Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fried hokkien noodles Singapore-style


Only perfect when served with sambal belacan chili and lime by its side

Perhaps we should just set things right in the first place. Let's all go with definition - what is Hokkien Mee? Fried noodles cooked in Hokkien (福建 Fujian) style is going too literal. Commonly seen being served in Malaysia and Singapore, it is what it is. There is nothing too figurative about Hokkien Noodles but this sound-simple noodle dish has got its variants, even in two close neighbouring countries of Singapore and Malaysia. There comes another black vs white battle, of fried carrot cake. Then, to make matters worse...comes the stir fried prawn noodles (Hokkien Mee) and the Penang soup-based prawn noodles. More more more confusion - then, there is Singapore stir fried prawn noodles (Hokkien Mee) and soup based prawn noodles more often known as Hae Mee.

Have not tasted it but sure have heard lots about it - the famous Malaysia (or rather KL) Hokkien noodle, from here, here and here - where fat yellow noodles, and dark soya sauce are used - to give a "darker" version of Hokkien Noodles. As to the stir fried Hokkien Noodles counterpart or equivalent in Singapore, we have the "lighter-colored" version, where egg noodles (sometimes mixed with bee hoon, or rice vermicelli) are used, without the dark soy sauce. Prawn is the main ingredient and sometimes with accessorized slices of pork, squid and fish cake.


Most of you food aficionado got it right. I made prawn noodles with the prawn stock . Armed with the perfect flavorful stock/broth, and a secret ingredient/garnish - fried shallots , I made Stir Fried Hokkien Noodles (Singapore Style). You can call it Braised Nyonya Noodles if you wish since I came across cookbooks that gives this name. I made this when I was in California. So, if you are residing in the United States, getting the desired ingredients should not be too much of a problem (Tip: look to Asian supermarkets for "headed" shelled prawns). But this dish - from the boiling of prawn stock to the preparation of ingredients, takes up more time and effort. Well...if you are too free... ...too much time... ...LOL!



Braised Nonya Noodles/Singapore-style Fried Hokkien Noodles
Ingredients:
- 1lb prawns buy heads on, shells on to be removed and reserved for prawn stock. For making the stock - refer here, and below *(1)
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 1tbsp fermented soya beans, mashed well
- about 4 servings of rice vermiceilli-beehoon, soaked in hot water to soften, drain and cut into - shorter lengths for easier frying
- 1/2 lb spaghetti , boiled and set aside (Note: I find that spaghetti is typically a good alternative to yellow noodles which sometimes maybe made/preserved with too much alkali water)
- 1 -2 cups chicken stock
- 2 eggs, light beaten
- 1/2 lb bean sprouts
- 4-6 leaves of napa cabbage, cut into finger-lengths
- 1 spring onion/scallions, cut into short lengths
- white pepper to taste

Directions:
*1. When I made my prawn stock then, I fried the prawn heads and shells with some oil and 1 tsp of pancetta (tip!), to give it more flavor and robustness, before adding water to make up the stock. If you have made the stock on the same day, use it. If frozen previously, defrost for using.
2. Heat oil (1tbsp) in pan and fry the chopped garlic, pancetta and mashed soya beans till fragrant
3. Add in bean sprout, cabbage and stir fry for 1 min. Then add in eggs and stir fry another minute
4. Add in both types of noodles and 1/2 the reserved stock and let it simmer about 5mins
5. Add in prawns, salt and pepper and stir fry till heated through. Add more stock if needed
6. Add in spring onions and stir fry
7. Garnish with fried shallots , serve with sambal belacan chili + lime (Note: I'm almost tempted to cite this as an option but for me personally, these condiments/garnish pack it with much more oomph!)



Bon Appetit ! Another Singapore favorite!

Hopefully, the PPNers over at Ruth's Presto Pasta Night get to know a little more about Singapore Stir Fried Hokkien Noodles. I can't wait for the other scrumptious noodles and pasta varieties in the round-up!

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