I must remind myself – Never trouble myself with something that I can easily buy from the hawkers for RM3 and less. And the hawker fare is much tastier. The little MSG and lard will not kill me as fast as the stress of preparing the whole thing from scratch.
But still it is satisfying to try everything at least once.
To make Hokkien Mee or Mee Yoke or Har Meen takes several steps. Firstly, I make a chili paste I did mine as follows:
DRIED PRAWNS CHILI PASTE
One handful of dried prawns, soaked till soft and not salty
Two onions, shred
Half a bulb of garlic, slice
One small packet of cili boh or grinded cili (otherwise, soak about 20 dried cili in hot water, remove seeds and stem and grind)
Method : Blend all the above with some water. Stir fry in lots of oil. The oil can be removed later. Use enough so that the cili/dried shrimp blended paste does not stick to the bottom of the pan and get burnt.
Usually, the dried shirmps will provide enough taste. Otherwise, add some sugar. This is almost like a sambal hair bee except it needs lemon grass, tumeric, kaffir lime leaves and tamarind.
NEXT – Prepare the stock. I did mine by:
Part one – Prawn stock. I had pan fried some prawns shells and heads which I peeled the other day. You can keep the pan fried prawns shells in the freezer until needed. I blended the shells in a blender with water. Then, strain the juice.
Part two – Pork ribs stock. I used about 500 gms of spare ribs and large bones (ask the butcher for big bones which are really huge bones which has no meat). Boil these for hours (I used pressure cooker).
Part three – Mix both prawn and pork stock.
Flavour with some brown sugar and salt.
The prawns that I intended to use a garnish were quickly boiled in the stock for a while. I used a few large prawns and some small shrimps.
After all those boiling and blending, I still have to blanch the noodles. I used the yellow noodle, mee hoon, bean sprouts and dou meow (pea sprouts). I can’t get hold of kangkung. Oh ya, don’t forget the all important hard boiled eggs. More boiling! Can you count the number of pots that I had been cooking? Hahaha.
I skipped the golden, crispy shallots because no one like it and it is hard work to make shallots crisp. One need to slice shallots, lots of them and mix in a little salt and deep fry. BTW, my sister-in-law who used to be a hawker told me that those pre-packed shallot crisps (eu chang) are made by deep frying shallots and throwing in one empty mineral water bottle into the oil to melt it! She insisted that it is true and that’s how they get the shallots crisp to be so crispy. I have a fear of shallot crisp ever since. 🙂
After adjusting the stock’s taste, assemble the Hokkien mee as above. BTW, my cousin, another good cook told me that those hawkers put in Marie biscuits into the Hokkien Mee stock to make them thick. I threw in one baby rusk teething biscut (and no one knows it) to thicken the soup.
And that’s how Hokkien Mee is made. Eventhough I had put in prawns shells, the soup doesn’t taste or smell like those hawkers. I am not sure how they get such a ‘fishy’ smell. But overall, it is a very delicious Hokkien Mee with unlimited number of prawns, eggs and spare ribs.
If my recipe confuses you, then you may want to check out this recipe for Hokkien Mee. It is equally lengthy.
It will be a long time before I next make Hokkien Mee, you can bet on that. I can get my hubby to hop on the bike and zoom back home within 20 minutes with the best-est Hokkien Mee, anytime of the day.