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Singapore Hokkien Mee

Singapore Hokkien Mee
Singapore Hokkien Mee pictures (3 of 3)

Køkken69 is a Singaporean food blog. Authored by Shirley, a chemist by day, Køkken69 is a gorgeous blog chocked full of delicious Asian dishes, pastry recipes, and travel tales as Shirley travels around the world. While Shirley says that she approaches every recipe on her site like an experiment, I personally think that she is a talented  home cook, and a fantastic food photographer. Please welcome Køkken69 to Rasa Malaysia and learn more about the Singaporean version of Hokkien Mee!

It is too old fashioned to proclaim that I am honoured to be invited by super star food blogger, Bee to do a guest post for her immensely successful blog, Rasa Malaysia. Unfortunately, for my lack of eloquence, that is probably the best way to sum up my thrill and appreciation for this opportunity.

Excited as I might be, I was also plagued with a bugging concern over what else I can bring to a blog that is already so rich in content. I doubt that there is any Malaysian/ Singaporean dish that has not been featured on Rasa Malaysia already…

I was literally at the cusp of exasperation when I recall a dish which I have been told is not available in Malaysia. Fried Hokkien Mee, literally translates to mean noodles,fried Fujian style. Fujian (Hokkien) is a province in Southern China. Most of the Chinese residing in Malaysia and Singapore have roots originating from the Fujian province. Hence, Fujian/Hokkien cuisine and way of cooking tend to feature prominently in the local chinese food here.

Despite being close neighbours, Singapore and Malaysia frequently have their competitive moments. Some trivial, some not so… Both nations are fierce food lovers and there have been countless debates on who has better food and who should lay claim to ownership of a particular dish… There are, as far as I can recall 2 versions of Hokkien Mee in Malaysia. Hokkien Char mee from Kuala Lumpur is a fried yellow noodle dish braised in dark soya sauce. Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles is another yellow noodle dish served in a rich spicy and flavourful prawn broth. The Singapore Fried Hokkien Mee featured here, is a variant of the Penang Prawn Noodles.

A mixture of yellow noodles and thick rice vermicelli ,first fried with eggs until fragrant and braised in rich, flavourful prawn broth, the Singapore Fried Hokkien Mee is served semi-dry and garnished with prawns, squid, sliced pork belly, chives and eaten with Sambal chilli and a squirt of lime juice.Traditionally, for take out, the Hokkien Mee would be wrapped in Opeh leaf. The Opeh leaf comes from the inner sheath of the bark of a Betel Nut tree. It could be nostalgia but I  have always felt that food wrapped in an Opeh leaf smells better.

This is not a very difficult dish to cook, however it is pertinent that you work with a good prawn stock. The prawn stock imparts the essence to the noodle and is the key ingredient that makes the bland-looking dish flavourful. The sambal and lime juice cuts through the richness of the dish to balance an otherwise heavy starchy dish.

I hope you enjoy this local Singaporean local dish as much as I have enjoyed cooking it for this guest post.

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24 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Rina

    I’ve never seen opeh leave in Malaysia…I wonder what’s the smell it imparts to the dish. Is it like banana leaf?

  2. Bee, I was pleasantly woken up at 6:30am here in Goa by your email! Thank you so much for the opportunity. I wish the photographs had turned out better but more importantly, I hope this post will let more people outside learn about this scrumptious noodle dish in Singapore. I am proud to be a Singaporean and I hope everyone will get a chance to come over to experience the great food here.

    • Oh no, I am sorry that I had woken you up at 6:30 am, I thought you already left India. In any case, thanks so much for guest posting, I really appreciate it. Never mind about the photographs, Asian food is sooooooo hard to photograph and not photogenic!! (Could you imagine the struggles I had when I was shooting for my cookbook??? Gosh!!!). I will have to try out this version of Hokkien mee the next time I am in Singapore. :)

  3. Ju, Thanks!

    Rina- Yes, the Opeh leaf works in the same way as the banana leaf but is less ‘ green’ and raw. It is, in my opinion a little more woody than the banana leaf. Ah, I am lost for words… you have to come and experience for yourself. However not many stalls are using these anymore. Let me know if you want to know which stalls still have it.

  4. I have had this in one singaporean restaurant in sydney and I absolutely loved it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Finally I can try to recreate it at home.

  5. I have tried all the version of Hokkien Mee and found the best one is fried with dark soya sauce :)

    No matter the food is from Singapore or Malaysia, let the taste do the talking :D

  6. Rina

    Thanks for letting me know. I’ll try to find opeh leaf in KL, wish me luck. Just curious as to what it does to the dish.

  7. being a singaporean living overseas, i am always in search for recipes that reminds me of home. Blogging has heap heaps. I am glad to see this recipe here. Off to collect some prawn heads/shells! This looks far healthier than what we buy in SG too.

  8. wow! this is my absolute favourite and it’s so hard to get it right, whether it’s eating out in China or making my own. I only attempted it once but it was too wet. would it be tastier to deep fry the pork belly bits (ju yao) with the prawns together before throwing them into the stock?

    More room for experiments! thanks for sharing!

  9. asbejna

    Hi Shirley,

    I would love to try cooking this for my family one day. I do have a small request….Do you happen to have the recipe for the sambal chilli too ? I have tried making it many times but unsuccessful. Would really appreciate if you could share the recipe. Thanks a million.

  10. Jerry

    I live in canada but am still hook on Hainese chicken rice that I used to buy from cross street. appreciate if somone can get me that recipe.
    I left S’pore 30 yrs ago and havde not been back.


  11. OHMS

    Greetings, As a green and naive young lad in the British Army in 1968 I was posted to Terendak, an Army base close to Melaka or Malacca as my travel voucher read then, the aircraft landed at Changi, Singapore late at night and then by lorry to a now forgotten hotel near Colliers Quay – First impressions? the undescribable odour combined with the humidity as we deplaned onto the runway, no jetways then, the air was like soup after two days in the airconditioned plane, wonderful. Early up to be escorted to the railway station for the slow train to Ipoh – or was it Seramban? can’t remember, but I was fascinated by the fact that when you flushed the loo you could see the railway bed flashing by as the flap in the loo pan opened. Being a lowly Private soldier my ticket was for second class and I was trying to be the cool International traveller while my fellow passengers completely ignored me. Everybody was eating. and nothing that I could recognize either, there was this man with a huge gold tooth dressed in a white shirt and blue shorts coming in and out of the carriage serving plates of steaming food so I figured he was in charge and timidly asked him in my English accent for a menu, he said something which I couldn’t understand but was obviously a question so rather than just ask again in a louder voice I pointed to the guy across the aisle who was eating something that looked a little like Spaghetti Bolognaise i.e safe. The gentleman amazed me by speaking English, ” ok Johnny, I bring, two dollah” my addiction to Mee was born.

  12. myebelle

    HI… I just found this recipe for the first time and elated is an understatement. Been living in Australia for too long and I would order this everywhere I go whenever I’m in Singapore. I need to clarify … you mentioned uncooked prawn shells and prawn heads, weren’t they already fried in the oil and put into the chicken stock? Or do you not use all of the heads and shells from the 400g of prawns? …. Thanks, Michelle

  13. Melissa Tilley

    Hi, I’m a beginner cook from Australia, I’m originally Malaysian and have grown up on this dish, LOVE it! Unfortunately haven’t attempted Hokkien mee yet! This recipe looks so darn simple for something which tastes a looks that good! But, just a little question, I intend to make this for a family for four, how many serves does this recipe make? Thanks!!

  14. John Morris

    I’ve eaten tons of Hokien fried prawn mee all over Singapore. I’m most grateful for this recipe as I’m now in England – the result of Karmic punishment. The problem here is ingredients, can’t find the right noodles and the prawns are lousy – always farm rubbish from Vietnam or worse Bangladesh which smell of sweaty socks and have their weight increased by someone injecting water into each prawn. I’ll just have to do the best I can with what’s available.

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