Check out our Youtube reel on Chuan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee here:
This week, I am very encouraged to find that my favorite hawker dish of all time is alive and well! I have not only discovered a stall frying traditional Hokkien Mee, but also a whole Facebook Group dedicated to hunting it down! It’s good to know that there are enough siao (Crazy) Hokkien Mee people around that we can actually form an Association!
The story behind Chuan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee
Our Hokkien Mee heroes today are two middle-aged men who love Hokkien Mee. One loves to cook it, both love to eat it. Johnson met Gim Chuan while he was managing his uncle’s coffeeshop and was so taken by Gim Chuan’s passion for frying Hokkien Mee that he proposed that they should come out and start their own stall. Since both of them happened to share the name “Chuan”, the stall was naturally named “Chuan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee”
I really admire these two guys dedication to producing a proper plate of old-school fried Hokkien Mee. Everything has to be made from scratch, the noodles must be properly fried and the Hokkien Mee must have the necessary toppings of prawns, squid, pork belly, and pork lard!
The work is divided neatly between our two heroes. Johnson arrives at the stall at 2 am in the morning to prepare all the ingredients. The preparation of the prawn and pork bone broth starts with the frying of the prawn heads, after which, it is simmered with pork bones for five hours. The pork belly, squid and prawns are all cooked separately, peeled and sliced. Then there is the pork lard which needs to be fried. The preparation is done by around 9 am which is when he hands the stall over to Chuan who will fry the noodles start frying the noodles from 11 am to 8 pm.
Dedicated to each plate of hokkien mee
One of the keys to a great Hokkien Mee is the smokey wok hei flavour. This is where many stalls falter. Gim Chuan himself, who used to work at one of the stalls on Old Airport Road admitted that he was often pressured by his boss to reduce the frying time and simply braise the noodles in the broth in order to shorten the waiting time. Now that he operates his own stall, he insists that every batch of noodles get the requisite “wok over” which, when properly done, should take almost 15mins. This significantly reduces the number of plates of Hokkien Mee that he can churn out in a day, but it is essential to infuse that charred noodle flavour into the plate of Hokkien Mee.
Review of the Hokkien Mee
After all the effort that our heroes have put in, I would have loved to be able to tell you that this is the gold standard plate of Hokkien Mee, but it is still shy of perfection. However, it is still a very good plate of Hokkien Mee.
The noodles are well fried and you can taste that nice wok hei flavour, but I think the thing that sets the true master apart is the fact that a true HKM master knows when to stop frying the noodles. It is true that most hawkers don’t bother frying it long enough, but frying it too long is also a mistake and that is what has happened here.
The noodles and bee hoon have broken up into smaller pieces and lost their bite. The flavour is very good but just fails to reach a crescendo. I do like how their sambal chilli blends with the noodles, but it was a tad too hot for me. Those of you who like really hot sambal will love it, I am sure. 4.25/5
A very good plate of fried Hokkien Mee from a relatively new stall. They are very passionate about their craft and are continually in pursuit of perfection. I think it is only a matter of time before they are listed among the top Hokkien Mee in Singapore. Definitely worth trying if you are around the Bedok area.
Can’t get enough of hokkien mee? Check out more hokkien mee places to try here.