Traditionally, the noodles that are used to make this dish are a thicker variety of Hokkien (yellow) noodles. Unfortunately, my grocer does not stock this variety so I am using the normal hokkien noodles. I don’t believe it makes much of a difference.
This dish uses lots of soy sauce/s, is very dark and is easy to make and will appease even the fussiest of eaters. The only problem is the sauces and noodle variety (which is the hokkien noodles). Don’t attempt to make this dish until and unless you have the different types of soy sauces on hand, especially the thick soy sauce. It is essential for the dish. Everything else is up to the individual.
Normally in Malaysia, the dish is also served with pork fat that has been rendered. It gives the dish a crunchy taste and texture. I have omitted this process. You can make your own pork crunch if you want by cutting pork fat into cubes and rendering it in a wok. Use this oil to cook this dish if you want. If using the pork crunch, it is added at the end of the cooking process.
FYI, KL is the abbreviation for Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Chinese cooking in the country differ according to the regions in Malaysia. KL Chinese food is predominantly influenced by the Cantonese style of cooking.
Ingredients – serves 4
1 kg Hokkien noodles – I soak this in cold tap water to soften it and to get rid of the excess oil. Just before cooking, I rinsed it several times under warm tap water. Drain and set aside.
3 to 4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
Meat of your choice. I used:
· 2 large boneless chicken thigh meat – sliced thinly
· 16 fresh green prawns (around 4 per person)
· 2 large fresh calamari/squid tubes – cut into bite sized pieces
· 1 large fish cake – sliced thinly (available from Oriental grocery shops)
1 bunch of choy sum – cut into 3 cm lengths and separate leaves from stalks
Sauce Mixture – Mix together in a jug or bowl:
· ¼ cup chinese light soy sauce
· ¼ cup (or more) chinese thick/caramel soy sauce (this is not kejap manis)
· 2 tbsp chinese dark soy sauce
· 2 cups chicken stock – I use 1 tsp Knorr chicken stock powder to make 1 cup of stock
· 1 tsp white pepper
5 to 6 bird’s eye chillies halved lengthways and allowed to soak in sauce ingredients (optional)
2 -3 tbsp veg cooking oil
Heat oil in wok and fry half the garlic. Add in squid and prawns and cook for 2 to 3 mins until the seafood is cooked. Lift and set aside.
In the same wok (no need to wash), fry remainder garlic and cook chicken until brown. Put in the fish cake. Add in the sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Add in choy sum stalks and cook for 30 secs. Then add in the leaves. Cover with the sauce.
Now add in the drained noodles. Mix well, cover the wok and simmer for 2 to 3 mins. You may need to adjust you sauce here. If the sauce is not dark (if should be quite dark) add more THICK/CARAMEL soy sauce. Also add more stock or water if the dish is too dry. You need some liquid in the noodles. Before lifting, stir through the cooked seafood, remove from heat and serve.