Revisiting Auntie Ruby's Hokkien Prawn MeeTuesday, September 11, 2012
I am doing another write-up of this fantastic recipe. I have posted the recipe and updated it recently.
Here, I use a different format and document some additional notes. Actually, I am doing this for myself. These are cooking notes, if you like. As I don't cook the same dish in twice in a row, writing it down helps me to remember what went right and what didn't. While I am at it, you might as well read it too.
I have since cooked it for many parties. There are times when the broth tasted really good. There are times when it did not. Once the pork was hard, dry and tasteless as I left it boiling and forgotten for too long. On numerous occasions, the bee hoon was way took soft. I have since learnt that you don't need to pre-soak it in warm or hot water. Cold tap water will do.
I really think that Penang Hokkien Prawn Mee is somewhere up there amongst the best noodles in the world. It is worth your effort to cook it well.
Preparing the Broth
The broth is of course the heart of this dish. The key to my Mum's version is the extracts from the prawn heads and shells. I have dedicated a post (What makes Penang Hokkien Prawn Mee Special) on why the heads and shells - properly prepared - makes such a big difference to the broth.
|Glorious "Prawn juice" |
when you blend it
- Peel the prawns and separate the heads from the shells.
- Fry 300 gm of dried shrimps (hae bee) and heads in a wok till they turn red-orange.
- Put it in a deep pot and use a stick blender to blend.
- Boil the stock for about 20 minutes and leave it in the pot overnight or for a few hours. It is important to steep the prawn stock if you want to intensify the prawny umami flavours.
As you can see, the trio of prawn heads/shells, dried shrimps and anchovies form the base of the stock.
Remember to taste, taste and taste. That is how you train your palate to discern whether your stock is good enough. If you have eaten the ones I made, be guided by those taste memories. If not, reference to some good ones you have eaten outside. (I recommend Penang Road Cafe's verison, opposite Novena Church).
As for the amount of water in the finished broth, 5 litres of broth will serve about 15 bowls.
"The trio of prawn heads/shells, dried shrimps and anchovies form the base of the stock."
Preparing to serve the bowls
|The stuff in the bowl|
|Locally, the glass prawns on the right |
are sweeter and crunchier. They have
brighter tails and shells
|Slices of Loin Pork - |
you can see that they are not overcooked
Garnish with slices of prawns (see photo above), fish cake, boiled eggs and pork. Then add the broth (it should be hot and simmering in the pot). Garnish with fried shallots before you serve.
As for the pork, I prefer to use loin pork. Don't over cook it. It should be soft and moist. I put large chunks into the broth and simmer for about 15-20 mins. Cooked the peeled prawns in batches in the boiling broth. The prawns need to cook quickly to avoid bits and pieces flaking off. Slice the prawns into two flat slices.
Proportionately, don't end up with too much stuff in your bowl as it will absorb the soup. Serve a small portion and you will be happier when they ask for a second serving.
This is not optional :). How can this do without a good plate of Sambal Chili? If you have ready made chilli paste use it. Fry your blended shallots in some oil till fragrant and add the chilli paste. Adjust the taste with Gula Melaka and salt.
This dish is not difficult to make. Satisfying and a sure guest-pleaser treat, it rewards you in
|I think this is really up there amongst some of the world's best noodles|