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.
- 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
- 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:
- Blend the chili paste ingredients until finely ground and well blended.
- Heat up the wok and add cooking oil.
- Stir fry the chili paste for 5 minutes. Dish up and set aside.
- On the same wok (unwashed), add in a little oil and cook the shrimp topping.
- Add in a little chili paste, sugar, and salt.
- Pan-fry the shrimps until they are slightly burned.
- Dish up, let cool and slice them into halves.
- 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:
- Peel prawns. Set aside the shells and heads.
- Fridge the prawn meat.
- Add water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
- 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.
- Strain the stock through sieve and transfer the stock into another pot.
- Discard the prawn heads and shells. Scoop up and discard the orange “foam” forming at the top of the stock.
- Best to leave overnight for the stock to steep.
- Next day, bring the stock to a boil.
- Add ginger, lemon grass stalks, and ikan bilis (with heads on).
- Simmer the stock for about 45 minutes with lid on.
- Add the belacan and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Strain the stock.
- 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.
- Season with sugar, salt and fish sauce.
- Soak the bee hoon in cold water for about 30 minutes.
- 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.
- Transfer to a bowl and scoop in the stock. The stock should cover the noodles completely.
- Place a few slices of prawns, sliced eggs and sprinkle fried shallots.
- Serve with the sambal chili: either put a dollop on the bowl or in a separate sauce plate.