Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Ultimate Prawn Mee / Mee Yoke / Har Mee / Penang Hokkien Mee

The best thing about moving to a new country is to have family nearby.

I just moved to Dallas USA to be with my husband. Obviously he is family but that's not my point. I meant someone close to me that is not necessary my husband's friends or family. The thing about moving to a new country and in my case moving to my husband's "country", everything tend to be his, his friends, his things etc. So what's important is to start building what is mine.

And lucky for me is that my cousin KC whom I grew up with since young is nicely located here in Dallas too and just about 15 mins away from my house. Nevermind the fact that he and my hubby are college friends since their teens, met here in US and infact because of my cousin KC, that's how I met my hubby, BUT I claim KC to be my friend, my family first!

He's been here for more than 10 years and I think he is happy too that I am finally here. He was on leave last week and guess what, he came over to cook some of the Malaysian food he has been craving for.

And we started with Prawn Noodles fondly called as "Har Mee", Prawn Mee, Mee Yoke, Hokkien Mee (to Penang folks). KC has been collecting his big bag of prawn heads/shells for months in the freezer.

Garbage to most people but to make prawn mee, you need these babies!!

Simple Ingredients -

Soup base :-
1) Prawn's heads and shells - from 1-2 pound of prawns
2) Pork ribs -1 pound
3) Water - 10 bowls (approximately 2 liter)
4) Rock sugar - 2-3 small pieces.
5) 2-3 cloves of garlic and ginger (chopped fine)

Chili Paste :-
1) 20 dried chilies (soaked to soften)
2) 5 fresh red chillies
3) 6 shallots (peeled)
4) 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
5) 2 TBSP of water
6) Dried shrimp - optional
Blend all the ingredients. Heat the wok with 4-5 TBSP of cooking oil. Stir fry the chili paste for 15 minutes on low heat. Let the fragrance of the chilli paste fill your kitchen. Dish up and set aside.

Toppings / Condiments:
1) 1/2 pound of lean pork meat (boiled and sliced thinly)
2) 1 pound shrimp / prawns (shelled, deveined - stir fry lightly with some chilli paste)
3) 4 hard-boiled eggs
4) 1 pack of rice vermicelli / mee hoon (scalded)or yellow noodles - enough for 4 servings
5) Vegetable - Kangkung or water convolvulus (scalded)
6) Vegetable - Beans Sprouts (scalded)
7) 10 pcs of shallots - chopped and stir-fried till brown and fragrant

Simple Steps :

1. In a deep pot, put some oil (2 TBSP)and stir fry the chopped garlic and ginger. Add in the prawn heads and shells and stir till prawns turn beautiful reddish orange. Pour in the water and close the lid for it to boil for 2-3 hours.

2. After 3 hours of brewing, the prawn soup should be ready. Sieve out the soup and discard all the shells and heads. Brew the soup with pork ribs or pork bones for another 1 hour minimum. Add salt to taste.

Also put in the 1/2 pound of lean pork loin in soup. Remove after 15 mins (or when cooked), when it has cooled down, slice to thin rectangular slices and set aside as condiments.

3. Next, let's fry some shallots and set aside. Fried shallots are so fragrant and yummy when added on as toppings.

4. Next, in a wok with 2-3 TBSP of oil, stir in the chilli paste in low heat. Continue to stir till the chilli paste is fragrant. Becareful not to let the spice aroma catch your throat or else you will be coughing from the heat. However that also means you have a mean chilli paste going. :) Stir fry for about 15-20 minutes on medium to low heat. Remove from wok, keep some aside and slowly put into soup base. You can adjust the qtt based on your liking. Put more if you like spice. You can make it less spicy to cater for the different taste buds and if some like it spicier they can add on their own when served.

5. In the same wok, with some of the chilli paste, stir fry the prawns. Set aside when ready.

6. For the rest of the other condiments, boil the eggs till ready, peel of shells and cut to half or quarters. In a pot of boiling water, prepare the vegetables and noodles. Scald each item for 2 minutes and remove.

7. Assemble : In a big bowl, add noodles (mee or meehoon as per your liking), add the condiments on top - prawns, pork slices, Kankung, bean sprouts, fried shallots, hard boiled eggs and some chilli paste. Pour in the hot steaming soup and it's ready to be served.

There you have it. A delicious steaming bowl of prawn noodles. 4 hours of work and honestly it took 15 minutes to gobble it down. Trust me...it was worth it!!


Anonymous said...

wow! This looks fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

your blog is alive!
thanks for the recipe ..:)

can see that u are very happy too
love leeann

Anonymous said...

I am from Penang too..currently in NY.. Being raving for Penang Hokkien Mee for the last 9 months.. finally save enough of prawn shells.. going to grab the rest of the ingredient. i will follow your recipe!

mysimplefood said...

Thanks Lee Ann - thanks for support. Yeap I am happy. Hope everything is going well with yr business! Muacks!

Decee - Nice to know a fellow Malaysian. Go for it girl!! Am sure it will turn out great!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

your har mee looks great! I hope it was appropriately spicy :-d

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