Recipe : Penang Hokkien Mee (Mee Yoke/Har Meen)

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:


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.

Post Author: lilian

Used to be PenangFaces, now known as Food Haven, for all oink-oink foods

14 thoughts on “Recipe : Penang Hokkien Mee (Mee Yoke/Har Meen)


    (July 24, 2006 - 10:52 pm)

    Sweet. I was wondering what to cook tonight and you just gave me the best-est idea. 🙂


    (July 24, 2006 - 11:18 pm)

    You can try putting in teik chia to the stock. Makes it have an original sweetness but not too much la. Actually I heard about the eu chang story too but with straws. Wonder if it’s true.


    (July 25, 2006 - 12:10 am)

    I never liked shallot/onion crisps (bawang goreng). I was told that factories use straws to make them crispy. Yuck!

    K Sin

    (July 25, 2006 - 2:33 am)

    Yea.. I’ve stay off those ew chang too after been told a few times by diff narrators

    best-est Hokkien Mee… Hmmm… mana tu ?? My current best is Jalan Presgrave’?’ aka Sah Tiau Loh (3rd Road)


    (July 25, 2006 - 10:42 am)

    Lilian, what makes the stock goes so red in your photos? Did you add your sambal to the stock?


    (July 25, 2006 - 10:57 am)

    abt the mineral water thingy….eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i had often wondered how they managed to maintain the crisp of shallots in the plastic bags for months to end despite the oil…and i knew the manufacturers can’t be up to any good!!

    but at least they use marie biscuit to thicken up the soup…i’ve heard stories of assam laksa hawkers using toilet paper and newspaper to thicken up their soup!

    btw, isn’t it easier to boil both the ribs and prawn stock together? save extra pot and gas fire!


    (July 25, 2006 - 9:57 pm)

    i think the fishy smell comes from a small piece of belacan thrown into the soup.

    Malaysia Best » Pretty Potato Buns

    (July 27, 2006 - 2:34 am)

    […] I wrapped some sausages with the dough to make mini hotdog buns. The above pic is buns with dried shrimp sambal (from my Hokkien Mee’s attempt) […]

    Jon Chan

    (July 27, 2006 - 2:58 am)

    Thanks for the link to Kuidaore’s recipe.But, she uses cloves, star anise and cinnamon for her Hokkien Mee! Your readers should correct me if I am wrong re these spices.
    I think many Singaporeans are really way out in left field where cooking, especially hawker food is concerned.

    […] In my post about Penang Hokkien Mee, a few people also told me they had heard of this claim.  Some said they use drinking straws. […]


    (July 28, 2006 - 1:41 am)

    Jon – LOL, I didn’t notice that. But who knows, those may be the secret ingredients that makes the hawker fare so much different from our home cooked version. Hahaha. Tks for dropping by anyway!

    […] Cooking Island’s owner, Lawrence and his wife Elina asked me to try out this bottle of prawn noodle paste when I told them about making Hokkien Mee. I didn’t use the paste for my Hokkien Mee as I wanted to try doing them from scratch. So, I have a whole bottle of this paste to try out with other recipes. […]


    (June 11, 2008 - 12:37 pm)

    Hi I tried your recipe recently but unable to get the ‘fishy’ smell like you mentioned in my har meen. Have you found any way to deal with that yet?? eheheh


    (June 8, 2010 - 10:44 am)

    Good recipe – To get Prawny smell fry shells and heads till redness comes out into the oil. I don’t bother to blend the shells but use a potato masher to crush them after frying. I then add water and boil for a couple of hours till u know all the flavour has come out of the prawns into the stock. Don’t forget you will be combining with pork stock, so not so much water as to dilute it. Hope that helps.

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