Here it is! The much anticipated (at least on my end) solution to the Hokkien noodle issue I’ve found myself it. A few months ago, I fell in love with prawn noodle soup in Phuket. I’ve had it in Penang and Singapore, but this one at Ko Yoon Noodles took the cake for me. Get the full story here. I flew back to Kansas City and it’s been withdrawals ever since. I knew there had to be a way to recreate this beloved dish.
There have been sacrifices along the way, however my main objective fell between the real deal and what’s realistic to cook at home. We won’t be creating wontons from scratch here (Although if you’ve got the gusto, please do! Pics or it didn’t happen though, comment below!) however we will be focusing on the many add ins that make this dish special.
This is a great dish to make for company. Be the noodle slinging host at the party, making bowls to order, or alternatively, set up a hassle free build your own bowl station in your kitchen and empower guests to create their own masterpiece. In Phuket there are two varieties of this Hokkien noodle bowl, that’s wet or dry. It’s really just a matter of leaving the broth out or not. More black pepper sauce can coat the noodles vs the soupy and shrimpy variety. The choice is yours, and your guests! So there it is, enjoy these Hokkien noodles at home – until you can get them abroad!
Hokkien Prawn Noodles
After tasting the magic of Ko Yoon’s Hokkien Noodles in Phuket Town, Thailand, I had to create a version to hold me off between visits. Try this recipe out and see if you think it’s a winner!
In a blender, combine all ingredients and pulse to achieve a smooth paste. Set aside and reserve for later use.
In a medium stock pot over high heat, sauté shrimp shells and heads, dried shrimp, shrimp paste and paprika. When the shells are nice and pink, add the water, onion, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half. This will take about twenty minutes. Add the shioxing wine, msg, ½ of the chili paste and palm sugar. Season with salt to taste and strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve.
In a wok over high heat, add one half of the spice paste. Sauté the mixture, stirring often until fully caramelized and very aromatic, about three minutes. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until just cooked through, being sure the spices evenly coat the shrimp. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and reserve until time to plate.
In a medium frying pan, cook the lardons over medium heat, turning only when each side has a nice golden color. Work in batches and be patient! When they are evenly browned hold them on a plate lined in paper towels until time to plate.
Fill a small pot with cold water and the eggs. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. When the water starts boiling, set a six minute timer. When the timer is finished, remove the eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon and reserve until time to plate.
Peel the shallots and slice into very thing rings. Use a mandolin if needed. In the same small pot used for the eggs, rinsed and cleaned of course, fill one inch deep with vegetable oil and place over a medium heat. Use a thermometer to reach 325 degrees Fahrenheit and hold by adjusting the heat as needed. Add the shallots and fry, stirring often, until evenly golden brown. They will darken a couple shades once removed from heat so earlier is best. You can always fry them longer if needed. Remove the shallots and place them on a small plate lined with paper towels until time to plate.
Cook the noodles according to package directions and rinse thoroughly.
Black pepper sauce
Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and pulse until evenly combined.
To plate, warm the stock in a pot over medium heat until very hot. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to dip the noodles in and warm thoroughly before distributing among four bowls. There are two ways to plate this dish, wet or dry. If you choose to plate it dry, just serve the broth on the side. If wet, go ahead and top off the noodles. In a circle around the bowl, begin staggering the ingredients. Start with the shrimp, then the pork. Peel and slice the egg in half before stacking in the bowl, then the crispy shallot goes in. Garnish with picked cilantro and thinly sliced green onion. Drizzle the black pepper sauce in a dollop in the middle. The dish is ready to serve!
As much as I hate to say this, much of these ingredients are optional, however most of them can be found at local butchers, Asian markets and regular grocery stores. Search around and do your best to stick to the recipe for best results. If there’s an issue finding suitably thick bacon for lardons, substitutes can be made. Just cook regular bacon and chop it up. At the house, I make my own bacon and keep slabs frozen. When I want it, I slice to whatever size is necessary.
Regarding shrimp paste, Indonesian varieties are drier and more roasted than Thai. If you can only find Thai shrimp paste. Wrap what you are using in the recipe in foil and toast the pouch in a wok for a few minutes to get the raw taste out before using.
Howdy, my name is Jakob Polaco. I’m a cook, writer, and motorcycle bum. Whether behind the stove at a Michelin restaurant or behind the handlebars burning through Thai mountains, I love hopping right into the action!
Let me help you eat well, even in destinations that are off of the beaten path, by sharing valuable tips, photos and videos. If you have a stomach for adventure, you’ve come to the right place.