Monday, November 29, 2010

Penang Hokkien Mee (Prawn Mee/Har Meen/Mee Yoke)

Penang Hokkien Mee, aka, Prawn Mee, Har Meen or /Mee Yoke. Indeed. It is foodie. A soupy noodle dish, popularized by our Malaysian Chinese community (Chick Kut Teh & Chicken Black Vinegar Chicken). Even their Curry Mee is the other (Home Made Curry Mee) well known popular take amongst us Malaysians. Of course, any Chinese noodle dish must be a halal version. In other words, no pork and certified by Jakim halal ingredients to cater for the Muslims, or if you are another Indian or Chinese who don't take pork, you have to say no as well. But, I suppose you are not so particular whether the ingredients or the eatery is halal certified? Not as far as I know because my Indian other half-half who doesn't eat pork is fine with eating anywhere. Penang Hokkien Mee, by far, is a food hunger stealer. The Penang Chinese community surely have already mastered the cooking art for a bowl of piping hot, and truly mouth watering Hokkien Mee, paired alongside a spicy sambal dip. 

Generally, I may be wrong, but I really doubt I am, broth of Penang Hokkien Mee is made from pork bones (Mutton Soup & Indian Mutton Meatball Soup). Henceforth, each time we are in Penang, my other half-half wouldn't dare tuck in. I, of course, the pleasure is mine. But, fret not all you anti-pork eaters. This Penang Hokkien Mee (Prawn Mee/Har Meen/Mee Yoke) is pork-free. Anyone can dive in for the matter. Broth made by frying and simmering prawn shells and heads (Prawn Devil Curry & Shrimp Paste/Belacan Sambal Prawns) over low heat for extracting every bit of their natural sweetness. Followed by making the sambal, some tipped into the broth, the rest to be eaten alongside the assembled noodles (Malaysian Fried Mee), kangkung/water spinach (Kangkung Belacan), boiled egg, blanched fresh prawns and fish ball (or fish cake).

For broth/soup:
2 cups prawn shells/heads
2 tbsp of oil

For sambal/chilli dip
3 tbsp grounded/blended dried red chillies
4 tbsp of oil

For assembling
Yellow mee (as needed) - blanch to soften
10 prawns (remove heads, shells and vein)
2 boiled eggs (cut into 2)
1 piece fish cake (slice)
3-4 stalks of kangkung (water spinach)

Wash prawn shells/heads thoroughly. 
In heated oil (2 tbsp), fry shells/heads till crispy and pink in colour. 
Pour 2 liters of water.
Simmer over very low heat for about 45 minutes to extract stock.   
Drain stock, discard heads and shell, and pour stock back in the pot.
Simmer and season with salt.
Optional - add a tiny bit of anchovy granules/cube.
Let broth simmer over low heat.
Meanwhile, heat the 4 tbsp of oil for sambal. 
Fry blended/grounded chillies with a pinch of salt till oil splits.
Remove and keep aside.
Add a little portion of this chilli into the broth.

To serve:
Blanch prawns in stock.
Do the same for kangkung (1 to 2 mins will do).
Assemble; noodles, prawns, egg, fish cake and kangkung. 
Pour soup/stock generously inside. 
Serve with the other portion of  fried chillies and calamansi lime.

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