Is the peanutty soup in this recipe the original satay sauce? Hailing from the Fujian city of Xiamen, and meaning ‘sand tea’ in translation, the flavours in this seafood-and-spice-packed noodle dish certainly bear similarities to its distant Malaysian cousin. Which makes sense when you consider many of the Chinese migrants to Malaysia historically came from Fujian province. Either way, it’s pretty darn good.
- 800 g fresh wide rice noodles
- 600 g small fresh squid, cleaned
- 400 g medium green king prawns, peeled and cleaned, leaving tails intact
- 300 g skinless snapper, or other white fish, fillets, cut into 2 ½ cm pieces
- 250 g fried tofu puffs, sliced
- 150 g (1 ½ cups) mung bean sprouts, ends trimmed
- 2 green onions, trimmed and sliced thinly on the diagonal
- handful of coriander leaves
- 2 ½ tbsp dried shrimp
- 8 dried red chillies
- 105 g (¾ cup) raw skinned peanuts
- 1 tsp five spice powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tsp mild curry powder
- 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 ½ tbsp clear rice wine
- 1 ½ tbsp clear wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 ½ tbspChinese sweet bean sauce
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tsp belacan (Malaysian shrimp paste)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 L (4 cups) chicken or fish stock
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 30 minutes
To make the paste, put the dried shrimp and dried chillies in a small bowl, add enough boiling water to cover then stand for 30 minutes or until softened. Drain well then combine in a food processor with the peanuts and process until very finely ground. Add the spices, curry powder, sugar, sesame oil, rice wine, wine vinegar, soy sauces, sweet bean sauce and process until a smooth paste forms.
To make the soup, heat the peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium, add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 7 minutes or until softened. Add the paste, reduce the heat to medium-low then cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the fish stock, bring to a simmer then cover the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Place the noodles in a large bowl, add enough boiling water to cover and stand for 5 minutes to soften and heat through.
Cut the cleaned squid tubes into rings then add to the sauce in the saucepan with any squid tentacles, the prawns, fish and tofu puffs and cook, covered, over medium-low for about 4 minutes or until the seafood is just cooked through.
Drain the noodles well and divide among four large bowls. Scatter over the sprouts then divide the seafood and sauce mixture among the bowls.
Scatter over green onion and coriander and serve immediately.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Page.