How to make this Singapore fried rice noodle hawker dish, Moonlight Hor Fun.
Moonlight Hor Fun is the romantic (albeit slightly dramatic) name of this hawker dish. Although a hawker dish, Moonlight Hor Fun is actually not too common in Singapore. The main reason is definitely the fact that it is served with a raw egg. The dish itself is simple – fried rice noodles, plated and serve with a raw egg in the middle. Right before eating, break the yolk and stir it in with the noodles to result in an extra creamy plate of noodles.
If you can already infer, the raw egg resembles the moon. As you break the yolk and it runs through the noodles, it looks like moonlight shining upon a river. A very delicious, dark plate of noodles.
A friend of mine introduced me to this dish recently, and I fell immediately in love. Think of this as a hawker version of Carbonara.
What type of eggs to use for Moonlight Hor Fun?
Purchase pasteurised eggs for this.
In general, if your eggs, pasteurised or not, come from a good farm it should not have Salmonella. Not all of us like to live dangerously, so make sure you get pasteurised eggs for this. Pasteurised eggs go through a heating process that kills off any bacteria that might potentially lurk within the eggs.
Crack the egg right before adding it to your noodles, to minimise bacterial contamination.
If you’ve kept your eggs in the fridge, make sure you leave it out to warm to room temperature before using.
Can I use the entire egg instead of just the yolk?
Yes you can. I prefer just the yolk for the creamy flavour. The egg white can be stored in the fridge and easily incorporated to other dishes.
Hor Fun Noodles
Hor Fun noodles are rice noodles that are wide. Another rice noodle type that you can look out for is Kway Teow noodles, which are thinner. Any fresh rice noodles will do, but the wider hor fun and kway Teow noodles work best for this.
You can use dry noodles if that is what you have available to you, but the fresh rice ones are best as they have a better elasticity and sturdiness to it that can withstand the high heat and stir frying process.
When you purchase fresh noodles, you would notice that the noodles are oily. This is optional, but I recommend rinsing the noodles to remove some of the oil. The oil used are usually a cheaper, lower quality oil, so I would much rather rinse it off.
How to Achieve ‘Wok Hei’ at Home?
The noodles for Moonlight Hor Fun are known for their dark colour, and a charred, slightly burnt taste – this is wok hei.
Singaporeans and Malaysians would be very familiar with the term wok hei. Wok hei translates to “breath of the wok” in Chinese, and it refers to the charred, smoky, almost burnt taste that is imparted onto dishes when it is cooked in a seasoned wok over high heat. It’s quite hard to replicate this at home, since most of us would not have a hawker stove that emits those huge flames essential for good wok hei.
You can however, imitate it with what you already have at home.
To replicate it, we have to do a two-step cooking process. Sure, it’s an extra step, but trust me it’s quick and the results are worth it! First heat your pan over high heat. Once hot, add the noodles in. Spread it about and absolutely do not touch the noodles. Let the bottom of the noodles get caramelised and charred. This will take about 5 minutes or so. Then gently flip to the other side, and let that get charred as well. This will result in random charred portions to the noodles, giving it an almost-smoky, wok hei effect!
If you want to skip this, you can. You will end up with noodles that are not as firm, so if you don’t mind soggier noodles (like in soups) then feel free to skip.
Whether you want to add oil is up to you. Not adding oil will char it faster. I add oil to mine since I prefer the noodles to be easier to handle in the wok, since the rice noodles can get notoriously sticky.
What Seasonings to use for Moonlight Hor Fun?
The seasoning is a basic stir fry sauce consisting of dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce and a hint of fish sauce. The noodles are dark, and that is coming from the dark soy sauce. Unlike most stir fried noodle dishes, Moonlight Hor Fun uses quite a lot of dark soy sauce.
- Dark Soy Sauce: Dark soy sauce is slightly sweet, so for this recipe, I did not add as much as they would. Feel free to add more, if you like a darker and sweeter noodle. I used Chinese dark soy sauce, but you can use Kicap Manis as well.
I coated the rice noodles with the dark soy sauce before adding the first frying process. This helps to coat the noodles more evenly, than if you were to add it to the pan itself. This will also minimise any extra stirring on your end, so there’s less chances of the noodles breaking. The soy sauce will also help along the caramelisation process.
I did not marinade my proteins in this recipe, to keep things as simple and quick as possible. You can marinade the beef if you’d like. Simply add light soy sauce and a hint of fish sauce to the beef and let it sit for 15 minutes.
The Shortcut Moonlight Hor Fun
“I want an even QUICKER meal!” Tough crowd, but I get it. You can shortcut your way to a good Moonlight Hor Fun too.
1. Stir fry your proteins with the noodles, and season in one step.
Add oil to pan, and stir fry the beef slices or your proteins of choice first. The proteins do not need to cook through, before adding the rice noodles next. Add dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce and gently toss to combine. Gently, so you do not break the rice noodles too much in the pan. There is no need to coat every strand with the sauces here, just a general coating will do. Again, we want to minimise noodle breakage here.
2. Allow char to develop (optional)
Evenly space out the noodles in the pan, and leave it alone for about 3-5 minutes. This is going to let the bottom char to fake that ‘wok hei’ effect at home. There is no need to develop that char throughout the noodles; I usually just do this on one side and I’m ready to move to the next step.
3. Finish stir frying noodles.
Toss in garlic next, and onions, if using. We add this in now, so it doesn’t burn in the initial frying process. Add vegetables next, and a splash of water. The water is going to create a bit of gravy, and is important! A saucier noodle will mesh better with the yolk later on.
4. Plate noodles and top with Yolk
Plate noodles, and immediately top with yolk while noodles are still steaming hot. Immediately stir yolk with noodles.
Watch how to make Moonlight Hor Fun:
More like this
If you like this, you might like these other hawker noodle recipes:
- Singapore Hor Fun noodles with egg gravy
- Char Kway Teow
- Perfectly umami sambal chilli
- Pad See Ew
- Pad Thai
Moonlight Hor Fun NoodlesCourse: Recipes
200g Hor Fun
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
100g Beef Slices, sliced thinly
50g Prawns, deveined
1 tsp Minced Garlic
A handful Chives or Spring Onions
4-5 stalks Bok Choy
1/4 cup Chicken Stock or Water
1 Egg Yolk
- Seasoning Sauce
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Oyster Sauce
1/2 tsp Fish Sauce
- Rinse the rice noodles, and gently try to separate. Add dark soy sauce to the noodles and stir through to get an even coat.
- To a non-stick pan or wok, add oil over high heat. Once hot, add the rice noodles. Spread the rice noodles in the pan, and leave it alone for about 5 minutes to let the noodles char and crisp. Gently flip the noodles over to the other side, and leave it alone as well for another 5 minutes. Remove the noodles from the pan and keep to one side.
- To the same pan, add more oil if needed, and toss in minced garlic. Saute until fragrant, and proteins of choice. In this case, the thinly sliced beef and prawns. Stir fry the proteins until it is almost cooked, which should be quick.
- Add bok choy, or any leafy Asian green of choice, along with water or chicken stock to create a sauce. Give that a quick stir fry, and add back the fried noodles, as well as the seasoning sauce.
- Give it a stir fry to incorporate the seasoning, and noodle dish is done.
- Plate immediately, and form a well in the middle. Crack an egg, and separate the yolk. Add the yolk to the noodles. Break the yolk and mix with the noodles while still hot. The residual heat will slightly cook the yolk. You should result in a creamy plate of noodles.