Hokkien prawn mee

There are various versions of prawn noodles in Southeast Asia, this particular style is popular in Singapore and it’s a stir-fried, eggy gravy sort of dish. I’m not sure why but I had a craving for it and looked up some recipes and decided to give it a try. I should note that the traditional dish has two types of noodles (egg noodles and clear vermicelli), and it might include fresh squid as well as prawn. This is a somewhat simplified variation on the dish that can be made with less ingredients, and a bit of a tricky one to write a recipe for as it really requires going with your feel a little bit, and of course you can make it as dry/soupy/eggy as you like.

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Ingredients (for 4, as a main)
– 2 dozen small prawns, heads attached
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 3 cups chicken stock or water

– 4 cloves of garlic
– 12 fish balls / one large fish cake
– 600g thick egg noodles, cooked
– 150g bean sprouts
– 2 eggs
– 2 limes
– fish sauce
– soy sauce, to taste
– salt & white pepper, to taste

Don’t make this recipe without: lime, garlic
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The egg noodles should be fairly thick, and cooked. They are readily found in Asian groceries in the refrigerated section. Traditionally a large fish cake is cut into slices, but I used fish balls.

 

These are the prawns I used, they have a really red color inside which is what made the stock and the final dish look a little redder than usual. Prawns must be rinsed, heads removed and reserved for the stock. Peel the prawns, leaving the tails in tact and devein using a skewer.

 

Stir-fry the prawns in some olive oil for several minutes on medium heat, being careful not to burn the pot.

 

Add three cups of chicken stock and bring to the boil. I had some homemade chicken stock on hand (which was made with garlic and ginger), but the prawn flavor was so intense that I’m not sure it made a huge difference. If you are just using prawns, it may be a good idea to throw in some slices of garlic and ginger. Cook the stock for 20 minutes on medium heat.

 

While the stock is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Rinse the bean sprouts and slice the fish balls into 5mm slices. Chop the garlic finely and prepare 4 cheeks of lime by cutting longways on either side of the center.

 

Strain the prawn stock and put aside in a bowl. Beat the eggs in a bowl and have ready, along with the bean sprouts and seasonings. Make sure everything is ready for the stir-fry because there isn’t much time before the prawns get overcooked!

 

Stir fry the garlic to release the aroma, then add fish balls. Add the prawns and a dash of the stock for a few seconds.

 

Throw in the noodles and ladle in a few scoops of prawn stock.

 

The noodles should have some liquid to cook in, and they will need a few minutes to cook. Season with a dash of fish sauce, salt and white pepper. Balance the flavor to taste with fish stock and soy sauce, if necessary. Once you feel the noodles are cooked, ensure there is still some liquid left for the egg to form a soft gravy.

 

Quickly pour in the egg and give everything one last stir.

 

Serve the noodles with lime, spring onion and if you like it hot, some chilli sambal. I was pretty happy with the flavors considering how few ingredients I added — the prawn stock makes a huge difference and of course, lots of garlic and lime makes the dish.

Open printable recipe here