Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles (Fried Hokkien Mee)
On one of our previous annual trips to Singapore during the Chinese New Year festivities, one of the best Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles I’ve ever tasted had been, surprise surprise…homemade. By a non-Singaporean! Actually, she’s none other than my sister-in-law’s wonderful Indonesian domestic helper, and she shyly whispered to me that her secret recipe was derived from a certain cookbook my sister-in-law swears by. I wasn’t let in on what the secret recipe was, but being the chef who’s always thrived on the ‘try till you get it right’ method for fine-tuning your own ‘best’, I’m proud to have concocted a pretty good version of this Singapore-style one dish wonder, to call my own.
My sister-in-law’s recipe includes pork as one of its main and perhaps most pertinent ingredients, since the pork bones are painstakingly stewed to extract the sweet flavour for the stock then used to stir fry the noodles. My rule of thumb is that I’ll always make extra stock after first cooking Prawn Noodles Soup for the week’s menu, then save the extra portion for my Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles the next day.
You could substitute chicken for pork if you don’t care much for pork.
I’d say this version is as good as it gets. In the chicken version, instead of pork belly strips you could used thinly sliced chicken thighs as a substitute. Works perfectly too.
Ingredients for Fried Prawn Noodles:
4 tablespoons peanut oil
3 eggs, beaten
4 cups of prawn noodle soup stock
150g beansprouts, blanched
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
10-15 green prawns, whole or de-shelled if preferred
fishcake, sliced (quantity as desired)
squid rings (quantity as desired)
pork belly, sliced thinly
soy sauce to taste
sprinkle of fish sauce to taste
spring onions and coriander to garnish
deep fried shallots
calamansi limes (squeeze juice over the finished fried noodles before serving)
crushed or sambal chilli paste (squeeze of lime)
500g dried thin vermicelli rice sticks (beehoon) (rice sticks, soaked till softened and drain)
500g thick yellow egg noodles (fresh not dried)
Stir-fry the minced garlic and set aside, do not let it burn. Crack the eggs into a wok and scramble it with about 1 tablespoon of peanut oil.
Put aside the eggs on a side plate and add in more oil to stir-fry the pork belly strips. Some more oil will be rendered from this process.
Mix in the fish cake, squid rings and prawns next. Add seasoning and salt to taste.
Toss in both the yellow noodles and softened vermicelli rice noodles, stir-fry with more oil and add additional stock and let the noodles simmer on low heat to absorb the stock.
Add all of the stock, then the bean sprouts, followed by the fried minced garlic, then mix well, letting the low heat stew everything together.
Add fish sauce and soy sauce to taste, be careful not to let it get too salty. Less is more!
Finally, toss in coriander, spring onions and deep fried shallots for garnish. Squeeze the lime juice over the top of the noodles. Serve with chilli.