Foochow Noodle Soup
Does this dish look similar to you?
Well it might be the one you know because saucy noodles like such is very popular in the Asian Cuisine hence you have the dishes like the Hokkien Mee from the Hokkiens, Hailam Mee from the Hainans, Wat Tan Hor Fun from the Cantonese, Heng Hua Mee from the Heng Huas, Lor Mee from Singapore and Malaysia and Lomi from the Philippines. While do they have something in common these are different dishes with different tastes.
Fuzhou or Foochow Braised Noodles like the name suggest originated in one of the largest cities in the Fujian province, Fuzhou. The full name of the dish is Fu Zhou Lin Mian and if directly translated means “pouring on noodles” which directly describes the dish. This dish is popular in their cuisine and is usually made with thick noodles braised with pork, Fuzhou fish balls (fish ball stuffed with minced meat) and prawns served on a starchy gravy. What differentiates it with the other gravy rich noodle dishes is the use of the mince meat filled fishballs as well as Foochow red rice wine which gives it a unique taste. If this is proving hard to find then your next best bet will be the use of the usual Shaoxing cooking wine.
I love this dish, it’s packed with flavours especially when you prepare the prawns properly by roasting or pan frying the shells and head before boiling it in water to make your broth. The whole dish on its own is nutritious, complete, hearty and gives that comfort you find on popular comfort dishes like the Chicken Noodle Soup. Definitely a dish you can add to your recipe book because I am sure if you tried this once you will definitely try it over and over again.
- 400 g Hokkien noodles, rinsed in running boiling water
- 12 pcs prawns
- 12 pcs Fuzhou style fish balls or regular fishballs
- 200 g pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of choy sum, blanched
- In a bowl combine 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp sesame oil and white pepper. Mix well then add the pork tenderloin mixing it by hand to evenly coat the meat. Set aside.
- Place wok in high heat then add oil, once its smoking add the pork pieces then stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes until pork is lightly cooked. Remove pork then set it aside.
- Cook the prawns in the same wok adding more oil if needed for 2 minutes, once cooked set it aside.
- Cook the fish balls again in the same wok for 2 minutes then once cooked set it aside.
- Add the prawn heads and stir fry until lightly toasted.
- Add the garlic and spring onions, sauté until fragrant.
- Pour chicken stock and bring it to a boil, simmer in low heat for 10 minutes mashing the prawn heads once in a while.
- Strain liquid using a fine sieve then discard the solids. Place separated liquid on a clean wok together with dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, Foochow red wine or Chinese cooking wine and fishballs then bring it to a boil, then simmer in low heat for 2 minutes.
- Combine water and cornstarch then pour it into the wok together with the pre-cooked pork, prawns and noodles. Bring heat to high then cook for 2 more minutes or until sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat then serve.