Monday, November 29, 2010

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

Penang famed Hokkien Mee. Actually, you know what? When I first visited Penang, it was quite a food confusing matter for me about Hokkien Mee. I always thought Hokkien Mee (Malaysian Fried Mee) is the wet and fried in soy sauce yellow thick noodles. Not until the bowl of noodles, ordered by my Penang cousin appeared on our table and then me being told that, Hokkien Mee in Penang is Prawn Mee, or Har Meen, or Mee Yoke. What a food discovery even for a Malaysian like me. Hokkien Mee. Noodles drenched or generously soaking in prawn broth. Prawn broth made from prawn shells and heads which definitely adds natural sweetness and quite a wondrous aroma in soup of Hokkien Mee. Pretty much broth/soup being the centrality for a tasty Hokkien Mee (Home Made Curry Mee) and then, we need the sambal dip and for assembling, let's just leave it open. Though generally, the ingredients are kangkung/water spinach, boiled eggs, fish cake, prawns and so do add bean sprouts as well (Tom Yam Fried Mee Hoon). 

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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