1Wash prawns well, remove heads (leave the rest of the shell and tail on), trim the feelers and legs with a scissors, then set prawns aside.
2Heat a wok, and when it starts smoking, add 3 tbsps oil. When hot, add prawn heads and shells, stir-fry till oil turns red. Set aside. A traditional method is to pound the prawn heads, but you can also put them into a food processor and process till fine. Set aside.
3In soup pot, boil water and salt and add pork, pork bones, rock sugar and garlic. Boil over medium heat for 20 to 30 mins till pork is cooked and semi soft. Use a ladle to remove the pork and leave it to get cold in fridge. Cut into thin slices and set aside.
4To make stock, add pounded/processed prawn heads and shells to the soup pot. Over medium high heat, continue boiling for another 1 hour till soup is cloudy and thick. You can add more water if stock gets too thick.
5Strain prawn and pork soup through a fine sieve. You will have about 3 cups of rich stock left. Season with fish sauce and light soya sauce.
6When ready to eat, bring stock to a boil. Add raw prawns and boil for about 30 secs till prawns turn red which means they’re cooked. Remove prawns with a slotted spoon. When cooled, peel and wash prawns and then pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
7Wash bean sprouts, kangkong and noodles in cold water, drain and dip into the soup with a netted or wired strainer, for about 10 secs, so they are soft, but still with a little texture.
8Serve noodles topped with soup, bean sprouts, kangkong, sliced pork and prawns.
Photo: Andy Chia