Hokkien Mee

Chef-Owner of Le Binchotan, Jeremmy Chiam puts a European twist on a classic local favourite. This Hokkien Mee uses French-style prawn bisque as its base. 

Ingredients

1 kg yellow noodles

500g bee hoon, soaked for 30 mins before cooking

15 prawns, peeled

4 eggs

30g garlic, finely chopped

50g Chinese chives (also known as garlic chives), chopped into fine strips

50 ml fish sauce

70 ml hua tiao wine (Chinese rice wine)

100 ml cooking oil

Lime wedges, to serve

Broth

1kg prawn shells

4 litres water

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 celery sticks, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp tomato paste

40g white peppercorns

100g dried scallops

500g pork belly

100g smoked bacon

50g soy beans

100g dried anchovies

10g salt

Directions

1Rinse the prawn shells well, and drain them as dry as possible.

2Roast the shells with the carrots, onions, celery and bacon in the oven for 45 mins at 190 C. If there is no oven available, then saute on high heat, stirring continuously, until the shells turn brown and the vegetables caramelise.

3Transfer to a stock pot, add the tomato paste, then saute for 5 to 6 mins until the whole stock turns orange-red in colour.

4Add in the rest of the ingredients, and bring to a rolling boil. Leave to boil for 10 mins, then adjust the heat to simmer the broth for about 3 hrs.

5Taste the broth. It should be rich and fullof umami. Otherwise continue to simmer until desired richness is achieved.

6Remove the pork belly, leave to rest and cool for a few minutes, then slice thinly and set aside. Strain the broth and set aside.

7Whisk eggs with a little salt and set aside. Add a little oil onto a very hot pan, on high heat and allow the oil to smoke a little. This helps with obtaining the important wok hei (characteristic wok essence).

8Then add the noodles and soaked bee hoon in the pan still on high heat and thoroughly and quickly toss, then set aside.

9Add oil to a separate wok, placed on high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, then quickly stir-fry the whisked eggs. Immediately add the noodles and bee hoon, and toss evenly. Season with fish sauce and hua tiao wine.

10Turn the heat to low, add ladleful of broth periodically, and simmer for 3 mins under a lid, till noodles reach a consistency you like. Add prawns, pork belly and Chinese chives and increase to high heat again and stir-fry quickly.

11Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve immediately with sambal belachan and a wedge of lime on the side. (See www.womensweekly.com.sg for Chef Jeremmy’s potent sambal belachan recipe.)