I feel like having another bowl of Penang Har Mee (福建虾面) just by looking at this image again! The intense prawn flavoured spicy soup, the crunchy kangkung (chinese watercress) and bean sprouts, the tender juicy prawn and pork slices, and the fiery hot chilli paste for the final climax, it is seriously a bowl of orgasmic sensations that will send you swooning with joy! It is better than sex if I must say!
Har Mee aka Prawn Noodle Soup, Har Meen or Mee Yoke, is a local Malaysian dish, is one of the local Malaysian hawker food that Penang is famous for. Even though it is originated from the Fujian (Hokkien) province in China, Har Mee actually becomes more popular in Malaysia with their own enhanced version which is more flavorsome and spicy, and with more ingredients and toppings.
What makes a good bowl of Penang Har Mee it all comes down to the soup stock, and the key ingredient for the soup – “prawn heads“. The traditional way or the “cook from scratch” way is by saving up a whole bag full of prawn heads and boil them over long period of time to intensify the flavour of the soup. There is an old Chinese saying, “Boil ten bowls of water into two bowls” – it is a common cooking method, that’s how you get a perfect flavorsome soup.
If you don’t have plan to buy so much prawns just to make a soup stock like me, then there’s always an alternative way which is easy and just as good! All you need is just a handful of prawns, some pork meat which both will be used as toppings later on, and lastly, Master Tean’s prawn noodle soup paste packet. I’ve been told Tean’s range of sauces and soup stock paste are the real deal and taste very close to those you can find at the Malaysia hawker stalls. And they are absolutely not wrong! One packet of the soup paste gives me a pot of fiery red hot soup with a layer of chilli oil glistening on the surface.
If you really want to enjoy a nice bowl of authentic Penang Har Mee, then you will really have to put a little extra effort to make the essential condiment to go with the noodle, a fiery hot dried chilli paste. It is not for the faint hearted, but it is so good and you simply can’t stop and ask for more once you’ve tasted it. The chilli paste can be kept for a long time, so make sure you make a big batch of it and use it on something else like marinating a fish/chicken for bbq, add to the sizzling steak, or toss in the thai asian salad.
If you never have Penang Har Mee or would like to try it before making your own version, then I would suggest you to pop over to Malay Chinese on Hunter Street, or To’s in North Sydney to give it a try. Be prepare to come out with full body of sweat, burning lips, and having an urge of a ciggie after reaching an ultimate climax.
Penang Har Mee
200gr Prawn peeled, deveined and butterflied in half, KEEP THE HEADS!
2 slices pork loin fillets
1 packet of Mr Tean’s Penang prawn noodle soup paste
1 packet egg noodle (scalded)
1 packet of rice vermicelli (mee hoon) – (scalded)
1 hard boiled egg
Some KangKung (Chinese watercress)
Some of bean sprouts
1. add 15 cups of water into a saucepan or pot and bring it to boil. Add in all shrimp heads and pork fillets and simmer on medium heat for 30mins.
2. fetch the pork fillets out, set aside and let it cool then cut into slices. Add the full packet of soup paste into the pot and stir well.
3. turn to low heat and let it simmer for at least 2 hrs or until it reduced to only 1/3 of the soup stock left in the pot.
4. discard the prawn heads, and the soup stock is ready. You can strain the stock through the sieve and tranfer to another pot, but I prefer to keep all the tiny bits of goodness in the soup.
5. In another pot/saucepan, add 3/4 full of water and bring to boil. Grab a handful of egg noodle and rice vermicelli each and put in a sieve, then scald the noodle in the hot water for only 30secs.
6. To serve, put the noodle into the bowl, ladle hot soup stock all over. Add bean sprouts, Chinese watercress, pork slices, prawn slices, egg slices (or cut in quarter), then sprinkle with fried shallots.
7. Serve immediately with chilli paste in a soup spoon on the side.
Dried Chilli Paste
a handful of dried chillies (about 30 to 50 chillies) – soaked to soften
10 shallots – peeled
5 cloves of garlic – peeled
2 tbsp of water
10 tbsp of cooking oil
1. Add all ingredients including water and the oil into a food processor and blend all together until fine paste.
2. Heat up a wok with cooking oil, make sure the room is well ventilated.
3. Add the paste into the wok and stir fry the chilli paste until becomes dark brown in colour.
4. If the paste is too dry, add more oil and make sure the paste is always being “stir fry” the whole time.