Prawn meehoon

One of my favorite Malaysian dishes is the prawn mee. Very often than not, I end up disappointed whenever I sample a piping bowl of this delectable dish. It’s either the broth is too salty or there is not enough flavor in it. So, I decided to make it myself. I realize the secret to a delicious bowl of prawn mee lies in the broth. So, I took the extra effort in boiling the shells of the prawns for a good 2 hours. I used a lot of prawn shells to extract maximum flavor for the broth. The result: a very flavorful and aromatic bowl of prawn meehoon.

Ingredients:

Stock:

  • Shrimp heads and shells
  • Dried shrimps
  • 15 cups of water (reduced to about 12-13 cups of water after hours of boiling and simmering)
  • 2-inch ginger, smashed
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass, smashed
  • Ikan bilis
  • 1-inch belacan
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Fish sauce to taste

Chili Paste:

  • 5 fresh red chilies
  • 25 dried chilies (deseeded and soaked to soften)
  • 12 shallots (peeled)
  • 6 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 6 tablespoons of cooking oil

Steps for chili paste:

  1. Blend the chili paste ingredients until finely ground and well blended.
  2. Heat up the wok and add cooking oil.
  3. Stir fry the chili paste for 5 minutes. Dish up and set aside.
  4. On the same wok (unwashed), add in a little oil and cook the shrimp topping.
  5. Add in a little chili paste, sugar, and salt.
  6. Pan-fry the shrimps until they are slightly burned.
  7. Dish up, let cool and slice them into halves.

Assembly:

  • 1 pack of rice vermicelli (scalded)
  • Some kangkong (scalded)
  • Some bean sprouts (scalded)
  • Shrimp (shelled and deveined)
  • Hard-boiled eggs (shelled and halved)
  • Some deep-fried shallots

To prepare the stock:

  1. Peel prawns. Set aside the shells and heads.
  2. Fridge the  prawn meat.
  3. Add water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
  4. Add in all the fried shrimp heads and shell and simmer on low heat for about 2 hours or longer until the stock becomes cloudy.
  5. Strain the stock through sieve and transfer the stock into another pot.
  6. Discard the prawn heads and shells. Scoop up and discard the orange “foam” forming at the top of the stock.
  7. Best to leave overnight for the stock to steep.
  8. Next day, bring the stock to a boil.
  9. Add ginger, lemon grass stalks, and ikan bilis (with heads on).
  10. Simmer the stock for about 45 minutes with lid on.
  11. Add the belacan and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  12. Strain the stock.
  13. Bring the stock to boil again and add in half of the chili paste. You can add more chili paste if you like it spicier.
  14. Season with sugar, salt and fish sauce.

To serve:

  1. Soak the bee hoon in cold water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Add a portion soaked bee hoon, bean sprout and kangkong into a scoop and stick into a pot of boiling water for about half a minute.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and scoop in the stock. The stock should cover the noodles completely.

Garnish:

  1. Place a few slices of prawns, sliced eggs and sprinkle fried shallots.
  2. Serve with the sambal chili: either put a dollop on the bowl or in a separate sauce plate.
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