If you can procure any thick noodles that look like the picture below, by all means, use it for this special recipe. This noodle have a special name dai luk min (大碌面）which means thick noodles and is specially required for this recipe.
It is a type of alkaline noodle which is rather soft. The diameter may be about 1.5 times thicker than the yellow noodles I can find in Singapore market..It is also lighter in colour..
I have been hesitating of issuing this KL Hokkien noodles recipe for a very long time because I cannot find the right noodle in Singapore. I even proceed to issue my E Book on Easy One Pot Noodle Dishes without including this well like noodle dish. If you are interested in this E-book that has 30 Asian noodle recipes from Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia at a very reasonable price, you can refer HERE or clicking on the picture below.
The Dai Luk Min or noodles have a softer texture and the next best alternative to this noodle is the Hokkien yellow coloured noodles sold in Singapore supermarket but the size are much smaller and the texture is not exactly the same. It is more chewy. Some people resort to the use of Japanese udon noodles but mind you, you can have a plate of tangy noodles. Japanese udon is rather sour if not properly cooked.
For this illustration, I have used my own homemade egg noodles because I want the unique thick noodles. The disadvantage is that these homemade noodles can be much more springy and your braising time have to be longer to make it soft. Well, if you are interested in some homemade egg noodles, you can refer to this post: Homemade Egg Noodles (家居自制鸡蛋面） or click on the picture below.
I seriously missed this KL Hokkien noodles or Dai Luk Min as the locals called it. Well, for this recipe, the name have to be very specific and you just can’t name the dish as Hokkien noodles without naming the location : KL or Kuala Lumpur. Hokkien (福建）is a province in China and also refers to a dialect of the Chinese. There are two other types of noodle dishes that are commonly refer to Hokkien noodles. One of them in the Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles as in this post: Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles (槟城福建虾面）
In Singapore, Hokkien noodles refer to the stir fry version of prawn noodles as in this post: Singapore Hokkien Fried Prawn Noodles (新加玻福建炒虾面）. I think the only thing that is common for all the three recipes is the thick yellow noodles though the sizes and texture varies among the region.
There are three characteristics of this KL Hokkien noodles : thick noodles, dark coloured and sticky or gluey gravy. I have already explain the thick noodles and the gluey nature gravy is easy to replicate. However, for the dark coloured, you will need some caramelized thick dark soya sauce that you cannot omit.. I am sharing a brand that I used but there are many brands in the market.
This soya sauce is very thick and the word caramelized means it is not salty but slightly sweet. Only this type of thick soya sauce can give you the colour and also will not become overly salty. Kicap manis ABC is another brand though the consistency and the taste may slightly different. You need quite a lot of this, at least 8 tablespoons needed to get the characteristic dark colour.
If you asked foodies what they like most in KL Hokkien noodles. I presumed many are fancied by the addition of pork lard cubes. Yes, this dish is advised to cook using lard and it is the lard cubes that complement well with the saucy noodles, giving some small aromatic bites in a pool of dark noodles.
Overall, I am very happy with this meal of home cooked Hokkien noodles though the noodle texture can be softer. Well, i have tried my best by braising it on a longer time. The colour is slightly lighter than what is sold possibly because of the lighting .
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 4 Adult servings
- 400 grams of thick yellow noodles or dai luk min preferred
- 100 grams of pork fillet, thinly sliced
- 100 grams of prawns, shelled and keep tail
- 1 fish cake, cut into thin slices
- 10 leaves of cabbage, cut into small chunks
- 2 tablespoon of dark soya sauce
- 2 tablespoons of dry flounder powder (地鱼粉）
- 1 tablespoons of minced garlics
- 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- 8 tablespoons of sweet/caramelized dark soya sauce
- 2 tablespoons of corn starch mix with 5 tablespoons of water
- 4 tablespoons of pork lard cubes
- 2 tablespoons of pork lard
- 1.5-2 cups of chicken stock
STEPS OF PREPARATION
This step is the preparation of pork lard cubes and pork lard which is optional. You can always substitute with normal cooking oil. Cut the pork lard into almost the same size. Put the pork lard in a wok. Stir fry the cubes in every 2-3 minutes until all the oils are forced out and the lard cubes become brownish and crispy. It will take about 15-20 minutes depending on the quantity. Drain and once cooled completely, the lard cubes have to be stored in an air tight container. The oil left is the lard.
- Keep 2 tablespoons of pork lard, sauté the minced garlic until golden brown and aromatic. Add the chicken stock followed by flounder powder, dark soya sauce, caramelized dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, meat slices and bring to boil.
- Once it boils, add the cabbage, thick yellow noodles and fish cakes. Let it boil until the noodles are softer to your liking. Depending on the brand of yellow noodles, more springy yellow noodles will need to be simmer for a longer period. The reference point is the texture of the noodles you are looking for.
- Once the noodles reach your desired softness, add the prawns and corn starches. Continue simmering until the sauce thickens and the prawns was cooked. The noodles must be well coated with all the sauces and not overly watery.
- Off the heat and the noodle can be served immediately. If you are not rushing for time, you can let the noodles to rest in wok for additional 10 minutes for flavour to further develop.
- Garnish generously with pork lard cubes before serving.
I have a rather high expectation on a plate of KL Hokkien noodles because I stayed in Kuala Lumpur during my university days. The noodles must be dark enough thick in the sauce and also the noodle size. I have ordered many times from many chi char stores in Singapore and none is close in term of taste, texture and aroma. Most are very watery and most important of all is the noodle are too thin for me to appreciate. Though my homemade noodles is slightly springy today, but the size is right and I counter effect this springiness with much longer time of stewing until the noodles are soft. I hope this recipe will benefit those readers who are looking for KL Hokkien noodles recipes and lastly, remember that the soya sauce must be those thick caramelized and not salty type and if possible lard should be used.
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