Staying home for a long weekend need not be a bummer. Start the day by whipping up a tasty meal! Using this recipe, you can turn bland beehoon and frozen seafood into a dish of savoury seafood white beehoon. The secret to that lies in a robust stock. Throw in soya beans for extra oomph.
Seafood Stock (see tip below)
- 750 g fish bones
- ¼ tsp Chinese rose wine
- 3 tbsps Shaoxing wine
- 5 litres water
- 3 tbsps oil
- 50 g ginger, sliced
- 11 garlic cloves (80 g), whole with skin on and lightly bruised
- 150 g ikan bilis
- 200 g frozen clams, defrosted
- 100 g soya beans (soaked for an hour)
Seafood white beehoon
- 5 tbsps oil
- 5 garlic cloves (35 g), chopped
- 200 g dried beehoon, soaked and softened
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 prawns (300 g)
- 1 squid (150 g), cut into 3-cm x 4-cm pieces
- 400 g frozen clams, defrosted
- 1 litre seafood stock
- 2 napa cabbage leaves, cut into 5-cm pieces
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tsps cornflour
- 2 tbsps seafood stock
- 1 to 2 tbsps cognac (optional)
- 30 g Chinese celery, sliced into 1.5-cm pieces
PREPARING THE STOCK
In a deep dish, place fish bones. Add Chinese rose wine and Shaoxing wine to marinate the fish. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Bring four litres of water to a boil in a large pot. Bring another litre of water to a boil in another pot.
Heat 3 Tbs of oil in a wok. Fry ginger slices until fragrant and add garlic cloves. Fry for a minute. Add fish bones.
Fry until fish bones are semi-opaque in colour. Add ikan bilis.
Continue to fry until fish bones are cooked through.
Pour the 1 litre of boiling water into the wok. Stir and allow mixture to come to a boil.
Transfer the mixture into the large pot with the four litres of boiling water.
Add the clams and soya beans.
Boil on high heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Lower heat to medium and continue to boil, covered, for 40 minutes.
Using a metal sieve lined with muslin cloth, filter the stock. Retain the stock and discard the boiled ingredients.
FRYING THE SEAFOOD WHITE BEEHOON
Heat 2 Tbs of oil in a clean wok. Fry a quarter of the chopped garlic until fragrant and add the beehoon.
Fry the beehoon and season with 1 tsp of salt. Continue frying for 2 minutes and set aside.
Heat 1 Tbs of oil in the wok and fry another quarter of the garlic until fragrant. Add in prawns and fry until half-cooked. Add in squid. Fry for 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Set aside.
Heat 2 Tbs of oil and fry the remaining garlic until fragrant. Add 1 litre of seafood stock.
Add in napa cabbage. Allow mixture to come to a boil. Add in beehoon, prawns and squid.
Allow mixture to come to a simmering boil. Add the clams and allow the mixture to simmer again. Season with salt. Discard any clams that remain unopened.
Add in the beaten egg gradually, stirring it into the mixture.
In a small bowl, mix 2 tsp of cornflour and 2 Tbs of seafood stock. Add this to the wok, stirring it into the gravy.
Let the mixture come to a simmering boil. Add in the cognac and give the mixture a quick stir-through. Garnish with Chinese celery and serve immediately.
Tip: The for seafood stock quantities should render around two litres. You can store any unused portion in the freezer.
Text and photo: Hedy Khoo/Straits Times