A deep dark noodle that accompanies me since childhood. This is usually an eat out dish simply because a big wok with high heat is needed to make this noodle. However, here in Sydney, although I can find restaurants with big wok but I can’t really find a place that offers the taste that I wanted.
This noodle is dark, really dark. You have to be careful when you eat this noodles because it will stain you, stain your mouth, stain your white shirt, stain your black shirt, stain everything! Just like the Korean JaJangMyeon.
The taste of Hokkien Noodle is exaggeratingly deep with the chemistry of pork lard, dried flounder fish, good dark cooking caramel and rich shrimpy stock. It has a very intense all-direction seafood taste that punches into the noodles. The dark cooking caramel not only gives the dark brown color, it also adds a slight bitter sweet taste to the noodles. It remains as one of my favorite noodle ever since my childhood.
There is this Chinese food & travel writer, he listed this noodle dish as one of his top favorite. He has describe this dish and the way to cook in his book based on a very famous shop in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I think why he likes this noodle is because he likes anything with pork lard and this noodle is made by adding a lot of pork lard.
This noodle that I made in my kitchen is packed with flavors but there is only thing that I can’t replicate which is the “wok hei” because there is no way to do that in a home kitchen. Unless if I go to a Chinese Restaurant and beg them for me to use their wok and high heat stove for me to make this noodle. Next thing I know, I am probably thrown out and land on the pavement outside the chinese restaurant.
Nevertheless, I am still satisfied with the outcome of this noodles. This is my go-to noodles if I ever miss home or feel like having comfort food. Hey, it’s like some who have a bowl of mac n cheese as comfort food.
My Dark Secret – KL Hokkien Noodle (serves 1 person)
- *Soup stock:
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- Prawn heads and shell
- 1.5 cups of water
- ¼ teaspoon of sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of ground white pepper
- A pinch of salt
- 2 cups of thick yellow noodle
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 prawns
- flesh for cooking with noodles
- head and shell off for making soup stock
- A handful of cabbage, tear to small pieces
- A few pork slices
- 2 tablespoon of pork lard cracklings
- 2 tablespoon of pork lard (refer to this video from Flavours of Asia on how to make pork lard)
- *1 tablespoon of Malaysian dark cooking caramel
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon of dried flounder fish powder
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- Salt to taste (if needed)
- First let’s take about 15 minutes to make the stock. Heat up a small pot in medium heat. Put in the oil and let the oil heat up. Put in the prawn heads and shells to fry. Fry for about 1 minute.
- Add in water and turn to high heat to let it boil. Once it’s boiling, add in white pepper, salt and sugar. Stir to mix well. Turn to low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Once the stock is ready, strain the stock and set aside.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients while waiting for the stock to be ready. Take note, the noodles will get done in a jiffy so make sure you have all the ingredients by your side when you start cooking.
- Now let’s go!
- Heat up the wok on high heat, put in the pork lard. Once it’s heated up, put in the chopped garlic. Let it fry for about 20 seconds. Don’t brown or burn it.
- Add in the pork slices. Fry until the pork slices turn white. Add in the prawns as well and again, fry until the prawn turns white. This happens real quick.
- Add in the cabbage. Fry for about 20 seconds.
- Add in the yellow noodles. Fry the noodles for about 1 minute. Add in 1 cup of stock, dark cooking caramel, soy sauce, sugar, flounder fish powder and pork lard cracklings.
- Stir fry for everything in the wok to mix well. Cover and let it cook for about 2 or 3 minutes or until the noodles have absorbed all the stock. Adjust with salt if needed.
- Serve! Garnish with extra pork lard cracklings if you like.
- The stock is an important element for the noodles to absorb all the goodness from the prawn head and shell. It gives a blasting taste to the hokkien noodles.
- Don’t use dark soy sauce as it will not color the noodle as much compare to the dark cooking caramel. This dark cooking caramel can be found in Asian grocery. If you can’t find it, you will have to substitute with 2 tablespoon of dark soy sauce but the color will be lighter.