Auntie Ruby's Ipoh 'Kai See' Hor Fun (Flat Noodles with Shredded Chicken)Monday, May 27, 2013
This should be properly called in Cantonese "Ipoh Kai See Hor Fun" (Shredded Chicken Flat Noodles - hmmm, it just don't sound right when translated).
The soup is basically a chicken-based stock with some prawns flavour added through the shells. The tasty light broth accompanies the silky smooth hor fun very well, along with strips of chicken meat, slices of prawn, chives and bean sprouts.
If you are an "Ipohan", you would have been to Kong Heng Coffeeshop. The Kai See Hor Fun there is the best in Ipoh and we can assume, has no other worthy challenger on planet earth. If you live in Ipoh, you have no reason to cook this at home. Just hop over to Kong Heng.
This recipe is for the rest of us.
More Ipoh eateries have open here of late and I hope you can find some good versions of this here, even if it is a far cry from Kong Heng's. The springy Ipoh Hor fun is still not sold here in Singapore, and I was told this is because our health authorities have banned a substance used in making it.
You will have to make do with the local version (some stalls sell it as "Ipoh hor fun") but there is nothing stopping you from making a tasty broth. It is not difficult at all, especially compared to my Mum's Penang Hokkien Mee. This is a good recipe to start with if you are not used to preparing a broth and cooking Chinese noodles.
Ipoh Kai See Hor Fun Recipe
For 10-12 servings
|Simmering the chicken stock|
For the broth
4 litres of water
1 large chicken, preferably, "kampung" or local 'free-range" chicken
1 kg of prawns (medium size)
Rock sugar (about 8 pieces or to taste)
Salt to taste
Half a bowl of soy beans (optional)
1T Chicken stock concentrate or bouillon to taste (optional)
Chicken meat strips
Fried Onions (Shallots)
Making the Broth
- Peel the prawns and devein.
- Bring water to boil.
- Remove some breast meat from the chicken and reserve it for garnishing later.
- Add the rest of the chicken, soy beans, some salt, sugar and simmer.
- Meanwhile in a wok or pot, fry the prawn heads and shells in two tablespoon of oil till they turn golder in color. Then add to the pot of stock. Later, this will impart a layer of red oil at the top of the stock.
- Simmer for an hour. If you have the time, simmer it for longer to extract more flavours from the chicken. (If using Pressure Cooker, the timing is reduced to a third)
- Finishing the broth: Taste and adjust with more sugar or salt. Chicken stock concentrate is optional if you have used enough chicken and the stock is tasty. Note that powdered chicken stock is salty by itself.
- Strain the broth.
- Cook the chicken breast meat for about 10 minutes in the stock. Tear them into thin strips randomly using your fingers. Don't slice the meat.
- Blanched the prawn meat in the soup, remove and after it has cooled, slice the prawns into two halves (see photo).
- Cut chives into 1 inch strips. Blanch.
- Blanched a portion of hor fun and bean sprouts in a pot of boiling water for about 5 secs, then into the boiling broth for 5 secs and then put it into a bowl.
- Add a few pieces of the cooked prawns, chicken and chives.
- Add the boiling broth.
- Garnish with fried shallots and serve immediately. Remember the small plate of tau yu (light soy sauce) with cut red chillies.
- Chicken meat will impart more flavour to the stock then just bones alone. If you like a good soup, don't stinge on your chicken. I prefer to use a large whole "Kampung" chicken to make the broth. One thing which you should NEVER do is to use commercial chicken stock liquid as a base for this soup.
- The soy beans will thicken and give more body to the broth. Skip if you do not have it.
- Traditionally, the prawn shells are not crushed, unlike Penang Prawn Mee. This results in a light broth where the umami taste is more subtle and play a secondary flavouring role. You can however choose to crush the fried prawn shells for a more robust broth. This will make your broth cloudier and add a redder oily sheen to it. Note: Even without crushing the shells, the broth will still have a red oily sheen.
- Fried onions/shallots is mandatory for this dish!
- Diced spring onions can also be added.
|This batch has more red oil as there was more red tamales in the prawn heads|
|This is a variation - adding halved Angka Prawns|
You can also check out my Mum's Penang Hokkien Prawn Mee recipe here