I count myself really fortunate during the Circuit Breaker (Singapore’s version of a partial lockdown). I get to go to work (so I don’t get cabin fever), I can now fit in dog walks every evening and I get a little more opportunity to cook. I haven’t quite jumped on the food delivery bandwagon (although the kids do seem to like to order fried chicken every few days!). Truth is our way of eating at home is so different that it’s really hard to order food in because at least 50% of the order would be carbs.
This weekend a dear friend also gifted me with a lovely lunch set with wine from Pollen. It was such a sweet gesture it meant so much…but I wish I could have eaten more of what was delivered! But certainly hubs and my parents enjoyed it since they aren’t quite on a low carb diet.
Anyway the recipe I’m featuring today is close to the heart. Hokkien Prawn Noodles or Hokkien Mee has always been my favourite noodle dish, and I remember in the early days of getting my diabetes diagnosis I had consoled myself that perhaps a week before I died, I could eat Hokkien mee and other favourites with impunity. Of course I’m pretty sure that a week before dying I wouldn’t be well enough to enjoy food so that wasn’t a very good plan. But recently I found a rather pretty pumpkin shirataki noodle in Don Don Donki and I thought this would work really well to simulate the yellow noodle in Hokkien Mee.
The thing about Hokkien Mee is that a lot of work goes into preparing a completely flavourful stock that is used to braise the noodles. That is the deal breaker. So I’ve been faithfully keeping prawn heads and shells in the freezer for occasions when I feel like making prawn noodles or, in this case, Hokkien mee. But when you taste the stock you will really appreciate the time and effort put into it. The actual time frying the noodles in the wok is actually rather short.
I did use a few short cuts in this recipe. I used the Instant Pot to make the prawn stock, and because I couldn’t find clams in the market, I used a spoon of Better Than Bouillon Clam stock to add a little umami flavour to the stock.
What was nice was that both kids liked the noodles. I don’t think either of them are Hokkien mee fans, but they did say they wouldn’t mind having repeats in the future!
Low Carb Hokkien Mee
- Prawn stock
- 100-200g of prawn shells
- 500g of chicken bones or pork bones
- 300g clams or 1 tbsp of Better than Bouillon clam base
- 1/2 cup of ikan bilis or dried anchovies
- 2-3 sprigs of coriander
- 1.5L of water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white peppercorns
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 packet of pumpkin shirataki noodles
- 2 packets of regular white shirataki noodles
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup of bean sprouts
- 100g pork belly, cut into 1-2cm width blocks, then thinly sliced
- 2 squids/cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into rings or smaller pieces
- 10 medium-sized prawns, shelled and deveined
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 bunch of chinese chives (koo chye), cut into 2 inch lengths
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- sambal chilli and limes to serve
- Turn on the saute mode of the Instant pot and heat up 1 tbsp of peanut oil
- Saute the prawn shells untill they turn reddish pink
- Add the chicken or pork bones, coriander leaves and anchovies and stir fry for another 2 – 3 minutes
- Add the water, salt, peppercorns, making sure that the bones are immersed.
- Turn off the saute mode and seal the Instant Pot. Manually pressure cook for 40 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, just simmer on the stove for about an hour or so.
- Allow natural pressure release. Drain the stock and set aside.
- If you are using shirataki noodles, drain the noodles and rinse under running water. In a dry skillet, dry fry the noodles until the liquid has evaporated, then set the noodles aside.
- In a wok or a large skillet, heat up 2 tbsp of peanut oil over moderate heat.
- Add the eggs, scrambling them, then add the shirataki noodles and mix up the eggs and noodles. Push the noodle mixture to one side then add the pork belly and garlic and stir fry till the pork belly is no longer pink. Mix the pork belly and garlic together with the noodles.
- Add 2 – 3 cups of the prawn stock and allow the liquid to start simmering. Add the prawns, squid, bean sprouts and chives together and stir through the mixture. Add 1 – 2 ladles of more stock to make sure that the noodles are slightly immersed in braising liquid (shirataki noodles do not absorb much liquid so not as much stock is needed).
- Cover the wok for 2 – 3 minutes until the prawns are cooked through.
- Turn off the heat and divide the noodles into 4 plates. Serve with sambal chilli and lime on the side.