Singapore Fried Prawn Hokkien Mee
Any Singaporean knows and loves Hokkien mee. Malaysians have a version that's darker and made with sweet soy sauce. I've tried both and personally love our white version more - it's punchy with deep flavours from the broth, and slurpy enough to feel light and 'healthy'.
For this recipe, I have omitted the pork cracklings and used bee hoon instead of white laksa noodles just because this was all I had at hand. The entire recipe was a lot simpler than I thought, and I actually impressed myself with the end product. Who knew I could cook hawker style?! Try for yourself and let me know how yours work out.
Just remember - the whole dish depends on the taste of your broth. So spend some time building it up, and layering all the delicious umami flavours from the bones and juicy prawn heads.
Recipe feeds 2 persons.. 10 minutes prep time, total cook time 30 minutes.
For the noodles
2 tablespoon cooking oil
250g prawns, de-shelled (keep the prawn heads)
200g yellow mee
200g bee hoon (soaked in water to soften)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup chives
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Lime wedge to garnish
Scoop of sambal belachan for serving
Salt & white pepper to taste
For the broth
About 10 prawn heads
2-3 whole bones
1 ikan billis stock cube
1 litre water
4 whole garlic cloves (skins on)
Salt & white pepper to taste
1. Start your broth by frying the garlic, bones and prawn heads. Press down on the prawn heads to release the flavours.
2. Add 1 litre of water, 1 ikan billis stock cube and white pepper. The stock square has enough salt to make the broth salty but taste first, and add salt if needed.
3. Let the broth come to a boil, let it boil down until liquid reduces by 20% and the broth is packed with a punch of prawn flavour.
4. Peel prawns, and cook in the broth quickly until pink. Set aside for later.
5. Soak white bee hoon to soften the noodles. Wash yellow noodles and set aside.
6. Prepare your workstation. The recipe requires you to dish out ladles of broth bit by bit so I would recommend having your broth next to your wok and all other ingredients nearby.
7. In a wok or large frying pan on high heat, add 2 tablespoon oil and quickly fry the eggs until cooked.
8. Add white bee hoon noodles and 1 ladle of broth. Stir until noodle is soft and almost cooked. Add the yellow noodles separately as they both have different cooking times.
9. Add yellow noodles, combine and stir in with 2-3 ladles on broth. Cook covered until noodles is soft and cooked. You can add more broth if you prefer a wetter dish.
10. Once noodles are cooked and well combined with the eggs, add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 cup chives and 1 cup bean sprouts. Stir quickly on high heat and turn off heat immediately once everything is combined. The bean sprouts will continue cooking in the heat of the noodles, so do not overcook or it will be mushy.
11. Add cooked prawns on top and garnish with a lime wedge and scoop of sambal belachan.
ALY'S COOKING TIPS
1. Bean sprouts cook really quickly. In order not to overcook it in noodles and stir-fries, add the bean sprout when your dish is cooked. And stir it in gently. The bean sprouts will continue cooking in the heat of the rest of the food - this method ensure it is cooked perfectly every time, and still has that 'crunch'!
2. You can use only one type of noodle for this dish, but it is preferred to have a mix of yellow and white noodles for flavor and texture.
3. A good rule of thumb to ensure your broth is a maximum flavour bomb is to cook it for longer. Let the flavours of the prawns, whole garlics and bones boil down until the broth is full of flavour. It's really that easy!
4. You would have noticed that I did not use salt in this dish but have given you the option in case you need it. What I like to do is to boil down the broth until it is thick and salty - this also ensures the finished dish is just the right amount of salty!