Hainanese style noodles are characterised by the savoury gravy that the noodles cook in, absorbing the flavour. Usually made with egg noodles, in our family they were just as common with rice vermicelli






Skill level

Average: 4.8 (113 votes)

This dish is one that my grandma made all the time when we were kids and I still have a lot of nostalgia for it.


  • 200 g dried rice vermicelli
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) neutral-flavoured oil
  • 3-cm piece ginger, thickly sliced and bruised
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 100 g pork belly, thinly sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch choy sum, cut into 5-cm lengths
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 spring onions, cut into 5-cm lengths
  • 75 g fishcake or fish balls, sliced
  • 5 raw prawns, shelled, intestinal tract removed, tails left intact
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 115 g (1 cup) beansprouts
  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed into 2 tbsp cold water or stock (if necessary)
  • Asian fried shallots, sliced red chilli, soy sauce and lime juice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 20 minutes

  1. Soak the rice vermicelli in cold water for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil. Add the ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the pork belly and fry until browned. Add the choy sum, carrot and spring onion and fry for 1 minute, then add the fishcake and prawns and toss to combine. Add the stock, sauces and sugar and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  3. Add the vermicelli and simmer for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir though the bean sprouts and if necessary, use a little cornflour slurry to thicken the gravy.
  4. Transfer to a plate and scatter with fried shallots. Serve with sliced red chilli, soy sauce and lime juice.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.