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THE prawns in the mee udang are big, fat and fresh.

They go straight from the fishing boats up to a remote stall just a few metres from the jetty in Sungai Tembus, Penaga, in northern mainland Penang, and the stall is Mee Udang Kak Ju.

Even though Mee Udang Kak Ju is at a remote northern corner of mainland Penang, the shack gets its share of packed hours at the fishermen's jetty in Sungai Tembus in Penaga, North Seberang Perai.

Even though Mee Udang Kak Ju is at a remote northern corner of mainland Penang, the shack gets its share of packed hours at the fishermen’s jetty in Sungai Tembus in Penaga, North Seberang Perai.

The cook is Julia Ahmad, 48, a proud resident of her fishing village.

“All the prawns I use are caught along our mangrove coastline. I’m always happy to see such big prawns thriving in our waters,” she said.

The mainland’s northern mangrove area spans more than 240ha along the sea.

Julia’s prawn noodles sell for RM11 a bowl. Each serving comes with three jumbo prawns and a poached egg.

Her soup stock is mainly tomato laced with chilli and other spices which she will not reveal.

Mee Udang Kak Ju's Julia Ahmad showing off the big prawns her village's fishermen supply to her while her assistant Yani Manan, ladles steaming bowls of prawn noodles for waiting customers.

Mee Udang Kak Ju’s Julia Ahmad showing off the big prawns her village’s fishermen supply to her while her assistant Yani Manan, ladles steaming bowls of prawn noodles for waiting customers.

“Prawns are naturally delicious tapi kalau mau betul-betul sedap, kenalah makan segar(but to be really tasty, must eat fresh).”

Getting to her eatery is an adventure in itself.

It is about an hour’s drive from the island to the one-horse town of Penaga. Then you must drive on a dirt road criss-crossing padi fields and farms.

Thankfully, Julia’s fans have listed her on foursquare.com so good food hunters can search and download her location into GPS navigator or smartphones.

Her business is open all week (11am to 5pm) except Fridays.

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