The Essence of Prawn

Prawn Noodle Soup

Are you a patient cook?

I am not. My ferocious appetite gets the better of me. I’m always nipping off my ingredients way before the dish is done.

That’s probably the reason why I’ve never bothered with making Chinese-styled soups. Like prawn noodle soup for instance. No chance to sneak a bite because it would be flavourless anyway.

But all that’s changed. I now have my very own personal chef who possesses all the patience I lack. A chef by profession, I have indeed struck gold 😉

He, unlike me, is super patient in the kitchen (he’s been in F&B for 15 years for crying out loud) and immensely knowledgable. The amateur cook in me shrivels away with embarrassment every time we step into the kitchen. He’s the head chef and me, his humble sous chef. Together we will conquer the world of deliciousness one recipe at a time, the slow cooking way. And by slow, I do mean from scratch. Because come on, I have a legit chef at the helm in my life now *wink*.

First slow recipe we did (confession – I only chopped the shallots. He kind of did everything else) was prawn noodle soup.

If you think it’s mighty tedious, you are RIGHT. Labour-intensive much. That only means that the flavours will be mighty fine as well. You could be the judge but oh wait, you’re reading this on a computer screen. It’s ok, I will invite you to our kitchen one day (when we open our thingamajig ok?).

Prawn Noodle Soup

Step 1: Peel 1kg fresh prawns (whatever you can lay hands on). Set aside the flesh. Reserve shells and heads.

Step 2: Stir-fry chopped shallots and garlic till golden brown then add in prawn shells and heads. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon brown sugar.

Step 3: Throw in dried shrimps, a handful of ikan bilis (anchovies) and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add one star anise and top up with water (enough to cover).    

Prawn Noodle Soup

Step 4: Bring a pot of water to the boil. Blanch pre-cut 300g pork ribs. Drain water and set aside.   

Prawn Noodle Soup

Step 5: Throw in blanched pork ribs into prawn broth and simmer for one hour (or till tender). Remove ribs and set aside.

Step 6: Strain prawn head/shell mixture and blend those splendid umami elements in a blender. Remove awesome super mixture and pass through a muslin cloth (or a strainer). 

Step 7: Add cooked pork ribs to the heavenly broth. 

Step 8: Season broth to taste (salt, white pepper). 

Step 9: Poach prawn flesh in broth for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.  

Step 10: Cook noodles of your preference (we used yellow egg noodles).

Step 11: Add broth to noodles and serve. We like our vegetables so we combined the power of prawn with a side of kai lan drizzled with oyster sauce. 

That’s it!  Hats off to all you hawkers out there who cook prawn noodle soup every day.

P.S. My personal prawn noodle soup stall is Whampoa Prawn Noodles at Tekka Market. To die for. Slurp. 

Posted on 13th Dec 2015 in Noodles, prawn, Uncategorized  |  Post a comment

Garlic Prawn Pasta

Everyone has their favourite pasta. Some like theirs creamy, while others prefer tomato based ones. I’m a huge pasta fan and though I usually prefer mine with a tomato base, I think my preference has been tweaked a little.

It all started when I heard from some friends that I should try the Garlic Prawn Pasta from Coffee Club. They all agreed that it was phenomenal. But I was a tad sceptical; I mean, it sounds rather plain – I imagined just some garlic and olive oil. Guess what? It wasn’t phenomenal, it was mindblowing!

The first time I tried it, I shared it with my sister because we weren’t really hungry and we finished the pasta in less than 15 minutes! You should have seen us. We were both slurping up the noodles enthusiastically. When it was all gone, I thought how nice it would have been if it were a bowl of neverending pasta.

What’s so great about it? The flavour. They are rather liberal with their garlic and the prawns are fresh and succulent. It’s deliciously tasty. It really is a simple pasta dish relying only on olive oil, garlic and chillies but somehow it manages to pull through really well!

Both occasions when I had it, I didn’t manage to snap a shot because well, it was so yummy that I forgot!

So anyway, the pasta was on my mind for days and weeks and I thought, how difficult would it be to make something like that?

That said, I went on my own garlic prawn pasta conquest. I realised that even though I had the garlic, and chillies, there still lacked a certain flavour. It wasn’t tasy enough. I thought it had to do with the salt. But eventually, I thought why not try some chicken stock? And amazingly, it worked. Although I’m not sure if that’s what they use. I have a feeling that seasalt would work too. But I don’t have any in my kitchen currently.

I’ve made my version of garlic prawn pasta a couple of times already and my sister likes it so I guess it’s not that bad? So now, when I crave for some, I know I can just whip one up without having to go all the way to Coffee Club.

It’s really simple, this dish. I realised that I’m very much into natural olive oil based pastas now – like Aglio Olio and all. My next conquest is pesto.

What’s your favourite pasta recipe/combination?

Posted on 31st Aug 2007 in garlic, pasta, prawn  |  20 comments

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