Hokkien has its own literature

Noodles braised in broth with shrimp, pork and egg - a recipe for Peter Polters Episoda 151213 Singapore Lau Pa Sat

Under the name of Hokkien mee or Hokkien hae mee Various noodle dishes are offered in Southeast Asia. In Singapore, hokkien hae mee are wheat noodles (often with an egg in the batter) combined with a smaller amount of rice noodles and served with a broth or sauce made from shrimp and pork. The dish is very moist - but without being a real soup. It is garnished with shrimp, finely chopped pork, small pieces of scrambled eggs, bean sprouts and often some squid - occasionally with fish cakes, fried onions, pickled vegetables, etc. It also includes some greens, usually Chinese chives or spring onions. At the table, the noodles are seasoned with sambal belacan or sambal oelek and lime. Occasionally, soy sauce with chili rings is served instead of sambal.

Hokkien hae mee are one of the great classics of the (street) cuisine in Singapore and there is hardly a hawker center in which they are not offered in various versions. The name of the dish suggests that it comes from the kitchen of immigrants, who, especially after the Second World War, flocked to Singapore in large numbers from the southern Chinese province of Fujian (Hokkien) to work in the factories. One often reads that the poor workers cooked the dish from waste from the pasta factories - hence the use of two different types of pasta. Some food stalls in Singapore serve Hokkien mee on palm leaves (banana or betel nut mostly), which is supposed to enhance the aroma.

Hae and Mee correspond to the Chinese words 虾 in the Hokkien dialect xiā and 面 mièn and therefore mean prawn noodles.

One of the main attractions of the dish for us is that the same ingredients are used for the broth and as a filler - similar to the Thai soup Tom Yam Gung. We also like the consistency of the food, its slightly exaggerated moisture. The combination of prawns and pork belly results in a very aromatic broth that tastes very satisfying even without the MSG, which is usually generously added in Asian kitchens. Depending on the type of shrimp, this broth tends to be yellowish-brown - or bright orange. We have not yet understood what you can gain by using two different types of pasta - even the consistency of just one type is not easy to control. We therefore cook Hokkien hae mee without rice vermicelli. Some recipes for Hokkien hae mee (whether Singapore or Penang style) can be very complicated. Bee Yinn Low writes on her blog (http://rasamalaysia.com) about a picture with a plate of noodles: “This divine bowl of Penang Hokkien Mee (Prawn Noodle) took me months of hard work and patience. I mean months, not days, and certainly not hours. " Our recipe may not lead to completely authentic Hokkien hae mee - it does have the advantage, however, that it is comparatively easy to cook.

The broth and the inlays can be prepared long before you eat - the final steps then only need a few minutes. We prepare the dish with pre-cooked Mie noodles, as you can get them in every supermarket in Europe.

Cooking time 35 minutes

Ingredients (for 4 people as a starter)

1 slice of pork belly just a finger thick (100 g)

8 to 12 prawns (300 to 400 g), raw, whole

20 g dried shrimp, soaked for two minutes and then drained

1 tbsp rapeseed oil for frying the carcasses

2 teaspoons of salt

1 tbsp rapeseed oil for frying the garlic

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 egg, whisked

100 g dried Mie noodles, with a cooking time of 3 to 5 minutes

1 small squid 150 to 200 g, cleaned, cut into bite-sized pieces

50 g mung bean sprouts, washed

3 tbsp garlic chives (Chinese chives), cut into 1 cm long pieces

1/2 teaspoon white pepper, ground

4 tbsp spring onions, cut into thin rings

2 small limes, halved

Sambal belacan or sambal ulek

First Publication: 25-12-2015