Written by: Cheah Wei Shang and Patricia In Wan Ting
Featuring: Lim Tian Fu
It’s easy to eat food in Malaysia, given the amount and variety of dishes in every corner of the country. But to remake the dishes… apparently it’s easy as well, according to Lim Tian Fu. He calls his dish, even himself remarking that it’s nothing spectacular, “Prawn Noodles”.
Prawn Noodles, or in Penang Hokkien Mee (it’s a whole discussion, don’t @ me), or in KL, Hae Mee, is one of the staples of Hokkien (a subculture of the ethnic Chinese) dishes, believed to be brought from the Fujian province in China all the way to Penang, where it has then spread through the rest of the peninsula.
For those wanting a street food-esque Prawn Noodle experience, there are plenty of hawkers and kopitiams in KL. If you’re willing to travel a little, the Wai Sek Kai (embellished translation: Hawker Street or colloquially, Food Paradise) in SS2 has a great Prawn Noodle. The best time to visit would be at night, after 7pm.
The main accentuate of the dish is usually the broth, where prawn shells and shallots are boiled up to 8 hours to create an extremely fragrant and delicious soup, whereby the soup is poured onto the noodles and various toppings added to the dish. But if you don’t want to wait 8 hours, and can neither time travel nor nap that long, fret not, Tian Fu has a cheat code for you.
I solemnly swear that I am up to no advertising purposes:
So, Tian Fu, can you tell me why you wanted to make this dish?
“Well, you can say I just really missed the dish, and then one day I just went out, saw some Prawn Noodles and decided to make Prawn Noodles. I hadn’t eaten it in a long, long time, it just struck me at the moment: ‘Why don’t I just make some Prawn Noodles?’”
How exactly do you make this sumptuous dish?
“This dish is very, very easy to make. There’s actually even instructions on how much water to how much paste you should use on the packet. It just takes boiling the water and adding the paste to make the soup.
I just wanna say that the rest of the dish is very flexible. You can just use any store bought noodles and simple toppings. I used yellow noodles in my case. The toppings I used were fried shallots, fishcakes, pork slices, kangkung, boiled eggs and prawns. You can just boil the toppings for a few minutes and then add them to the dish.”
In other words, it’s just instant noodles with some extra, simple steps?
“(laughs) Yeah, basically. Like I said, it’s very easy.”
How did your dish taste like?
“Obviously, it tasted like prawns. Very spicy too, I would go for this if you like spicy seafood.”
Alright then, thanks a lot! Wait, before we go, what would you do with the money?
“I would just buy more ingredients, and make more food. I love food!”
And that’s another recipe, see you exactly 7 days from now!