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Hokkien mee

Hokkien mee
Type Noodle
Main ingredients Egg noodles, rice noodles, egg, pork, prawn, squid
Variations Hokkien hae mee, Hokkien char mee
16x16px Cookbook:Hokkien mee  16x16px Hokkien mee
Hokkien mee
Traditional Chinese 福建麵
Simplified Chinese 福建面
Literal meaning Hokkien noodles

Hokkien mee is a dish in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine that has its origins in the cuisine of China's Fujian (Hokkien) province. In its most common form, the dish consists of egg noodles and rice noodles stir-fried with egg, slices of pork, prawns and squid, and served and garnished with vegetables, small pieces of lard, sambal sauce and lime (for adding the lime juice to the dish).


There are two types of Hokkien mee: Hokkien hae mee and Hokkien char mee. Hokkien hae mee (Hokkien prawn noodles) is commonly served in Penang and Singapore while Hokkien char mee (Hokkien fried noodles) is commonly served in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley. The dish commonly referred to as "Hokkien mee", depending on the locality, can mean either Hokkien hae mee or Hokkien char mee. For example, Hokkien mee in Kuala Lumpur refers to Hokkien char mee.

Hokkien hae mee
(prawn noodles)
Hokkien char mee
(fried noodles)
Refers to either the Penang prawn noodle or Singapore prawn noodle Refers to the Kuala Lumpur Hokkien noodle
Soup based (Penang) and stir fried (Singapore) Stir fried
Egg noodles and rice noodles Fat yellow noodles
No dark soya sauce used Dark soya sauce is used
Prawn is the main ingredient with slices of chicken or pork, squid and fish cake. kangkung (water spinach) is common in the Penang version Slices of chicken or pork, squid and cabbage
File:Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles.JPG
A bowl of Penang Hokkien Mee

Strictly speaking, the Penang and Singapore versions of Hokkien mee are two different dishes, except that they are both prawn noodle dishes and share the name "Hokkien." The ingredients and methods of cooking are different, and the Penang version is cooked in soup while the Singapore version is stir fried. In this respect, the dish Hokkien mee can refer to no fewer than three different distinct dishes: Penang Hokkien mee, Singapore Hokkien mee, and Kuala Lumpur Hokkien mee. Penang Hokkien mee is sometimes referred to in Kuala Lumpur as mee yoke, since in Kuala Lumpur, Hokkien mee means Hokkien char mee by default.

Hokkien mee in Singapore

A plate of Singapore hokkien mee

Hokkien hae mee (Hokkien prawn noodles; 福建蝦麵) is served in Penang (with a variant served in Singapore and Muar in the southern state of Johor known as Hae mee). It is a dish of egg noodles and rice noodles in a fragrant stock, which is made from both fresh shrimp and dried prawns, as well as pork or chicken. Traditionally, small cubes of fried lard are added, but this is now less common and have been substituted with chicken lard due to health concerns. It is garnished with prawns, fish cake, leafy greens, pork ribs, squid, crisp deep-fried shallots, spring onions and fresh lime. The dish is served with sliced red chili, light soy sauce and sambal.

Singaporean Hokkien mee was created after World War II by Chinese sailors from Fujian (Hokkien) province in southern China. After working in the factories, they would congregate along Rochor Road and fry excess noodles from the noodle factories over a charcoal stove. Today, this dish is stir-fried with garlic, eggs, soy sauce, yellow noodles, bee hoon, bean sprouts, prawns and squid. A flavourful stock is also essential for a great tasting dish, and is usually made from stewing prawn heads, clams and dried fish. To cook this dish, the noodles are first flooded with stock, stewed for a minute while adding the seafood, then fried till damp. Pork lard is also a vital part of Hokkien mee; however, most stalls use less or none of it nowadays as it is deemed as unhealthy. Hokkien mee with no lard can be certified halal so the Malay community can eat it too. Sambal chilli and lime are also standard toppings for this dish, giving it that extra zing and tanginess. Some stalls also serve it on an Opei leaf (soft palm bark), to enhance the fragrance of the dish.

There is another version of prawn noodles in Singapore called Hae Mee, which is different from the Hokkien mee. Egg noodles are served in richly flavoured dark soup stock with prawns, pork slices, fish cake slices, and bean sprouts topped with fried shallots and spring onion. The stock is made using dried shrimps, plucked heads of prawns, white pepper, garlic and other spices.

Hokkien Char Mee

Hokkien char mee (Hokkien fried noodles; 福建炒麵) is served in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding region. It is a dish of thick yellow noodles braised in thick dark soy sauce with pork, squid, fish cake and cabbage as the main ingredients and cubes of pork fat fried until crispy (sometimes pork liver is included). The best examples are usually cooked over a raging charcoal fire.

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