Peranakan Birthday Noodles
Mention Lam Mee, and this heritage dish enjoyed by the Peranakans conjures up celebratory notions. It is also called birthday noodles because it’s served to mark birthdays. With Singapore’s birthday fast approaching, how about dishing up this classic dish for National Day? Cooked with a tasty meat broth infused with dried scallops, the noodles gets a double flavour boost with prawn stock. Ladle more stock over the noodles for a soupy dish. Slurp it up!
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves: 5-6 persons
1 medium-sized large pork bone or 2 chicken carcasses
150g dried scallops
3 litres water
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
B: To Cook Prawns
500g large prawns, about 12 pieces
C: Pork, Mushroom
250g belly pork
1 large dried shitake mushroom, soaked until softened
300g yellow noodles
150g dried rice vermicelli, soaked until softened
200g bean sprouts, tailed, optional
1 egg, lightly beaten and fried as an omelette
1 small stalk Chinese parsley, chopped
1 red chilli, sliced
4-5 stalks chives, cut into 3cm lengths, blanched in hot water for 1 minute
2 tablespoons fried shallot, store-bought
Sambal belacan (spicy condiment comprising chilli and shrimp paste)
1.Fill a large saucepan with 1.5 litres water from A ingredients. Add in large pork bone or chicken carcasses – water must cover them. Boil for 5 minutes. Discard water. Wash pork bone or chicken carcasses as well as saucepan to remove blood scum and residue.
2. Bring A water to boil over high heat. Add in washed pork bone. Bring to boil again before adding in belly pork, dried scallops and mushrooms. Lower heat. Simmer until pork belly and mushroom become soft, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Transfer pork belly and mushroom to a plate. Set aside. Continue to simmer stock for another 1.5 hours. Add salt and pepper and adjust to taste.
4. Slice pork belly and mushroom. Marinate meat with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set it aside.
5. In a separate saucepan, bring B water to boil. Add in prawns and cook until they turn red. Remove prawns, shell them when cooled down. Set them aside. Return shells back to saucepan. Simmer another 15-20 minutes.
6. Using a strainer, sieve prawn stock liquid into pork bone soup. Discard shells.
7. Bring remaining 1.5 litres of water to boil in a deep saucepan over high heat. Blanch D ingredients until cooked – mix Chinese egg noodles with vermicelli. Set both aside.
8. In a deep plate, spread noodles, rice vermicelli and bean sprouts. Lay pork, prawns, sliced mushrooms and egg strips on top.
9. Garnish with chives and Chinese parsley before ladling 2-3 scoops of soup over noodles. Lastly, sprinkle liberally with fried shallots.
10. Serve with sambal belacan and calamansi for a burst of lemony juices.
TIP: Don’t discard prawn shells. It makes a delicious stock to flavour noodles.
TECHNIQUE: For a clear broth, pre-boil pork bone to remove scum and clogged pig’s blood which clouds the soup.
Photos: Chng Eng Sze