Hokkien Mee in Singapore is very different from those you’ll find in KL and Penang. In KL, if you ordered Hokkien Mee, you’ll get a plate of savoury dark colored thick noodles ladened with crispy pork lard, prawns, squids and vege. However, if you’re in Penang and you ordered Hokkien Mee, you’ll get a bowl of noodles with rich prawn broth (and in Penang, this nooddle is also known as hae-mee)
In Singapore, Hokkien Mee is also known as Hokkien hae-mee, but you’ll get none of the above. Not even close to it. I had my first encounter with this fried noodle when I visited Singapore more than 30+ years ago. My aunt and uncle asked if I wanted Hokkien Mee and I replied yes! Imagine my shock when the plate was placed in front of me. A plate of gooey looking yellow noodle + coarse beehoon with some prawns and squids on it. A pale comparison to the KL Hokkien Mee for sure. However, when I had my first taste of the noodle, I was surprised to find that it’s very tasty – especially with a good sambal and a squeeze of lime/ calamansi. A really good plate of Hokkien Mee is usually a full flavoured, tasty, savoury noodle dish. I have to say that this is one of the best hawker food in Singapore, and I would go around Singapore looking for a good plate of Hokkien Mee.
So here’s my version of it. I have to say that I haven’t master it yet (as I find that it’s still lack the “ooomph” factor, and the “wok-hei”) but for home-cooking, I’m quite happy with it (for now!).
(Recipe serves approx 6-8)
500 gm fresh egg (yellow) noodles
500 gm coarse white vermicelli noodles (beehoon)
200 gm prawns (heads and shells removed)
200 gm squids (cut into rings)
150gm pork belly
3 eggs (beaten and seasoned with a bit of soy sauce)
50 gm beansprouts
4-5 tbsp of oil/ lard
3-4 garlic (finely minced)
2-3 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
4-5 cups of stock*
pepper & salt
lard cubes (optional)
1. In a wok, heat up approximately 1 tbsp oil/ lard. Scramble the eggs until 3/4 done but it is still moist and removed from the work.
2. Add 1 tbsp of oil and fry the minced garlic till fragrant and then add the yellow and vermicelli noodles. Add 2 cups of stock and over medium heat, continue to stir to allow the vermicelli to absorb the stock.
3. Meanwhile, in another pot, blanched the prawns, squid and pork belly, and set aside. Cut the pork belly into thin strips.
4. (Back to the noodles) Once the vermicelli has soften, add another 1-2 cups of stock and add the scrambled eggs back into the wok. Cover the wok and allow it to simmer for approximately a minute or two. Uncover the wok, and add the beansprouts. Stir the noodles to mix well.
5. Season the noodles with fish sauce, soy sauce, salt & pepper to taste.
6. Lastly add in the prawns, squids, pork belly and chives. Stir to mix well, and simmer for another 30 seconds (Add more stock at this stage if you find that the noodles are too dry).
7. Serve it warm with sambal, a wedge of lime/ calamansi and top it with pork lard cubes.
*To make the stock
Prawn shells (I reserved and freezed the prawn heads and shells over weeks/ months)
Pork or chicken bones (or chicken cubes)
Water (enough to be reduced to at least 4-5 cups of stock)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
Salt & pepper
2-3 small cubes of rock sugar
1. Fry the garlic in some oil, and then add in the prawn heads and shells. Fry till it’s fragrant.
2. Add water and all other ingredients above, and boil for at least an hour to obtain a rich broth. (The longer you boil it the better!), and season it well.