Singapore Hokkien Mee
Hokkien Hae Mee (福建炒虾面) or Fujian prawn noodles is one of the most iconic hawker dish in Singapore. The Singapore version is pale (I ate dark Hokkien Mee at Malacca before and it was heavenly delicious; but that’s a totally different recipe) and uses a mixture of yellow noodles and thick (sometimes thin) rice vermicelli/bee hoon.
The noodles are simmered in a rich prawn broth which is filled with umame seafood goodness. Whenever I queue at popular Hokkien (Hokkein) Mee stalls, my favourite thing to do to pass the time is to watch the hawker at work, masterfully cooking a huge wok of Hokkien Mee with much expertise and dexerity (such as breaking the eggs with one hand). Although there are no fireworks in the Noob Cook kitchen, the home-cooked version is still decent according to my family. Personally I love my Hokkien Mee moist and saucy so that’s how this Hokkien Mee recipe turned out.
To me, the most tedious part of cooking Hokkien Mee is the home-made stock made from pork bones, prawn shells, clams and anchovies. You can cheat with instant pork stock (use the tetra-pak one for richness). As for home-made, it’s definitely worth the trouble. You may think it’s a waste to use clams for the stock but they made the soup really sweet especially if you don’t have such a big stash of prawn shells in the freezer. A half kg bag of lala clams cost about S$2. I even made my own sambal chilli.
The actual wokking of the Hokkien noodles is pretty fast. I used lard and pork bones in my home-cooked version, but if you do not consume pork, skip the lard and replace pork bones with chicken bones.