Making Makan: Black, Black KL Hokkien mee

KL Hokkien mee 15Degree of difficulty:

  • MEDIUM. 
  • Everything is available from the fishmonger, butchery and Asian grocery. 
  • Allow an hour’s prep time. 
  • Typical of Chinese cuisine, cooking is quite fast once you’ve prepared all the ingredients.   

Will do again?
ALL THE TIME.  Well-loved by the young and younger in our household.

GET THE RIGHT NOODLES from the Asian grocery’s chilled section.  My life’s too short to eat Hokkien noodles reeking of bicarbonate.  Many brands later, it’s now Noodle Stanley or nothing.  Look for a transparent plastic bag, red print, and a logo like this: (no, this isn’t a paid endorsement).

This is our take…

….on the dish from Kuala Lumpur that is so famous that the city’s name forms part of the dish’s name: KL Hokkien prawn noodles.

Distinguishing characteristics:

  • Very prawny flavour.
  • Very black colour.  You know how kids get a milk moustache after drinking milk?  Well, after eating this, you get a black sauce moustache.  And maybe little black dots splattered on your top, if you’re the type to slurp your noodles with abandon.

Actually, this version belongs not to me but to MOTH (Man of the House).  He’s our resident noodle king.

Malaysian food purists, look away now.  These noodles have been inspired by KL Hokkien prawn mee, but differ from the street version because we’ve:

  • added things we like (eg fried bean curd), and
  • omitted nefarious things like lard and slivers of streaky pork.

Some ingredients

KL Hokkien Mee 1 KL Hokkien mee 3 KL Hokkien mee 2KL Hokkien mee 7 KL Hokkien mee 6 KL Hokkien mee 5    KL Hokkien mee 11

An essential ingredient: “Cooking caramel” sauce, all the way from Petaling Jaya, but available at some Asian shops in Sydney.  It is:

As a gauge, we used about third of a cup of cooking caramel for 1kg of noodles. 

Ingredients list:

  • Chopped garlic – use a lavish amount
  • Sliced shallots
  • Peeled fresh prawns (marinated in cornflour, soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil for 10 minutes).
    Reserve prawn heads and shells to make stock.
  • A few slices of ginger
  • Diced chicken thighs (marinated in cornflour, soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil for 10 minutes)
  • Fishballs (from chilled section of Asian grocery)
  • Fried soft beancurd (Optional.  From Asian grocery)
  • Noodle Stanley
  • Choy sum (Chinese mustard greens from Asian grocery, washed and cut)
  • Cooking caramel (see above)
  • To season noodles to taste: Pepper, light soy sauce
  • To garnish: Fried shallots

Cooking process

Make the prawn stock.  Place prawn heads and shells in a pot.  If feeling diligent, use a pestle to lightly crush the heads.  Boil the lot with sliced ginger for at least 30 minutes.  Don’t add salt.

KL Hokkien mee 4~~~~~

Brown garlic and shallots in heated oil in wok.  Add chicken, then prawns, fishballs, beancurd and choy sum stems.  Don’t add choy sum leaves yet.

KL Hokkien mee 8~~~~~

Add noodles.

KL Hokkien mee 9~~~~~

Add cooking caramel.  Watch the colour change.

KL Hokkien mee 10KL Hokkien mee 12


Add choy sum leaves.

KL Hokkien mee 13~~~~~

Add prawn stock by the ladleful, letting the noodles absorb it slowly (it’s faster than making risotto).  Season with white pepper and light soy sauce to taste.

KL Hokkien mee 14~~~~~

Garnish with fried shallots.  Serve piping hot.

KL Hokkien mee 15As is usual for a Making Makan post, there isn’t a recipe with exact amounts, but here is a diagrammatic account with tips on the making the dish.

If the serving in the wok looks big, it’s because it is.  To feed children with an insatiable appetite for KL Hokkien prawn noodles, we used a 1kg packet of noodles and our indispensable $30 Very Big Wok.

Q: Who is the diabolical twin of The Black, Black Noodles?
A: The Black, Black, Hot, Hot Noodles.  (For an extra kick, serve noodles with a sambal belacan sauce.)

Glory sambal belacan

To taste a restaurant version of KL Hokkien Prawn Noodles and more scrumptious Malaysian noodles, let me take you on a Malaysian Noodle Banquet.

One thought on “Making Makan: Black, Black KL Hokkien mee

  1. Pingback: Making makan: My dishy, dark Italian | Feasting in the Know

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