How to make Singapore Hokkien Mee, a deliciously flavourful plate of noodles stir fried in the most aromatic seafood broth.
Today we’re making Hokkien Mee, a Singapore seafood noodle dish braised in a gorgeous broth. This is a very unique fried noodle dish – Think of it as seafood risotto but with noodles. I have to have hokkien mee with a spicy sambal sauce so I’ll show you the recipe here too.
The broth is the single most important ingredient in good Hokkien Mee. For my broth I used about 400g prawn heads, or about heads from 40 prawns. You can use the prawn shells as well, just that I’ve amassed so much prawn heads that I didn’t have to include the shells. This yields good broth for 2 litres of water, but don’t feel like you need this much. 2-300g will also be able to yield good prawn broth.
Thoroughly Frying the Prawn Heads
It’s important to thoroughly stir fry the prawn heads and shells in oil first before adding water. This is to ensure your broth is not fishy. Saute the prawn heads until it turns orange, all liquid would also have been drawn out and evaporated, so that you have dry, almost crispy prawn heads.
Chicken Feet/Spare Parts
The original hawker recipe uses pork and pork lard to give Hokkien Mee that greasiness and extra layer of meaty flavour. Since we don’t use pork, I used chicken spare parts in mine. Chicken feet has more collagen-y fat, to help replicate that fattiness. The chicken spare parts also has fat and flavour. If you’re willing, you can use more chicken parts with skin for the extra fattiness. I rather use those chicken parts for other recipes. You can peel the meat off the chicken after, and add to your Hokkien Mee. Do not add too much chicken though – we want the broth to have a more briny, prawn flavour than chicken.
Ikan Bilis/Dried Anchovies
To further add flavour to the broth, I added ikan bilis or dried anchovies. If you can’t find the small dried anchovies, you can use the bigger dried anchovies that you can easily find at Korean grocers. Other dried seafood can work as well.
I do not season my broth at all. I prefer to add seasoning in the noodle frying process. The broth would also have some taste though. The prawn heads add sweetness, while the the dried anchovies add a hint of salt.
Cheat Instant Broth
No prawn heads or ikan bilis or chicken? Or not enough? Or just plain can’t be bothered? You can cheat with bouillon cubes. Use 2 seafood or ikan bilis bouillon cubes to 2 litres or water, and add half a chicken bouillon cube. I will add that nothing beats the taste of prawn broth though.
Cooking the Seafood
Once the broth is done, boil the seafood in the boiling broth. The seafood used is squid and prawns, of course.
For the squid, I simply removed the head, and the bone within, gave it a good rinse in and out, and simply drop it whole in the broth. Take it out once done, and slice the squid into rings.
I used quite large prawns, I think these are the best and most satisfying for Hokkien Mee. Peel the prawns (add the heads and shells to your broth), and dunk it into your broth. Use a slotted spoon so you don’t lose the prawns.
I also added fish cakes, these are usually pre-cooked, so they just need a few tosses in the wok. You can use fishballs, just slice them up for more bite-able pieces. If your fishballs are not pre-cooked, then boil them in the broth too. Can you use actual fish meat? You can, but it will disintegrate when you’re stir frying it with the noodles.
The seafood cooks quickly – do not overcook, just 2-3 minutes is enough. Cook it for too long and you’ll end up with rubbery squid and mushy prawns.
Frying Hokkien Noodles
The noodle frying process involves braising the noodles with a bit of the seafood broth each time you add an ingredient in. It does not really matter when exactly you add the broth; after or before each ingredient step is good. The broth is ladled in little by little. What this does is that it allows the noodles to absorb the broth without getting soggy, which is why we don’t add the broth all at one go. Frying step by step will allow the noodles to absorb just enough broth, and the heat from the wok/pan, will dry out any excess and char the noodles.
The eggs are scrambled in first – unusual for fried noodles in which eggs are added after the noodles. Letting the eggs cook first again helps to prevent sogginess.
The noodles will eventually become saucy and creamy. For the final ladles of broth, add as much broth as you want sauce. I like noodles rather moist, so I always add an extra ladle in.
Hokkien Mee Sambal Chilli
I cannot have my Hokkien Mee without a dollop of sambal on the side. This is my perfect recipe for the best sambal to go with the Hokkien Mee.
Watch How to Make Hokkien Mee
Singapore Hokkien Mee | Halal creamy prawn fried noodlesCourse: Recipes
- Seafood Broth (makes about 1.5 litres)
400g Prawn Heads and Shells
200g Chicken Feet/Spare Parts
40g or 2 tbsps Ikan Bilis or Dried Anchovies
1 Onion, cut in half
5-6 cloves Garlic, smashed
2 litres Water
- Noodles and Toppings (For 2 Servings)
250g Fresh Yellow Noodles
150g Fresh Thick Vermicelli or Bee Hoon
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Fish Sauce
1/2 tsp White Pepper
A handful of Chives
A handful of beansprouts
1 Squid, sliced
1 Fish Cake, sliced
Garnish with Lime
- Sambal Chilli
100ml Dried Chilli Paste
1 Onion or 2-3 Shallots
2 tbsps Belachan or Fermented Dried Shrimp Paste
2 tbsps Dried Shrimps
1 tsp Tamarind Paste
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
- Seafood Broth
- In a pot, add oil. Once hot, add prawn heads and shells. Saute until it turns orange, and all liquid and been drawn out and evaporated. The heads and shells should be dry, and you should not smell any fishiness at all. Your kitchen should smell like grilled prawns almost.
- Push prawn heads to one side, and add in chicken parts. Add oil first, if needed. Sear the chicken, so that the skin is not pink anymore.
- Add ikan bilis, onion, garlic and water. Stir through. You can use your spatula or ladle to press on to the prawn heads to release the juices into the broth. Turn up the heat and let it come to a boil.
- Once broth boils, turn the heat down and let this simmer or at least 30 minutes, to an hour. Cover pot with a lid.
- When you come back, broth is done.
- In boiling broth, cook the squid and prawns. Keep the squid whole, with head, innards and bone removed. Wash thoroughly inside-out before adding squid to broth. Peel prawns and add to broth to cook. Take out once done. The seafood will cook quick, about 2-3 minutes.
- Once seafood is cooked, strain broth, or use a slotted spoon to remove the ingredients. Broth is ready. Keep broth close to pan for noodle frying.
- Hokkien Mee Frying
- To a pan, add oil. Once hot, add egg and scramble to cook.
- When egg is almost set, add noodles and one ladle of seafood broth. Saute and let the noodles absorb the broth.
- Saute until noodles are almost dry. Push to one side, and add more oil. Add garlic, and season noodles with fish sauce and ground white pepper. Add another ladle of broth and stir fry the noodles.
- Noodles should already be slightly saucy. Add chives and beansprouts and give a quick stir fry.
- Add cooked seafood, and final two ladles of broth. Add more broth for a saucier noodle. Stir fry until you achieve desired creaminess and Hokkien Noodles are done!
- Serve with a squeeze of calamansi lime (or regular lime) and sambal belacan.
- Sambal Chilli
- Soak dried shrimps in warm water for about 5 minutes. Drain, and roughly chop dried shrimps. Keep to one side.
- Blend together dried chilli paste, onion or shallots, garlic, and belacan. Option to add soaked dried shrimps here, if not chopping up.
- To a pan, add oil. Once hot and over low heat, saute the blended sambal chili paste. Continuously stir until the oil splits. This is when the chilli is fully cooked. The sambal paste would have dried slightly, and become thicker. The oil would also be a bright red colour, and floating above the sambal.
- Season with salt, sugar, tamarind paste and chopped dried shrimps.