Tag Archives: malaysian hawker food

Step By Step Recipe: Singapore Fried Prawn Noodles / Hokkien Mee (福建炒虾面)

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Last week at TummyTroll we made our very own Prawn Noodle Soup from scratch: The soup stock alone took almost 2 days, and we made enough soup stock to feed more than 20 people at a party! There was still half a pot of soup stock left and that was enough reason for us to fry up some Singapore Fried Prawn Noodles, or Hokkien Mee, the next day! Although we did not manage to find the thick rice vermicelli, or bee hoon, that is more commonly used in the favourite local dish, we used the thin variety and it was still a delicious plate of noodles due to the flavourful soup stock base, fresh ingredients, and the spicy sambal chilli with a kick! All that was missing was perhaps the opeh leaf for the extra touch of authenticity, and the wok hei for that extra  oomph! Nonetheless here is the recipe to one of Singapore’s most beloved hawker dishes: Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Penang Prawn Noodle Soup / Hae Mee (虾面汤)

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After having studied in the UK for almost two and a half years now, I still think about hawker food back home on those cold lonely days but the cravings are usually curbed after I attempt to make some dishes from scratch (think our recent Bak Chor Mee or Kaya Puffs from a little while ago). Prawn noodles, however, was something I never put myself to – It is Hae Mee (prawn noodles in the Hokkien dialect) for goodness sake! It’s not just something that can be made out of a Prima Paste packet (well you can, but it won’t quite be the same). In my heart it has a certain artisanal quality that I never thought could be recreated at home unless highly skilled and truly desperate. Hence, when TummyTroll was put to the task of making Hae Mee for a party of 20 over people, we were elated at the prospects of eating authentic prawn noodles, but also fearful: What if our prawns were not fresh enough? What if the soup turned out to be tasteless?

Well, as we have discovered, all these worries were unfounded… Clichéd as it might seem, as long as you put in sufficient hours and effort, prawn noodles, or any other seemingly arduous dish would always turn out good, as it did here! If amateur student cooks like us can make Hae Mee from scratch, everyone else can definitely do it too! We hope that this step by step recipe would serve as a useful photo guide for all the homesick souls out there who are craving a bowl of prawn noodles! Enjoy :) Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Fried Carrot / Radish Cake, Chai Tao Kway (菜头粿)

This last instalment of TummyTroll‘s special Chai Tao Kway week brings us to the final step of frying the radish cake which had been steamed and left overnight to chill, with lard (for those seeking the authentic flavours) and preserved radish chai poh. With the likes of egg, beansprouts and a whole cast of seasoning and sauces. Ready to roll! :) Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Making from scratch… Carrot / Radish Cake, Chai Tao Kway (菜头粿)

Oops… #chubkaichun and I have just done it again – Incomprehensible craziness, sheer insanity! How else could we explain why we made Carrot Cake from scratch? I hope we’re not leaving your heads scratching already… (okay I’ll stop trying to be punny). Kicking off TummyTroll’s special Chai Tao Kway Week, this first post of the series will showcase the steps to making the steamed “cake” or kueh / kway in Chai Tao Kway. We believe this is the hardest part of the whole process – The subsequent frying, preparing of preserved turnip, rendering of lard etc. prove to be easy relative to this!

For the uninitiated / non-Singaporean or Malaysian readers, this isn’t the nutty cream cheese frosted Carrot Cake that you’d find in boulangeries and cafes. This is Fried Carrot Cake, arguably one of the most beloved hawker dishes in Singapore and Malaysia (and even Thailand I’d heard), with its origins in South China. Grated radish is combined with rice flour and steamed into a solid cake-like form, left overnight for better texture, then fried with a myriad of seasoning and “poor man” ingredients like preserved turnip, lard, eggs and beansprouts. It’s an explosion of the senses with its thundering fragrance and unique mouth-feel! And for many like us living overseas, a genuine reminder of how home tastes like… :”)

P.S. Some people call it Fried Radish Cake, some call it Fried Carrot Cake, and it’s used almost interchangeably back home. It should be more accurately termed as Fried Radish Cake since hawkers don’t actually put carrots in them, but we’ll use it interchangeably in this series. Please forgive us if you’re a little confused!

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