Prawn noodles? Hokkien noodles?… No, it is Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles (槟城福建虾面)



I have been to Penang in Northern Peninsular Malaysia a few times but I had never tried the Penang Hokkien Prawn Mee there. But I do love the one that is sold in Singapore hawker centre..


It was a bowl of noodles (rice vermicelli and thick yellow noodles) but comes with some aromatic and rich prawn stock. On top of the noodles will have some prawns and pork ribs and fish cakes. One of the unique garnishes is kangkong or Chinese spinach that is only served in this noodle dish…


The prawn stock have to be rather concentrated or thick, otherwise, the noodle dish can be rather plain. Unlike other one pot noodle dish, the gravy uses very minimum spices and herbs, therefore, the sweetness purely derived from the prawn heads or pork ribs and in fact, some stalls have resorted to the use of soya beans or anchovies to enrich the gravy…


As compared to other one pot noodle dish, preparation is rather simple but time consuming as you need time to “extract” out the “essence” from the prawns and pork ribs.


“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 chilli, light soy sauce and sambal.” (Source:


This soupy Hokkien Prawn Noodles is different from the Singapore version of stir fry Hokkien Prawn Noodles. If you are interested, you can refer to: Singapore Hokkien Fried Prawn Noodles (新加玻福建炒虾面)




Servings: 6-8 adult servings


  • 1 kilogram of prawns (shelled and keep the head and shell)
  • 500 grams of pork ribs
  • 2 cm of ginger – sliced
  • 10 shallots – sliced thinly
  • 2-3 tablespoons chilli sauce – Please refer HOME MADE CHILLI SUACE RECIPE
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil

For the stock, there are many optional ingredients you can add some: dry prawns, chicken bones,  anchovies, Mexican turnip or bangkwang, soya beans to make it into a rich and flavourful stock.


  • 200 grams of yellow noodles – blanched
  • 100 grams of rice vermicelli – blanched
  • 100 grams of bean sprouts – blanched
  • Some Chinese water spinach – blanched
  • 4-6 eggs – hard boiled
  • 3-4 tablespoons of deep fried shallots
  • Some pork lard cubes (optional and not in the picture)
  • 1-2 fish cakes – sliced (optional and not in the picture)


  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Dashes of white pepper corns




  • In a pot, put about 2 cups of water, boiled the pork ribs under the pork ribs are soft and tender. Once done, drain the pork ribs and keep the meat stock.

  • Meanwhile, in another pot, put about 2 cups of water, bring to boil, blanch the prawns for about 3-5 minutes. Drained and set aside. Keep the prawn stock.

  • In a frying pan, put the cooking oil, sauté the ginger and sliced shallots until fragrant. Add the prawn shells and prawn heads. Stir fried until the colour changes and aroma of cooked prawns started to permeates the house. This step can be optional. However, as I personally do not like the fishy prawn smell, I usually cooked the prawn shells and head for the stock preparation. The stir frying shall take 1-2 minutes.


  • Transfer the cooked prawn heads and shells to a food processor, blend until as fine as possible. Transfer the blended shell and heads to the prawn stocks earlier. Boiled for at least half an hour under medium or low heat.. If the water is getting low, add in more water. The purpose of blending is to facilitate the extraction of prawn stocks from the prawn shells and heads. You can also add the chilli sauce at this stage for some spiciness and colour.


  • Once the prawn stock is done, sieve the prawn stock to the pot that contain the meat stock. Bring to boil, add seasonings (salt, sugar and dashes or white pepper) . Off the heat and set aside for assembly.


  • For assembly, you should have the following ingredients ready: hard boiled eggs, pork ribs, prawns, deep fried shallots, blanched yellow noodles, blanched rice vermicelli, blanched water spinach, blanched bean sprouts, sliced fish cake and some home made chilli sauce or red cut chilli dip in light soya sauce.


  • In a bowl, have some yellow noodles, rice vermicelli, bean sprouts and water spinach. Put prawn stock until it adequately covered the noodles. On top of the noodles, put some prawns, hard boiled eggs, sliced fish cake and pork ribs. Sprinkled generously with deep fried shallots and best served with homemade chilli sauce or red cut chilli dip in light soya sauce.



I am very happy with this humble bowl of prawns noodles that i have prepared. Time is needed to get the stock done and remember, you can add in many other ingredients to sweeten the stock like baby shrimps, chicken bones, bangkuang etc. to make it even more flavourful. A good bowl of Penang prawn noodles is assess on its stock and not really how big the prawns are.. A well prepared stock should be tasty, aromatic and slightly cloudy…


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  


2 thoughts on “Prawn noodles? Hokkien noodles?… No, it is Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles (槟城福建虾面)

  1. Just ok with Penang Hokkien prawn noodles – nice, I had some very very nice ones, even here in Sibu – one very good stall, but not something I’d go out of my way for. Yours certainly look a whole lot nicer though but of course, the test of the pudding is in the eating.

    Between the two, I’d prefer the Singapore fried Hokkien (prawn) mee – usually served/wrapped in some kind fo dried leaf, right? That was in the early 70’s. Do they still do that?

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