One of my favorite to have in hawker center. The broth is full of sweetness and umami from the prawns, perfect combination with noodles. An awesome meal all by itself!
I have collected and stored a good amount of prawn heads and shells in the freezer and now it’s time for it to shine!
Tips: Wash your prawns before un-shelling and do not rinse the prawns heads and shell again. We want the goodness from the prawns heads that give the broth all it’s awesome flavors.
Cooking time: About 1 hr 15 mins
Serve: 2-3 person
Heads and shells of about 500g of prawns
4-6 unshelled prawns
300g of prime pork ribs
50g of dried anchovies (ikan bilis)
50g of dried prawns (hei bee)
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 star anise
4 dried cloves
8 black peppercorns
1 tbs of dark soy sauce
2 tsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground white pepper
3 tsp of cooking oil
2 liter of water
Ready to serve
200g of yellow noodles
Handful of kang kong or water spinach
Some sliced fish cakes
1) Blanch the pork ribs in hot boiling water for about 2 mins, then rinse in running tap water and set aside.
2) In a deep frying pan, heat the cooking oil over medium heat, stir fry the dried anchovies and dried prawns for 2-3 mins, then add in the chopped garlic and stir fry for another 3 mins.
3) Add in the prawn heads and shells, stir fry for about 10 mins until fragrant and brown bits can be seen on the shells.
4) Transfer the stir fry to a soup pot (optional – my frying pan is not deep enough to hold all the water). Use some water to deglaze the frying pan and add to the soup pot.
5) Pour in the remaining water and bring it to a boil. Once boiled, add in all the other ingredients (Star anise, cloves, peppercorns, sugar, salt, white pepper, black soy sauce and pork ribs). Mix well and boiled for 1 min.
5) Then simmer on low heat for 1 hour until the pork ribs is tender. Stir and press down with a spatula once in a while, to maximize extraction of flavors.
6) When the broth is ready, remove the pork ribs and save it for later. Prepare another pot with a sieve over it, pour in the broth and catch the residue that has done its job. Place it over low heat and cooked the prawns in the broth. Now is a good time to add more sugar or salt to taste / to your liking.
7) Blanch the yellow noodles and kang kong. Place it in a bowl together with the pork ribs, prawns and fish cakes. Ladle the broth into the bowl.
So worth the effort to make it your own!
Condiments that goes well
Fresh cut chilies in light soy sauce
Thai shrimp chili paste
Bought the Thai shrimp chilies paste from Bangkok. Anyone going to Bangkok, definitely add this to your must buy list! But be warn, it’s spicy!
Using a food processor to finely chopped into powder. A perfect combination!