Har Mee – Malaysian prawn noodles recipe

Prawns and other crustaceans used to scare me as a little kid. When I walked through the fresh food markets in China with my mum, I’d squeeze her hands tightly as I walked past the prawn tanks. They scared me almost as much as centipedes and spiders. As you can imagine, since there’s no way I’d eat centipedes and spiders, there was also no way I’d have eaten those scary prawns with its wiggly little legs and scary bulgy eyes and seemingly huge head. At one stage, I even thought they could have been aliens. I blame my primary school teacher.

It wasn’t too bad though since we were not all that well off back then and eating seafood was a luxury we hardly ever had.

Perhaps it was the abundance of seafood here in Australia that brought me to my senses. Or maybe it was because I grew older and taller and those tiny creatures just no longer seemed intimidating. With that said, I’m still totally afraid of spiders and centipedes and would still under no circumstances eat them. Prawns on the other hand (and other crustaceans like lobsters – YUM) I now love to eat.

One of my favourite Malaysian noodle dishes is the prawn noodles (har mee). Har (蝦) means prawns and mee (麵)is Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) for noodles. It’s a popular noodle dish in Malaysia and Singapore. It has gained so much popularity that it has become an instant noodle flavour as well. I think I bought a pack from Costco a while back and it was actually not too bad. Although of course, it definitely can’t compare to freshly made ones.

It’s not all that hard to make, although it does take a little bit of time to prepare and make the broth. As you know, the longer you cook shells, the more flavour is extracted! I hope you will like this recipe.

Har Mee (Prawn Noodles)
Time to prepare: 40 minutes
Time to cook: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients

• 250g raw prawns (unpeeled)
• 4 tbsp vegetable oil
• 150 chicken thigh fillet
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 100g bean sprouts
• 1 baby bok choy
• 1 1/2 tbsp chilli paste
• 2 fried tofu puff, rehydrated
• 250g hokkien noodles
• 15g shrimp paste
• 1/2 lime
• 1 boiled egg
• 4 tbsp fried shallots
• 50g coriander
• 50g mint
• Salt

Instructions

1. Roughly chop garlic, coriander and mint. Cut boiled egg in half. Cut tofu puffs diagonally.
2. Peel and devein prawns, reserving the heads and shells. Lightly season prawns with salt and set aside.


3. Fry chilli paste, har mee paste and garlic in 1 tbsp of oil on medium high heat for 1min.*


4. Add prawn heads and shells to paste and fry for 3 more minutes.


5. Add 1 litre of cold water to prawn heads/shells and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Discard heads and shells.


6. Prepare hokkien noodles according to packet instructions and drain.


7. Season chicken lightly with salt and fry on each side on medium high heat for 3 min.


8. Add chicken, bok choy and tofu puffs to prepared prawn stock and simmer for 3 min.


9. Heat pan to medium high heat and fry prawns for 1 min on each side, or until changed colour and no longer transparent.


10. Serve noodles topped with bean shoots, bok choy, prawns, tofu puff, shredded chicken and boiled egg. Pour on prawn stock and top with mint, coriander and fried shallots to taste.

* Split prawn heads (diagram) before frying to release the flavour.

Notes:

– This recipe uses prepared har mee paste to reduce preparation time.
– Choose medium to large sized prawns which are in season.
– The prawn stock can be prepared in advance.
– Traditionally, Hokkien noodles (thick yellow noodles) and thin vermicelli is used, but any noodle can be substituted. We’ve only used Hokkien noodles in this recipe.

Question time: Have you ever been scared of a type of food as a child? Have you now overcome your fears?

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31 comments… add one

  • Hotly Spiced August 23, 2012, 10:21 pm

    I still have a problem with live seafood in fish tanks in Chinese restaurants. I would prefer it if that was all kept unseen so we didn’t have to know what was going on. Great looking dish – so much colour, variety and flavour xx

    Reply
  • Karen (Back Road Journal) August 23, 2012, 10:51 pm

    What a lovely noodle dish…the flavor must be terrific.

    Reply
  • Rosa August 23, 2012, 11:07 pm

    A beautiful recipe and dish! The flavors must be amazing.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply
  • yummychunklet August 24, 2012, 7:57 am

    How delicious and flavorful! Such a great dish.

    Reply
  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet August 24, 2012, 10:53 am

    AMAZING photos and recipe :) It’s so amazing you can cook and take photos of the whole process hehe I struggle to take pictures and cook ~ my dad LOVES Har mee but i’d never have the patience to make it for him hehe

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake August 26, 2012, 7:49 pm

      Well, that’s my hand model there (ie. it’s my boyfriend :P) he made the dish while I took the photos. This recipe was originally a recipe for this recipe app we were developing but it didn’t turn out so I decided to put them on the blog. Cooking and taking photos of the process is very hard which is why I don’t usually do it for the new recipes on the site..

      Reply
  • Baker Street August 24, 2012, 5:48 pm

    This looks absolutely fantastic!! LOVE prawns and I am so glad you shared this delicious recipe! Can’t wait to give it a try!

    Reply
  • Ames August 24, 2012, 6:11 pm

    Lovely photos as always, Jenny! Looks like a beautiful dish that my parents would love :). Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Jenn and Seth August 25, 2012, 2:18 pm

    your photos are beautiful as usual! this sounds like a stunning dish. i would do anything to be eating this for dinner right now!

    Reply
  • msihua August 25, 2012, 6:49 pm

    Your food prep presentation looks so professional! love it! And I love Har mee!!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake August 26, 2012, 7:47 pm

      *whispers* It wasn’t me…:P My boyfriend made this haha..can’t take all the credit for it..

      Reply
  • Joanne August 25, 2012, 7:57 pm

    That noodle bowl looks like it’s full of some major flavor!

    Reply
  • Marta@What should I eat for breakfast today August 25, 2012, 11:57 pm

    I remember living in Australia and having all this freash seafood around. I love it. And a fish market – such an adventure. I’m back in Europe, but on Sardynia for my holiday and I’m so having shrimps tonight. Great recipe and pictures.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake August 26, 2012, 7:46 pm

      Thanks Marta! Love fish markets doesn’t matter which part of the world I’m in. The ones in Japan are fantastic and although I haven’t been, I heard the one in Sydney is great too. The ones I went to as a child are no comparison, although they stick in my mind. :)

      Reply
  • Libby August 26, 2012, 12:09 am

    Jenny, your photos are always beautiful; you should be a food stylist one day :D

    My brother is not at all a fan of prawns and most seafoods. He hates the way they look (those eyes, those claws etc) and thinks they’re too much of a hassle to eat. Strangely enough, he enjoys har gow dumplings probably because you can’t see any prawn shells/eyes etc in it!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake August 26, 2012, 7:44 pm

      Aww thanks a lot Libby! :D Although my awesome boyfriend made this dish, he’s seriously a better cook than me but my blog has made him a bit lazy…wants me to make stuff for him all the time now.

      I would have totally agreed with your brother there, thank goodness not anymore! :P

      Reply
  • nipponnin August 26, 2012, 4:03 am

    Nice to find your site. I have been to Melbourne and love the city! This looks so delicious and photos are fantastic!

    Reply
  • Parsley Sage August 26, 2012, 5:02 am

    That bowl of delicious soup might be one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen! Seriously, you rival Ippudo here, darling :)

    Gorgeous, gorgeous dish!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake August 26, 2012, 7:43 pm

      Oh no you’re making me blush. :) Thanks so much, although I owe it to my boyfriend, he’s the one who made this dish!! :D

      Reply
  • kitchenriffs August 27, 2012, 5:58 am

    “I blame my primary school teacher.” I blame mine for a lot too! ;-)

    Great looking dish. Your hand model really cooks well. ;-) Great flavors in this – thanks.

    Reply
  • Anne@FromMySweetHeart August 27, 2012, 2:43 pm

    What a gorgeous soup, Jenny! That broth must be so rich and flavorful! And your pictures….just stunning! : )

    Reply
  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com August 27, 2012, 3:59 pm

    As a Malaysian, I am so proud of prawn noodles. You definitely did justice to this recipe my friend :)

    Reply
  • Popcorn & Toast August 27, 2012, 4:16 pm

    Ohhh I love prawn mee! What wonderful instructions & photos to boot! I’m definitely going to give this a whirl x

    Reply
  • Iron Chef Shellie August 28, 2012, 10:54 pm

    This is a dish my aunty makes rather often I don’t need to learn how to make it at home :P

    I remember the smell of the prawn shells cooking at home, and dad and I complaining about the smell, not matter how high mum put the exhaust fan on. Worth it though, so delicious!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake August 29, 2012, 5:00 pm

      You are too lucky Michele! I would love it if someone in my family would make this for me. :P

      Reply
  • Nami | Just One Cookbook August 31, 2012, 6:51 am

    Your BF is a great hand model!! ;-) I want to be your hand model so that I can also get to eat? Absolutely amazing step by step and making us feel it’s easy to cook, even for a first timer.

    Reply
  • shala May 3, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Hi jenny
    I made this but had to adapt a few things and it was sooooo good! Thanks for sharing. We’re keeping it in the cook book:)

    Reply
  • tropica February 7, 2014, 2:00 pm

    How to make chili paste??

    Reply

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