Hae 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

Originally from Xiamen in Fujian province, this recipe for hae mee or prawn noodles is not quick or simple to make, but your labour will be rewarded with an utterly satisfying meal. The ideal hae mee should boast a broth that looks deceptively plain and brown, but is richly resonant with the flavours of pork and prawns (shrimps). Its surface should be dotted with islands of oil tinted red from the prawn shells. You can add a pig’s tail to the stock in step 1 to give it more body.

Ingredients

  • Pork ribs 250 g (9 oz)
  • Water 1.5 litres (48 fl oz / 6 cups)
  • Lean pork 250 g (9 oz)
  • Medium-size prawns (shrimps) 300 g (11 oz)
  • Liquid lard or cooking oil 2 Tbsp
  • Crushed rock sugar 2 Tbsp
  • Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and sliced
  • White peppercorns ¼ tsp
  • Superior light soy sauce 2 tsp or to taste
  • Superior dark soy sauce 2 tsp or to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh Hokkien noodles 500 g (1 lb oz)
  • Bean sprouts 180 g ( oz)
  • Kangkong (water spinach) 100 g ( oz), Spring cut into 4-cm (1½-in) lengths

Garnishes

  • Crisp-fried shallots as desired
  • Chopped spring onions (scallions) as desired
  • Crispy lard cubes as desired
  • Sliced red chillies in light soy sauce as desired

Method

  1. Rinse pork ribs with boiling water and drain well. Place ribs with 1.5 litres (48 fl oz / 6 cups) fresh water in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  2. Add lean pork to pot and simmer for another 30 minutes until lean pork is tender. Let stock cool in the pot, then strain it, reserving lean pork. Discard ribs if they have no more flavour. Slice lean pork thinly.
  3. Slit prawns along their backs and remove threadlike black intestines. Remove and reserve heads and shells. Wash prawn bodies, pat dry and set aside in the refrigerator.
  4. Heat lard or oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. When very hot, add prawn heads and shells to wok and fry for 1 minute, then add rock sugar, garlic and peppercorns. Stir-fry for another 2–3 minutes until prawn heads and shells are deep red in colour and sugar has caramelised slightly.
  5. Pour strained stock into wok and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain stock through a cloth-lined sieve into a clean pot, pressing on the heads and shells to extract as much stock as possible. Season with soy sauces and salt. Bring to a boil, add prawns and blanch until just cooked. Lift out prawns with a slotted spoon and set aside. Keep stock on the simmer.
  6. Bring a fresh pot of water to the boil. Blanch noodles until heated through, then drain and divide among serving bowls. Top with prawns.
  7. Using the same pot of hot water, blanch bean sprouts and kangkong for a few seconds, until just done. Divide vegetables and cooked prawns among serving bowls. Pour hot stock over the ingredients. Serve immediately with garnishes.