Savoring The Best All Over Town…


Posted by crizlai On January - 31 - 2010|

With the Chinese New Year just barely two weeks away from now, you might wonder what the heck I was doing coming out with a recipe for a local noodle dish when I can easily get it from any of the hawker stalls outside at barely $1 (RM3). Well, I have a surprise fusion recipe in store during this coming reunion dinner cooking in which I would require the stock from this dish. LOL! Anyway, coming out with the home cooked, non-MSG stock has been quite an achievement as it involved months of collections – prawn shells. It may sound crazy for many but these prawn shells would be the main secret behind the thick, tasty and aromatic flavors of the PENANG HOKKIEN PRAWN MEE (檳城福建蝦麵) recipe which I would be sharing with you today. For those who would like to have a simpler recipe, this recipe would not suit you as it involved lots of processes and it can be real time consuming. After all, great tasting food would not be easy to prepare right? 😛


Chili Paste:
10 tbsp chili boh (about 35 deseeded, soaked dried chilies – blended in 3-4 tbsp water)
15 shallots (blended)
6 cloves garlic (blended)

2kg pork bones (big bones/tua kut)
2-3kg prawn shells (blended)
2pc rock sugar (ping pong ball size)

500gms pork
1kg prawns
6 eggs (hard boiled)
300gms bean sprouts (remove roots if possible)
Some fried shallots
5-6 stalks of morning glory (kangkung – optional)
300gms pork ribs/trotters (optional)
150gms pork fat (cubed & fried until crunchy – optional)

1kg yellow noodles (chow mien)
1pkt rice vermicelli (bee hoon)
1pkt instant noodles (optional)
Rock sugar
Soy sauce


1. Wash all the bones clean with salt and slowly put all of them into a big pot of boiling water (about 20 cups). Lower the fire, close the pot with a lid and let it simmer for about 2 hours. Filter out all the bones and you would get about 15 cups of stock.
2. Heat up about 7-8 tablespoon of oil in a wok and sauté the blended garlic and shallots (do leave 1 tbsp of the blended shallots for the cooking of stock) for about 5 minutes under low fire. Add in the chili boh and sauté until fragrant. Add in a pinch of salt. It would take about 15 minutes. Scoop and put aside the chili paste while leaving about half a tablespoon in the wok.
3. Heat up the wok again with additional 1 tablespoon of oil and put in all the prawns. Stir fry until all the prawns are curled up beautifully. Scoop and leave aside. You may slice these prawns into halves or leave it as it is. I left a few of the prawns with the tails intact just for photography presentation purposes.
4. Using the same wok again, heat up 4 tablespoon of oil. Put in the blended prawn shells (drain the shells as dry as possible while keeping the remaining juice for the stock). Saute the shells until you get that thick aromatic prawn smell. By then, the shells would be in bright crystal orange color. Pour in the remaining juice from earlier plus another 3-4 cups of water. Let it simmer under low fire for about 2 hours.
5. While waiting for the prawn stock to be ready, heat up 2 tablespoon of oil in a soup pot and sauté the reserved 1 tablespoon of blended shallots for about a minute. Put in about half to one tablespoon of the cooked chili paste (depends on your spicy level). Mixed well and add in the bone stock. Bring to boil and add in the pork pieces/pork ribs/trotters. Lower the fire to simmer further.
6. By then, your prawn stock would be almost ready. Slowly and carefully sieve the prawn stock (leaving out all the shells) into the pork stock pot. Bring to boil while adding in 2-3 tablespoon of soy sauce, rock sugar, a sprinkle or two of pepper and salt to taste. Remove the foam on the surface while retaining some of the floating oil. The oil would keep the soup at a high boiling point.
7. Lower the fire and check if the pork ribs/trotters and cooked meat are tender. Scoop up in separate bowls. Sliced the meat thinly. Leave all aside for garnishing later.
8. Cut the hard boiled eggs into halves, quarters or rings to your liking.
9. Heat up a wok of water and blanch the bean sprouts and morning glory (1.5” length) separately. Make sure you drain the excess water well. Set both aside.
10. Soak the rice vermicelli (bee hoon) for about half an hour (or according to the directions on the pack). Blanch to soften it. Drain well. Do the same for the yellow noodles (if possible get the higher quality ones which would be thinner and would not have the “lye water” after taste). Instant noodles too can be an option.
11. To serve, place some bean sprouts and morning glory at the base of a deep and roomy bowl. Add in your preferred noodles then top with some prawns, sliced meat, pork ribs and egg. Pour some boiling soup over the noodles and garnish with some fried shallots and chili paste for that extra spiciness. Some may even want to garnish the noodles with some crunchy pork lard but I opted that out for health reasons.

Secret Notes:
1. The secret for a good tasting bowl of Hokkien Mee stock lies in the species of prawns used in the cooking. There are hundreds of species in the world and the most suitable one would be the Green Shell Prawns (Cheh Kak Hae, almost similar to the Australian Fenneropenaeus indicus species but with a slightly darker grey-green body) found commonly in the water of this region. Tiger prawns (Marsupenaeus japonicus, Penaeus esculentus or P. semisulcatus depending on your region) should not be used as these species have an overpowering shellfish taste which would not be suitable for the stock.
2. Some people may use a small piece of shrimp paste (belacan to pep up the taste of the stock). I did not use it due to the product being not easily obtainable internationally. Moreover, the raw ingredients used for my home cooked version of the stock were already sufficient enough.
3. For the sweetness and color of the stock, most people would use palm sugar (gula Melaka). For my case, I prefer the usage of rock sugar for a more natural and milder sweetness. After all, the soy sauce would have the required faded brown color for the stock
4. Another secret to thicken the stock would be by using some finely pounded bread rusk, a sort of unsweetened dry bread normally used with meat to bind them well. I did not use this method as my stock was already almost gelatin-like with the large amount of bones used.
5. Chicken bones may be use to substitute the pork bones but it would not give you the thick and meaty flavor required for the stock.
6. Roasted pork pieces, fish cakes, fish balls, pork intestine (粉腸), pork skin and baby kailan (Chinese broccoli or kale) may be added if you need a richer bowl of Hokkien Mee.

(Serves: 10 and above)



  1. NKOTB says:

    wah lau wei…. you’re such a good cook!!!
    can post the step by step picture ah?? hehehehe…

    oh ya, what is chili boh?
    .-= NKOTB´s last blog ..Home Cooked Chili Crabs =-.

    Huh? You are asking me to cook again and post up the steps? Not enough time and not a good way too with oily hands. Moreover, sole cook in the kitchen. No assistant shoot too. If can, I will try to post up the follow-up during my so hectic cooking later. Haha!

    “Chili Boh” is the ready-to-use blended chilies you get from the wet market. If you buy more, just add a pinch of salt and mix well and you can freeze it to be used in your other cooking. 🙂

  2. lingzie says:

    this looks really yummy criz!! drooling all over the keyboard liao…

    Haha! Go buy a bowl at the famous stall then. It’s two hours of wait though. 😛

  3. Jason Wong says:

    I remember telling someone about the the traditional Hokkien Mee which uses the Green Shell Prawns and was told that it will be very fishy. At least that person can read about from your blog.

    The blended shells are the current way of preparing the Hokkien Mee soup in an economical and faster way.
    .-= Jason Wong´s last blog ..Cantonese Old School Savoury Tang Yuan has its prove. =-.

    It’s tiger prawns that have the strong and overpowering fishy taste. They are more suitable for the Malay style Mi Udang which uses lots of spices to cover up that fishy taste.

  4. Little inbox says:

    Yummy! My mom used to make that too. Hey, watch out ur cholesterol!

    By the time I had collected all the shells to cook this. My cholesterol level would be fine. No Worries! 😛

  5. ck lam says:

    Good idea to serve some hokkien prawn noodles besides the biscuits and cookies for visiting guests too during CNY.
    .-= ck lam´s last blog ..Fried Oyster Omelette (Oh Chien) in Penang =-.

    Well, I have one relative serving “tong sui” and “koay teow th’ng” during one CNY visit. 😛

  6. MnYfoodtalk says:

    Hey, cannot leh, you make me lao nua, I have about 6 months do not eat hokkien mee liao…must go back and eat during CNY.
    .-= MnYfoodtalk´s last blog ..Cold Egg Soba 冷たい卵そば | Japan =-.

    Oh… you are still overseas now. Don’t you love our food still? 😛

  7. Wow, never thought you are such a good cook especially in whipping up authentic Penang Hokkien Mee which are tedious and time consuming!

    Haha… I can cook many things. Just that time is the main factor most of the time.

  8. cariso says:

    Will I ever have chance to taste this Criz Brand homemade prawn mee har?!
    .-= cariso´s last blog ..D’ Food Garden =-.

    Err… If I cook again maybe. Too much work… LOL!

  9. Thanks for the recipe and tips for a good prawn mee!

    Wishing you and your family a Happy & Prosperous Chinese New Year!
    .-= peteformation´s last blog ..Capsicum Ring Ngah Ku Chicken to Welcome the Year of the Golden Tiger (Peteformation Festive Dish Recipe) =-.

    Thanks Pete. Happy CNY too. 🙂

  10. […] soup had been tediously boiled for hours with bones and prawn shells, somewhat similar to how I cooked it earlier this year. On top of that, there were so many ingredients that I can add into my bowl […]

  11. […] hawker dish here as it would involve a lot of preparation to get a great bowl such as the Hokkien Prawn Noodle recipe I had earlier. Although the bowl of noodle (instant noodle used here) looked quite simple with […]

  12. […] local hawker dish here as it would involve a lot of preparation to get a great bowl such as the Hokkien Prawn Noodle recipe I had earlier. Although the bowl of noodle (instant noodle used here) looked quite simple with […]

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