Prawn Noodles (虾面/Hae Mee) With Pork Ribs! Yellow noodles steeped in prawn and pork broth with fishcake, kang kong and bean sprouts. Simply heavenly on a cold, rainy day. Try making this soothing, warm dish yourself!
Toast the belachan until aromatic, then blend into powder and set aside.
Wash the prawns and separate the prawn heads from the bodies. Set aside the prawns heads and bodies for later use.
Wash the pork ribs and set aside.
Wash and peel the turnip, then cut half of it into large chunks. If the turnip is small, you can use the whole turnip.
Remove the roots from the bean sprouts, then wash and drain.
Wash the kang kong and cut into 4 cm lengths.
Wash the pork fats and cut into small cubes.
Wash the chilli and cut into small slices for the dipping sauce
Cut the fish cakes into thin slices and set aside for later use.
COOKING METHOD FOR SOUP BASE
Blanch the pork ribs in a pot of boiling water for about 7 mins. Drain off the water and wash the pork ribs thoroughly to get rid of all traces of blood clots. Then wash the pot clean.
In a wok, add the pork fats and fry over medium heat until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool down before putting into an air-tight container. Transfer the oil into a bowl.
In the same wok, heat up 6 TBsp of shallot oil over medium high, then add in 3 tsp of chopped garlic and fry for a minute. Then add in the prawn heads and shells (if any) and fry using the spatula to press down on prawn heads to extract juices and essence. Continue to fry until dry and aromatic.
Then add in 4 1/2 litres of boiling water into the prawn shell and continue to boil for about 10 mins. Pour the prawn stock over a strainer into a pot and discard the shell. Continue to boil the stock.
Next add in all the prawns into the stock and blanch for 3-4 mins. Remove and drain dry and deshelled. Slice prawns into halves. Set aside.
Add the belachan powder, turnip, pork ribs, salt, pepper, light soya sauce, dark soya sauce and rock sugar (optional) into the stock. Continue to boil for about 1 1/2 hour over medium heat or until the pork rib is soft but not disintegrated.
Add in 2-3 TBsp crispy shallots to the soup during the last 15 mins.
Taste the soup and add more salt, light soya sauce or dark soya sauce if you prefer it darker and more salty.
COOKING METHOD FOR PRAWN NOODLES
In a wok, add bean sprouts to 500 ml of room temperature water. Bring to a boil for about for 2-3 mins, then immediately sieve out the bean sprout and set aside. Next, add kang kong to the wok and blanch for 1-2 mins. and set aside.
In the same wok of boiling water, place a handful of noodle / kway teow / mixture of both (enough for 1 serving) and blanch for a few mins. Then transfer the noodle into a serving bowl.
Top with bean sprouts, kang kong, pork ribs, prawns and sliced fish cake, and scoop the steaming hot prawn stock into the bowl. Repeat for the other 5 bowls, and serve hot with red cut chilli and soya sauce.
You can add pork lard, crispy shallots, pepper and chilli powder to the bowl of noodle, depending on your preference.
Buy the smaller shallots, which are more fragrant than big shallots.
Blanch the bean sprouts in cold water and slowly bring to a boil for 2-3 mins to help retain the crunchiness of bean sprout so it won't turn limp, if that is your preference.
Taste the soup first before adding in more salt. Some brands of belachan are rather salty, so adding salt and belachan might make it too salty.
Discard the lower half of the kang kong stalks cos it is usually very fibrous.
Do not overcook the kang kong or it will turn black.
ADJUSTMENTS AND STORING
Use Turnip to sweeten the soup. Turnip has a natural sweetness and I use it to sweeten the soup instead of using sugar. You can also use rock sugar or both if that is your preference.
For a thicker soup base, save all the prawn heads and prawn shells each time you cook prawns and store them in the freezer. Once I have accumulated enough, I will use them to make a tasty prawn broth that can be used to make Prawn Noodle Soup, Fried Hokkien Mee or Prawn and Pork Macaroni Soup.
You can also cook up to 3 bowls at a time instead of cooking the noodles bowl by bowl. Don't try to cook all 6 bowls at one go, as the pot would be overcrowded and the noodles will not cook evenly.
HOW TO TELL IF A SHELLED PRAWN IS COOKED
When you put the prawn in the boiling water for a few minutes, the prawn start to curl up.
You can tell the level of doneness from the shape of the curl :- C' shape is not quite cooked, 'O' shape - overcooked, 'U' shape - just right!