Sunday, October 22, 2006

Penang Hokkien Prawn Mee

Photo Credit : HKO

This is a special noodle dish in a prawn based soup. It's the soup that makes the difference, the sweet prawny essence with the spicy chilly sauce packs a kick. Now that beats tea and toast for breakfast anytime!

Now there is another Hokkien mee in KL that is a big noodle dish(tai lo min) fried with black soya sauce. But in Penang the prawn noodles is a signature dish.

Penang Hokkien Mee, originally uploaded by tidaknama.

This is a special noodle dish in a prawn based soup. It's the soup that makes the difference, the sweet prawny essence with the spicy chilly sauce packs a kick.

Now there is another Hokkien mee in KL that is a big noodle dish(tai lo min) fried with black soya sauce. But in Penang the prawn noodles is a signature dish.

Hokkien hae mee (Hokkien Prawn Noodles)

Hokkien hae mee (Hokkien/Fujian prawn noodles; 福建虾麺) is served in Penang (with a variant served in Singapore known as Hae mee). It is a dish of egg noodles and rice noodles in a fragrant stock, which is made from both fresh shrimp and dried prawns, as well as pork or chicken. Traditionally, small cubes of fried pork fat are added to the soup, but this is now less common due to health concerns. It is garnished with prawns, fish cake, leafy greens, pork ribs, squid, vegetables, crisp deep-fried shallots, spring onions and fresh lime. The dish is served with sliced red chili, light soy sauce and sambal.

In Singapore, Hokkien mee refers to a variant of the Penang version of Hokkien hae mee. The dish uses the same egg noodles and rice noodles used in Hokkien hae mee, but is stir fried and served dry. The main ingredients are shrimps and small pieces of sliced pork. It is usually served with lime and sambal chilli.

Hokkien Mee Recipe

Source : Kuidaore's Blog

The secret to making a memorable Hokkien Prawn Mee Soup is in, as with most Asian noodle soups, the stock. My grandmother, who spent a good part of her childhood in Penang (to this day, I think of Gurney Drive's version as the definitive one), taught me that a properly made Hokkien Mee stock should be a deep ruddy brown even before the addition of soy sauce or palm sugar. The stock derives its rich flavour and colouring from prawn shells, patiently sauteed until well caramelized - not only is much flavour concentrated in the shells, but their carotenoid pigments contribute to the stock's characteristic burnt umber hue. Skimp on this step and the resulting stock will be anaemic in both flavour and colour. Whenever we eat crabs, prawns, crayfish or lobster, I hoard their throwaway heads and shells. Carefully cleaned, wrapped and frozen into packages, it means there's always a stash to call upon for amplifying any shellfish based stock, ensuring a brew sweetly saturated with shellfish flavour - as was the case when we decided to have Hokkien Mee last Sunday. A mixture of pork is also used to round out and frame the shellfish flavour - tail lends succulence and body, while meaty bones and ribs add flavour. The following recipe is my grandmother's - the only change I've made is to cook a separate batch of pork for topping the Hokkien Mee instead of using the meat from the stockpot, which tends to be tired, having given its best to the liquid.


Prawn and Pork Stock
*1Tbsp peanut oil *200gm pork fat, cubed *15 shallots, thinly sliced *300gm pork ribs *300gm meaty pork bones *1 pork tail *5 dried red chillies *At least 4 cups of loosely packed prawn heads and shells, including those of 12 large tiger prawns (to be used later for topping) which have been de-veined and set aside *3 litres water *1 tsp salt *1 tsp black peppercorns *3 cloves *1 cinnamon stick *1 star anise *2 Tbsp gula melaka (palm sugar), or more *2 Tbsp light soy sauce, or more

Heat wok over high flame until very hot. Add oil and pork fat dice, which will release a lot of oil as it crisps and browns. Remove, drain well on paper towels, and set aside (to be used later for topping). Now fry the shallots in the same wok till golden brown. Remove, drain well on paper towels, and set aside. Turn flame down to medium-high. Stir-fry the pork ribs, bones, tail and chillies (in batches if necessary) till crusty and golden brown. Remove and place in a roomy stock pot. Set aside. Turn flame down to medium. Add prawn heads and shells to the wok, frying slowly until shells are crisp, caramelised and well-coloured. Remove and add to stock pot. Add water, salt, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise to stock pot. Bring to the boil. Turn down to a leisurely simmer. Simmer for 4 to 6 hours, until stock tastes richly flavoured and is the colour of tea. Add palm sugar and soy sauce to taste. Simmer another 30minutes. Strain stock. Set aside.

Toppings & Garnishes
*12 large tiger prawns, de-shelled and de-veined (from making the stock earlier), poached 2 minutes in simmering salted water till cooked, drained, sliced lengthwise *Fried pork fat cubes (from making the stock earlier) *Fried shallots (from making the stock earlier) *6 pork spare ribs, cubed, rubbed with 1 Tbsp soy sauce and steamed over high heat for 2 hours (add resulting juices to stock; set meat aside) *2 finely sliced fresh red chillies, placed in a small bowl with 3 Tbsp light soy sauce *Large handful of beansprouts, topped and tailed *Large bunch of kangkong (water convolvulus, or morning glory; substitute spinach if unavailable), thoroughly rinsed, woody stems discarded, leaves plucked with a little hollow tender stem attached *Pinch of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

Prepare all the toppings and garnishes as described up to the red chillies macerated in soy sauce. Set aside in individual bowls. Blanch beansprouts and kangkong separately in a large pot of boiling water into which a tiny pinch of bicarbonate of soda has been added (this helps retain colour). Drain very well and set aside.

*1 kg Hokkien mee (fresh yellow egg noodles)
*200gm beehoon (dried rice vermicelli)

When ready to eat, blanch Hokkien mee and beehoon separately in large pot of boiling water. Drain well. Divide both into deep roomy serving bowls. Top with prawns, pork cubes, beansprouts, kangkong, fried shallots and fried pork fat. Bring soup to the boil. Ladle over each bowl of noodles and serve immediately. Let diners help themselves to the chillies and soy sauce. Alternatively, bring everything out on separate serving dishes for everyone to help themselves, including the hot stock in a large pitcher or bowl.


gk said...

I have tasted sososoooo many stalls of Hockkien Mee in Penang.Only recently I found one stall is up to my taste and expectation.It is very good that I will eat this Hokkien Mee at least once a week. It!s cheap. You must try it with extra.... !paikut & Hooncheong! Woh! lovely and only RM4.50per bowl.This stall is at Paya Terubong,inside NAM SHAN COFFEE SHOP.If you come from Air Itam,it!s the last coffeeshop of the row of shophouses on your left immediately after rows of roadside hawkers.It operates from 5pm.

Anonymous said...

ONLY ONLY......1 STALLS OF HOKKIEN MEE IS very very CHEAP AND DELICIOUS.....THE PRICE OF NORMAL HOKKIOEN MEE ONLY RM2.00. WHEN THE HOKKIEN MEE ADD MEE ONLY RM2.50...THE HOKKIEN MEE IT WITH EXTRA -----Paikut & Hooncheong! only RM3.00per bowl. This stall is at JELUTONG near post office kopitian ... the business hour 5.00a.m-11.00a.m
when you over the business time the hokkien mee will finished...
槟城****日落洞靠近post office 的咖啡店的福建面美味可口,价廉物美。。。普通一碗福建面只是二零吉马币(RM 2.00)...加面只是多加五十角钱。。。
每一位顾客到来吃。。。。都是二十多年的老顾客了。。。 这档福建面是一对夫妻的。。。。

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Interesting write up on my favorite Hokkien Mee. I once have a favorite stall at Pei Mei Restaurant at Sg, Dua, Penang. Unfortunately the old man Ah How had an accident. The son asked to stop selling. Now I found a good one at Boo Boo Restaurnt at Lip Sim Garden. Be prepared to wait at least 30 min!

Anonymous said...

opposite trades hotel lorong hokkien mee (night)
burmah road opposite balai polis (pulau tikus) hokkien mee (morning)
siam road char koay teoy (afternoon and night)
green lane (lam hua nee hosipital) lor mee, curry mee (morning)
macalister road (red rock hotel) bee hoon soup (Fish) (morning)
macalister road (juction) fry dry bee hoon with fish
not (behind coffee shop!)( morning and afternoon)
burmah road( behind giant suppermarket) curry mee (morning)
"kwan tar hall" economi fry bee hoon (night)(oldlady)
carnavan street loh mee (morning)
Penang road (oriental hotel) lor bak (morning, aternoon)
Penang road (kg melabar juction) porrige ,fry koay teow, economi rice
penang road cheng doi (ice) (Afternoon), end of the road morning koay toew sup (not Penang rd side)

Anonymous said...

talking about prawn mee, sure the best is green house or the kopitiam behind jalan burma giant/ fomerly called FIMA or the one opposite padang brown (morning)

EnjoyMyLife said...

The stall in seng lee cafe near the pulau tikus balai polis, opposite the florist, the taste is not bad, authentic and cheap, highly-recommended

Anonymous said...

Could you give the recipe for the sambal for the prawn noodle? Thank you.