Hokkien noodles refer not to a specific kind of noodle, but to the style of noodle dishes made by Hokkien people originally from Fujian province as they travelled through Southeast Asia. In Penang, it is a soupy dish of prawns and noodles in a rich seafood broth. In Kuala Lumpur, it’s noodles fried in pork lard with a thick, black gravy. In Singapore, it’s much lighter and often made with different types of noodle in the same dish, and in Australia, the name refers to any simple stir-fried noodles.
"I think what makes a Hokkien noodle dish truly Hokkien is the characteristics of Fujian where its inspirations originated. Travellers from inland came to the coast to start their journeys abroad, and so their noodle dishes combined both meat and seafood with vegetables, along with whatever noodles they found in their adopted lands. It’s a simple recipe that tells an amazing story." Adam Liaw, Destination Flavour China
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, (see Note)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
- 2 slices ginger
- 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 100 g pork belly, thinly sliced
- 100 g peeled green prawns, cleaned
- 100 g cleaned squid, thinly sliced
- 6 leaves Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 kg thick Hokkien noodles
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, plus 1-2 tbsp extra for the chilli
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp red rice wine (or Shaoxing wine)
- ½ tsp sugar
- 5 spring onions, julienned
- 2 bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
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.
Soaking time 20 minutes
1. Finely slice the mushrooms and reserve the soaking liquid.
2. Heat a wok until very hot, then add about half the oil, ginger and half the garlic, tossing to combine.
3. Add the pork and stir-fry for about 1 minute, then remove from the wok. Add the prawns and squid and fry for 1 minute or until just cooked, then remove from the wok. Add the cabbage, carrot and mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute or until softened. Combine with the other fried ingredients.
4. Add a little more oil to the wok if necessary, then add the noodles and toss to coat well. Add the reserved cooked ingredients, soy sauces, rice wine, sugar and spring onions and toss to combine. Add a little of the mushroom soaking liquid if the mixture looks a little dry.
5. To make the chilli sauce, combine 1-2 tbsp soy sauce with the chilli, lemon juice and remaining garlic. Serve with the noodles.
• Soak your dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes.
Photography by Adam Liaw.