foo chow red glutinous mee sua and chicken are famous specialties there. With the best ingredients money can possibly buy, it is very easy to whip up this one-dish meal of red glutinous mee sua with chicken (红槽鸡面线).

Similar Recipe: Red Glutinous Wine Chicken

When I ask my relatives about the art of wine making, superstitions come flying around. “You must be in a good mood when making the wine”, “You must NOT ask about the status of the wine or the whole batch will be ruined” etc. It all sounds unbelievably irrational, until I realised that somehow, the best glutinous red wine I have tasted are always home-made. I don’t even want to start ranting on how bad some of the mass-produced factory wine lees taste. To me, as long as you can procure good quality wine and wine lees, you can get way with “anyhow cooking” this dish (sometimes I even skip the chicken marination part) – which explains the simplicity of this recipe.

Hand-made mee sua

If you ever have a chance to visit Sitiawan, Perak, I urge you to buy some of the quality wine lees and hand-made mee sua (福州面线) there. The shop I am recommending (see contact details at the end of the page) has been around for more than twenty years, and today, their mee sua is still hand made. If you visit their shop, you can see the mee sua being sun dried on poles. Being hand-made, they are not the thinnest mee sua out there, yet the texture is superior! Our car boot back from Malaysia is always filled with friends and relatives requests for them. Their particular mee sua is (deliciously) salty on its own, so cooking them separately in a pot of water is a must.

red glutinous wine lees

Like their mee sua, their red glutinous wine (and lees) are deliciously savoury on its own, which is why you can see that my recipe is so minimum with simple seasonings.

Where to buy good quality red glutinous wine & mee suah
家發手工福州麵線 Perusahaan Makanan Jia Fatt
No. 2179B, Kampung Bintang, 32000 Sitiawan, Perak, Malaysia
H/P: 012-5709507, 016-5003955

Note: This is NOT a paid or sponsored mention. I am just sharing good finds with my readers :)

Foochow Red Wine Mee Sua Recipe

Foochow Red Glutinous Wine Mee Sua Recipe

For those eating this as a confinement dish, you will add a lot more sesame oil, ginger and wine, to taste. This will generally be too “heaty” for a normal person but it is said to be beneficial to a woman recuperating from childbirth.

If you only have access to the glutinous wine lees and not the wine, you can substitute with normal Chinese rice wine for simmering the chicken, and Hua Diao Jiu 花雕酒 or Shao Xing Jiu 绍兴酒 for topping your bowl of mee sua before serving.


  • 500g chicken drumlets (can substitute with chopped chicken thigh or half chicken)
  • 3 slices ginger cut to thin strips
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 servings of mee suah (about 80g per person)
  • 600ml red glutinuous wine (红槽酒)
  • light soy sauce, salt, sesame oil (or even chicken cube) for seasoning; to taste

(A) Marinade


  • more red glutinous wine (I use a generous amount, about 2 tbsp per bowl; may also substitute with Shaoxing wine for a stronger wine aroma)
  • coriander (cilantro)


  1. In a bowl, marinade chicken with (A) for half an hour.
  2. In a wok, heat sesame oil and olive oil.  Add thinly sliced ginger strips and fry them until crisp. Set aside the fried ginger strips.
  3. Using the remaining oil in the wok, stir fry the chicken until they are cooked on the surface.
  4. Add red glutinous wine and the remaining marinade sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked, stirring the pot at intervals.
  5. Add more wine or hot water if there is not sufficient soup. Season to taste (e.g. soy sauce for more salty, sesame oil for more fragrance).
  6. In another pot, bring water to boil, add mee suah and cook for about 1 minute, separating the strands with chopsticks.
  7. Drain the cooked mee suah and set in two serving bowls. Arrange the cooked chicken pieces on top of mee suah, and pour the soup over. For a richer wine aroma, drizzle 2 tablespoons of red glutinuous wine to top each bowl. Garnish with coriander and fried ginger.

Noob Cook Tip

Different wine lees have different degree of saltiness. Season the dish with soy sauce/chicken cube/salt according to the taste of the wine lees.