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Seafood White Beehoon Recipe: Happy Chinese New Year!

Seafood White Beehoon is all the rage now.  It was first made popular by You Huak restaurant in Sembawang but in recent years many others have started to serve it in hawker centres.

It is actually not difficult to do and is the ideal dish for festive occasions as a wok full of bee hoon would easily feed the whole family.  The key to the dish is the stock and how to handle the beehoon.  With this basic recipe, you can improvise by adding other types of seafood like crayfish, lobsters, crabs etc depending on who you want to impress!

Ingredients

Beehoon 1 packet

Raw ingredients
Prawns 500g (remove shell and devein)
Squid 300g (1 large or 2 medium sliced)
Clams 1 kg (Soak in salt water for 30 mins and wash)
Chye Sim 6 stalks (chopped into 2 inch pieces)
Eggs 4 (beaten)
Garlic 8 cloves (chopped)

Stock
Chicken back bones 9
Chicken Feet 6
Dried prawns 1/2 cup
Rock Sugar 1-2 Tbsp

Seasonings
Sesame oil
White pepper
Salt
Chinese Wine
Fish sauce

Calamansi limes

Method

Prepare the stock by chopping the chicken bones to two inch pieces. Put the bones in a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 mins and pour the entire contents through a sieve.  Wash the chicken bones to get rid of the scum. (This stuff gives the stock a bad smell) Put the bones into a fresh pot of water, add dried prawns, simmer for four hours, skimming off any scum that floats to the surface.  Strain and set aside.

Prepare the beehoon by soaking in cold water until the beehoon is loose and pliable.  The timing may differ for different brands.  The one I used takes about 15 mins.  Strain and set aside.

Season prawns and squid with 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp wine and 1 tsp white pepper and set aside.

Heat wok and add half the beehoon to the wok.  Drizzle oil around the sides of the wok.  Leave for two mins and turn over.  Drizzle some more oil and fry till the beehoon smells toasty and lightly charred.  Remove and set aside.

Heat wok and fry garlic.  Once it is fragrant, add prawns and squid and fry till half cooked and remove from wok.  Wipe the wok clean and add 1/2 cup of oil.   Beat the eggs and add to pan and quickly scramble eggs. Just before the eggs are fully cooked, add the stock and then the seafood and bring to boil.  Add beehoon and top with clams and bring to a simmer.  Add chye sim and simmer till the beehoon is just cooked. Add fish sauce to taste. Serve with calamansi limes

Notes

1. Do not cook the beehoon as it will break easily when braising.  As this is a dish where the beehoon is simmered in a stock, the beehoon will absorb the stock as it cooks.

2.  Frying the beehoon is not absolutely essential.  However, it does help to remove that raw beehoon aroma. Also, the dry frying also removes excess water from the beehoon so that it can absorb more stock.

3.  The stock is very important.  The original Sembawang white bee hoon uses chicken stock which is why we use a chicken stock as well.  You can of course use commercially available chicken stock or even stock cubes if you don’t have the time to prepare your own stock.  If you have a pressure cooker, it can reduce your cooking time to 1 hour.

4.  It is important to add enough oil when frying the eggs so that it scrambles nicely.  1/2 cup of oil sounds like a lot but the beehoon will feed 6-8 people so it is actually very little compared to outside.  You can of course reduce the amount of oil, but the eggs will not have the same texture

5.  Don’t over simmer the beehoon as it will become too soft.  The dish is done once the clams are cooked.