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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Singapore Hokkien Mee

There are various versions of hokkien mee in different parts of Southeast Asia and even in Singapore. But if you ask anyone where to get hokkien mee in a hawker centre, chances are you will likely be able to find a stall that sells it and on the plate of hokkien mee, you will find shelled prawns, sliced squid and noodles that are slightly damp with loads of prawn/pork stock. If you would notice taste the hokkien mee, the highlights of this dish is the gooeyness and the intensity of the goodness in the stock.

This recipe is adapted from Chef K.F. Seetoh and noobcook. Please see my modification or comments in blue.

Ingredients:

Prawn stock
2 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 tbsp shallots, chopped
4 tbsp oil
1kg prawn shells
10 to 20 prawns
1 litre 2 litres water
500g pork bones
500g clams (otherwise known as lala)
1 squid (insides cleaned)
1/2 tbsp white peppercorns
1 tbsp rock sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
50g dried ikan bilis (anchovies)
1/4 tsp dark soy sauce (optional)

Hokkien mee

5 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp lard pieces (optional)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
226g thin beehoon or vermicelli (soaked in room temperature water and softened)
226g yellow noodles
60g beansprouts
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
50g fishcake, sliced
10 to 20 prawns, deshelled and parboiled
10 squid rings, parboiled
50g pork belly, parboiled and sliced thinly
40g chives, cut into 2 inches long
salt to taste
1/2 tsp soy sauce
prawn stock
2 calamansi limes, halved

Method:
  1. Before you begin to fry your noodles, you need to prepare a good stock base to soak your noodles in whilst cooking.
  2. For the soup base, add 4 tbsp cooking oil in a heated soup pot and fry prawn shells until fragrant. This is the way to fully extract the prawn flavour into the soup stock.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients for the soup stock except the squid and the prawns.
  4. When the water comes to a rapid boil, add the squid and the prawns. Cook for about 2 minutes and remove the squid and prawns from the pot.
  5. Meanwhile, continue to simmer the stock for about 40 minutes or so and skim the surface of the broth. Sieve the ingredients and Then set aside the stock for frying. 
  6. When the squid and prawns are cooled, slice the squid to thin rings and set both squid and prawns aside.
  7. In a wok, heat 2 tbsp oil and scramble eggs over it until 3/4 done and still moist.
  8. Add beehoon and yellow noodles, fry over medium heat. Add 1 tsp of oil and 2 cups of stock. Continue frying to allow the beehoon to absorb the stock for about 45 seconds. Add more oil if needed.
  9. Add another 2 cups of stock, then add in bean sprouts, stir, cover wok and braise for about 1 minute over medium-low heat.
  10. When done, push noodles to the side of the wok, add in another 2 tbsp oil and fry 1 tbsp garlic until fragrant. Toss well with all the noodles. Add 2 tbsp fish sauce.
  11. Add in prawns, fish cake, squid rings, pork and salt to taste. Fry for 30 seconds.
  12. Add 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce for colour and add chives.
  13. Garnish with some spring onions and serve.

Distinctly, this step is crucial to making a good hokkien mee soupbase. By frying the prawn shells, you allow the goodness of the prawns to be infused in the soupbase.


Thereafter, you add everything else like the clams, pork bones, garlic, shallots, water, ikan bilis and let this soup base slowly simmer for about 1 hour.


When you sieve all the ingredients from the soup, you will get this rich soupbase and you are ready to start to stir fry your hokkien mee.

Although there are some 'factions' of hokkien mee fans that believe hokkien mee comes with yellow noodles and thick rice noodles, I've always liked mine with yellow noodles and thin vermicelli. To each his own, I guess.

For the rest of the steps, I haven't had the time or chance to take pictures of how I stir fry the noodles as they need to be constantly stir fried. However, do see the end product of my hokkien mee.


To be honest, the hokkien mee should be 'wetter' in consistency and it was not as 'wet' as I expected it to be due to lack of soupbase. Arghhh!! I should have added more water to the initial soupbase. Also, Mr G thought that the hokkien mee has the robust crustean flavours and tasted pretty good except for the addition of lard. Yesh, I chose not to add lard initially as I wanted it to be a healthier hokkien mee. Darn!! I should have remembered that good food always tasted better with such addition. The next time I cook this, I will definitely have more soupbase and pork lard. Then, this hokkien mee will be perfect!

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #11 Sept 2014 : Singapore hosted by Life can be Simple.


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