Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hailam Noodles

This hawker food has become one of my family's favorite.  My kids love this all-in-one dish with all the trimmings; chicken, prawns, squids, fishballs and whatever else.  Of course, with an all-in-one dish it is difficult to limit the choices of ingredients that go into the dish, which usually means all!

But, as usual, I prefer the simple version.  Ho hum!  Of course, I long for the Hailam Noodles that my late mum used to make where she included soy caramel, the dark treacle-like soy sauce, which gave instant body and flavor to the gravy.  Alas, that caramel is not sold in the market anymore for reasons which I myself am unaware of.  Anyway, necessity is the mother of invention, and if there is no soy caramel, we just have to find some other alternative!  And we did!

  • 1/2kg yellow egg noodles, blanched
  • 250g mustard leaves, cut into about 2 inches lengths, blanched
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 dried chili, cut into 1 inch lengths. fried and set aside
  • 250g prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 250g squids, cleaned 
  • 150g fishballs, halved
  • 1tbs freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2tbs thick soy sauce
  • 2tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 piece chicken stock cube
  • 2 cups water
  • 1tbs cornflour mixed with 2tbs water
  • 3tbs vegetable oil
  • Some shallot crisps
  • Salt

Heat the oil in a wok and saute the garlic.  Stir in the chicken, prawns, squids and fishballs.  Add in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, water, chicken stock cube and black pepper and let simmer for about three minutes.  Finally add in the fried dried chili before stirring in the cornflour slurry.  Once the gravy thickens, shut off heat immediately.

Serve by placing a portion of the noddles on a plate and pour over the gravy with a few pieces of chicken meat, prawns, squids and fishballs.  Arrange the blanched mustard leaves on the side and sprinkle with some shallot crisps.  Serve hot.

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