Hokkien Prawn Noodle Soup Recipe 福建虾面汤食谱
Prawn Noodle Soup is a popular local hawker dish originating from Fujian province (福建 which is Hokkien) in China, and hence its name 福建虾面汤 (Hokkien Hae Mee Tng). Unlike Singapore-style, our neighbour Malaysia’s Penang-style is a spicy version with hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp floss) in the stock. Penang Hokkien Mee is one of my favourite hawker fare!
Prawn Noodle Soup is usually served in a bowl of umami rich stock made of pork bones and prawns, of course! There is also the dry version but I use the word “soup” in this dish as there are actually 2 more variety of Hokkien Mee in Singapore (see links at end of post).
When my Muslim friends come over for lunch, I substitute pork bones (stock) and sliced lean pork with chicken bones and shredded cooked chicken breast meat.
According to Emeritus Wu,”This has become our an unintended national cultural food…
The process of cooking become our only traditional rites, past on to our children, friends and even strangers, if we cook.”
Today, I’m going to break that “traditional rites” by using commercial paste but you can be assured that no bonding, cultural or otherwise, is broken eating this “fast cooked” recipe. The 3 boys in my family gave me the thumbs up!
Hokkien Prawn Noodle Soup Recipe 福建虾面汤食谱 (serves 3-4)
Yellow Noodles (allow 125g to 200g per person).
Rice Vermicelli, optional (cook in hot water till soften, drain off in colander and keep aside).
1 packet of Tean’s Gourmet Prawn Noodle Paste (200g).
1.5 litre Water (read method).
150g Pork Loin or 1 whole Chicken Breast.
350g Prawns, shell and head intact.
To devein prawns with shell intact, make a slit with a sharp paring knife into the middle of the prawn shell, then stick a toothpick under the vein and pull out.
Kangkong (Morning Glory or Water Convolvulus).
1 Fried Fish Cake, sliced.
Hard-boiled Eggs (half or whole for each serving).
Crispy Pork Cracklings, optional.
Cut Chilli Padi, deseeded if prefer less spicy.
Light Soy Sauce.
Chilli Powder and White Pepper Powder, optional.
1. Pour 1.5 litre of hot water into a stock pot and bring to a fast boil. Put in the cleaned lean pork or chicken breast and simmer till the meat is cooked. Take meat out and let the meat cool off completely before slicing or shredding. Keep that pot of water boiling on stove.
2. Whilst letting the meat cool off, put the prawns (shells and head intact) into the same pot of water and cook till prawns turn pink and start to curl up. Do not overcook them. Remove immediately and plunge them into a big bowl of cold water. When the prawns are cooled, remove the head and shells and slice the prawn meat into half lengthwise (skip this halving step if you think it too troublesome).
3. Skim off any broth scum from the stock pot and put the soup paste into that pork and prawn “stock”. Top up with enough water to make the 1.5 litre required for the paste OR like me, you can do a taste test and add water according to your desired level of savouriness. There is no need to add extra salt to it as I find the paste rather salty but all ended well when put everything together. Simmer on low heat according to the instructions on the package.
4. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and scald the rice vermicelli till soft. Drain dry and set aside. Put the yellow noodles into that same pot water and scoop out immediately with a noodle colander. Otherwise the noodle texture will be too soggy. Now blanch the bean sprouts for a few seconds and then kangkong. In this manner, you have been using on pot and save a lot of resources cleaning up later.
Place a portion of yellow noodles and/or rice vermicelli, kangkong and bean sprouts in a bowl. Ladle hot stock over. Top with meat slices, sliced fish cakes, prawns, egg halves, top with fried shallots and crispy pork crackling (if using). Serve hot with a dipping sauce of cut chilli padi and light soy. Some diners like to add extra chilli or white pepper powder just before eating.
Ideal Party Food:
You can prepare most of the ingredients up to one day in advance and keep them separately in sealed containers in the fridge. Bring them out to thaw at room temperature about one to two hours before your family or friends are ready to eat. Heat up the soup and, scald the noodles and vegetables just before serving.
Please note that the Amount and Type of Topping Ingredients are very flexible when you cook this at home. You want bigger prawns? Buy bigger prawns, crayfish or lobster! You want more noodles and vegetables? Get a bigger package! Don’t like lean pork? Use pork ribs/tail (longer cooking time). Add offals if you wish, too! Want to make it ostentatious to wow your guests? Add a can of sliced abalone! Take out whatever you are allergic to and blah blah blah… You get my drift… 🙂
Happy cooking, eating and bonding! 🙂