Hokkien Mee

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    3–4

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

Traditional Hokkien mee is made with flat yellow noodles. The Singaporean variation is made with round noodles, has a paler gravy based on a rich stock, and is served with sambal belacan. Known colloquially as Rochor mee, it was popularised by street hawkers in the Rochor Road area in the late 1800s and well into the 1970s. These days, many food stalls use fresh laksa bee hoon instead of thin dried bee hoon, which gives the dish a wetter texture.

Ingredients

  • Squid 1, medium
  • Light pork or chicken stock or water 500 ml (16 fl oz / 2 cups)
  • Lean pork 100 g ( oz)
  • Belly pork 100 g ( oz)
  • Prawns (shrimps) 200 g (7 oz)
  • Bee hoon (dried fine vermicelli) 80 g (2⅘ oz)
  • Liquid lard or cooking oil 3 Tbsp
  • Garlic 4 cloves, peeled and minced
  • Fresh Hokkien noodles 400 g (14⅓ oz)
  • Eggs 2, beaten
  • Bean sprouts 200 g (7 oz)
  • Chinese chives (ku cai) 10, cut into 4-cm (1½-in) lengths
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground white pepper to taste
  • Light soy sauce to taste

Garnishes

  • Crispy lard cubes as desired
  • Sliced red chillies in light soy sauce as desired
  • Sambal chilli as desired
  • Calamansi limes 6–8, halved

Method

  1. To clean squid, pull out tentacles and head. Cut off head below the eyes. Discard head and mouthparts, saving only the tentacles. Peel skin off body tube and discard, along with everything inside tube. Rinse squid tube and tentacles and cut into bite-size slivers. Set aside.
  2. Bring stock or water to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Add lean and belly pork and poach for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pot and let pork stand for 15 minutes. Remove pork from stock and slice thinly. Set aside.
  3. Peel prawns, keeping tails intact. Set prawns aside. Add prawn heads and shells to stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, half-covered, for 20 minutes. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve.
  4. Rinse bee hoon, but do not soak. Set aside.
  5. Set a wok over high heat. When hot, add lard or oil and swirl wok. Immediately add garlic and fry for 10 seconds, then fluff and loosen Hokkien noodles and add to wok. Fry for 30–45 seconds, until noodles are very hot and starting to look dry. Pour in beaten egg and stir-fry until egg clumps are just set. Transfer noodles and eggs to a plate.
  6. Add sliced pork, prawns and squid and fry for 30 seconds until prawns are half-cooked.
  7. Add bee hoon to wok and stir well. Add about 300 ml (10 fl oz / cups) stock and fry vigorously. The vermicelli will absorb the stock quickly and soften. Sprinkle in more stock as necessary.
  8. Return noodles and eggs to wok and toss until well mixed. Add bean sprouts and chives and fry for several seconds more until they just wilt. There should be no visible liquid, but the noodles should be moist and fragrant.
  9. Season with salt, pepper and light soy sauce to taste. Serve immediately with garnishes.