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Recipe: Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon

One-Michelin-starred PUTIEN shares its recipe for this classic noodle dish from the Heng Hwa minority Hokkien dialect group.
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While the Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew and Hakka communities are well-known in Singapore, not many are familiar with the Heng Hwa, a minority Chinese dialect group with a population of about 25,000 in Singapore. Hailing from Putian, a coastal suburb in the Fujian province of China, Heng Hwa cuisine features a lot of seafood and is characterised by clean and comforting flavours that highlight the fresh produce.

One of the staples of Heng Hwa cuisine is this dish of bee hoon that is braised in a stock of pork bones and fried with prawn and clams, imbuing the otherwise plain-looking dish with great depth of flavour. While bee hoon, or rice vermicelli, is ubiquitous in a lot of local noodle dishes, the bee hoon from the Putian region is a specialty product, known for its finer and silkier texture. You can purchase dried Heng Hwa bee hoon in traditional Chinese dried good provision stores, or at PUTIEN outlets islandwide.

The restaurant chain sources its Heng Hwa bee hoon from artisanal noodle makers in Putian who mill the rice flour by hand and dry the noodles manually under the sun at the crack of dawn when the sunlight is gentle. Compared to machine-dried bee hoon, the longer sun-drying process gives the noodles a springier texture. When cooked, the Heng Hwa bee hoon is translucent and silky, chewy but not brittle, absorbing all the flavour from the broth it is braised in.

This classic dish is then served topped with fragrant fried peanuts and fried seaweed which is also a famous local produce of the coastal region of Putian and can be purchased at PUTIEN outlets as well.
(Pic & Banner image: PUTIEN)
(Pic & Banner image: PUTIEN)
Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon
Serves 1

16g diced pork
10g red onion, sliced
3g dried shrimp, chopped
23g Chinese cabbage, shredded
5g dried scallops
300ml pork or chicken bone stock
4g dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked and sliced
5g deep-fried tofu puffs
4 lala clams
3g fried shallots
75g dried Heng Hwa bee hoon
20g cabbage, chopped
6g celery stem, chopped
2 prawns, shelled
5g shallot oil

For garnishing:
Fried peanuts
Fried seaweed

Method:
1. Heat up some oil in a wok and stir-fry diced pork till golden brown and fragrant. Add in red onion slices, followed by the dried shrimp and shredded Chinese cabbage, cook till soft.
2. Add the dried scallops.
3. Add the stock into the wok and bring it to a boil.
4. Add in the mushrooms, deep-fried tofu puffs and clams. Cook till the shells of the clams pop open, then add the shallots followed by the dried Heng Hwa bee hoon.
5. Allow the bee hoon to absorb the stock before tossing the bee hoon and cooking it for another 15 seconds with the lid covered.
6. Add the cabbage, celery and prawns. Drizzle shallot oil over the noodles.
7. Loosen and spread out the bee hoon in the wok. Turn off the fire but leave the bee hoon in the wok for another 10 seconds with the lid covered.
8. Sprinkle fried peanuts and seaweed over the dish and serve immediately.

SEE ALSO: Recipe: Handmade Teochew Yellow Eel Fish Balls

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