How to make Wat Tan Hor, noodles slathered in a silky smooth egg gravy. Best of all this Wat Tan Hor recipe can be made in just 30 minutes!
Wat Tan Hor is a classic stir-fried noodle in Malaysian and Singaporean zi char cuisine. This popular dish can be found in many hawker centers and restaurants. It is often served as a one-dish meal, and is a popular choice for lunch or dinner. With its savoury flavor and slightly charred noodles, Wat Tan Hor is a slurpy dish that is sure to satisfy the palate.
I’ve made A LOT of variations of the gravy stir-fried dish on this blog: Singapore Seafood Hor Fun, Beef Hor Fun and Moonlight Hor Fun. This recipe is very similar to my Singapore Hor Fun recipe, but A LOT easier. I’ve managed to cut out some steps and it turned out still delicious!
What is Wat Tan Hor?
Wat Tan Hor is a dish made with flat rice noodles, seafood (such as shrimp and squid), meat (such as chicken or beef), vegetables (such as bok choy and carrots), and a sauce made from egg, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sometimes chicken or seafood broth. The term “wat tan” in Wat Tan Hor refers to the Cantonese word for an egg gravy that is made from beaten eggs and broth. This silky smooth gravy is poured over fried hor fun rice noodles, for a satisfyingly slurpy noodle dish.
Why will you LOVE this Wat Tan Hor recipe?
ONE-PAN DISH: This dish requires two separate cooking processes, but this recipe shows you how you can use just one pan to make a complete dish! Less dishes to wash, yay.
30-MIN MEAL: You can get a filling and satisfying meal in just 30 minutes!
Satisfyingly Slurpy: Noodles in a rich and savoury gravy make for a delicious slurp in every bite.
VERSATILE: Wat Tan Hor is versatility. Customise the dish to suit any palate and dietary preferences! The basic flavours go with a lot of proteins and vegetables – so bookmark this for your next clear-fridge dish!
What are Hor Fun Noodles?
Hor fun is a type of rice noodle. You can typically find fresh noodles, or dried ones. The noodles are made from rice flour and water and have a smooth, silky texture. Hor fun noodles are wider and flatter than other rice noodles such as vermicelli, and are often used in stir-fries and soups. They are commonly used in dishes such as Char Kway Teow, Wat Tan Hor, and Beef Hor Fun.
You can typically find fresh noodles or dried versions. I personally prefer fresh noodles, which are always more springy and tend to be less brittle than the dried versions. Of course, you also skip the pre-cooking step which I always appreciate.
Ingredients for Wat Tan Hor
The ingredients needed for Wat Tan Hor can vary depending on the specific recipe, but here are some common ingredients:
Stir Fried Hor Fun:
- Hor Fun (rice noodles)
- Protein of choice: Seafood, such as prawns or squid or meat, such as chicken or beef, are common proteins used for Wat Tan Hor.
- Vegetables: I used carrots and bok choy here. Other options include such as bean sprouts or Chinese chives.
- Garlic & Onions
- Chicken Stock: You can use homemade or instant stock from bouillon cubes. Adjust the salt and seasoning accordingly. You can also use other stock such as vegetable or beef stock. You can also use plain water in a pinch, but the stock is what brings this dish to restaurant-level quality.
- Light Soy Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Dark Soy Sauce (optional)
- White Pepper
How to Make Wat Tan Hor Fun:
1. Preparing the Ingredients
If using fresh hor fun noodles, give it a quick rinse under water to remove the oily residue. Season with light soy sauce and optional dark soy sauce, and gently combine to coat.
2. Let Hor Fun Sit on Pan and Develop a Char
Heat pan over medium-high to high heat. Add hor fun to pan, and spread it out in the pan. No need to stir fry at this stage. Leave the noodles in the pan and allow one side to develop a char. Option to flip it over to another side, to develop more charry bits, but in my opinion this is optional.
3. Stir Fry Hor Fun Noodles
Push noodles to one side, and add garlic and onions. Saute until fragrant, and add proteins of choice. Let proteins cook before gently stir frying with the noodles. Take off the pan and keep to one side.
4. Make the Gravy
Combine the stock, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and pepper.
In the same pan, add the seasoned stock mixture. Allow this to come up to a boil, before adding vegetables.
Gently stir the gravy in one direction, and slowly pour in beaten eggs. This is going to get you silky, stringy eggs throughout the gravy.
TIP! Gently and slowly stir the gravy, anything but will scramble the eggs instead.
Pour in cornstarch slurry next, until it thickens to preferred gravy consistency. Turn off heat.
5. Assemble and Serve
Plate the hor fun noodles, and pour gravy over noodles. Top with spring onions and pickled green chillies and serve!
How to Fake that Wok Hei Effect?
If you’ve been on this blog a while, you would be familiar with this technique. A key element of Wat Tan Hor are the rice noodles that are stir fried in a wok over high heat to get that charred ‘wok hei’ flavour. This ‘wok hei’ is not that easily replicated at home, which would probably not have that intense high heat required for good ‘wok hei’. We can get close to it though!
First, season rice noodles with light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. This flavours the noodles, and also will help in caramelisation later on.
Heat a pan over high heat. Option to add oil here. Without oil, it will char quicker, but sometimes I would just add oil so I don’t have to deal with the noodles sticking on to the pan.
Add the noodles, and spread it about the pan.
Leave it alone! Let that cook and char at the bottom for about 5 minutes or so.
Option to gently flip the noodles, but it’s not necessary. The goal is to just get some charry bits on the noodles. I wouldn’t touch it too much, since hor fun noodles can break easily if you stir fry it too much.
What to Serve Wat Tan Hor with?
Wat Tan Hor is best served with a side of pickled green chillies! They add a hint of spice and sharp acidity that complements the noodles. I have an easy recipe for pickled green chillies right here.
More Recipes Like This
Wat Tan Hor Fun NoodlesCourse: Recipes
200g fresh hor fun noodles or flat rice noodles
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
100g shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-2 sticks crab sticks, sliced
100g bok choy, chopped
1 carrot, julienned
Spring Onions, for garnish
2-3 tablespoons oil
400ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 1/2 cup water
- Add light soy sauce and dark soy sauce to the rice noodles and gently combine with hands to coat.
- Add light soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, white pepper to stock, and stir to combine. Set aside seasoned stock for later.
- In a large pan, heat oil over high heat. Once hot, add the rice noodles and spread out in the pan evenly. Let this cook in the pan without disturbing it for about 3-4 minutes to develop a char at the bottom.
- Push noodles to one side, and add onions and garlic to stir fry. Option to add more oil if needed.
- Once fragrant, add shrimps and crab sticks and stir fry with onions and garlic to cook.
- Once the proteins cook, stir fry with the rest of the noodles. Remove from the pan and keep to one side.
- Using the same pan, pour in the seasoned stock combination and let it come to a boil.
Add vegetables and allow to cook.
- Beat eggs and prepare to add to the stock. Slowly stir the stock in one direction. While stirring, gradually pour the egg mixture in the gravy. The eggs should start to turn the gravy a milky shade.
- Pour in the cornstarch slurry mixture next. Make sure to give cornstarch slurry a stir before adding, in case the cornstarch has separated. Stir until gravy thickens and turn off the heat.
- Plate the fried hor fun noodles. Then pour the gravy over the noodles. Garnish with spring onions and pickled green chillies. Serve immediately and enjoy!