What is Singapore bee hoon? I asked myself. To be honest, I don’t know. I googled hoping to find the answer but for the first time ever, Mr Google doesn’t have a straight answer for me.
Interestingly, there are conflicting stories about Singapore bee hoon across the web – some say it’s a dish invented out of Hong Kong which doesn’t really exist in Singapore, others claim that the use of curry powder actually lends the name to this dish. But why call it Singapore bee hoon and not Hong Kong-style bee hoon or even Curry bee hoon???
Well, we can go around arguing who’s right and who’s wrong, but who cares right? Since it’s so delicious, we’ll just leave it at that, ok :). Bee hoon (or rice vermicelli) is a popular noodle in Asia because it’s so versatile. You can stir-fry or boil with a soup base and use any ingredients to flavour the dish. By nature, they are tasteless, so they rely on other fresh ingredients or seasoning for flavours. The key to stir-fry is to ensure bee hoon is dried well before stir-frying.
Singapore Bee Hoon (adapted from Jeremy Pang’s Chinese Unchopped)
100 g dried vermicelli noodles
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
8 fresh prawns, peeled, deveined & butterflied
1 cup bean sprouts, washed & tailed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Madras curry powder
2 pinch chilli powder
1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1. Soak the dry vermicelli noodles in hot water for 3 minutes until soften. Remove and place them on a clean towel to dry them for 10 minutes.
2. Mix the spices together in 1 bowl. Then mix sauce together in another bowl.
3. Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Crack the egg in the wok. Slowly fold the egg whites and not breaking the egg yolk. Once the egg is half cooked, break the yolk with a spatula and gently mix them together – creating pieces of fried egg bits.
4. Push the egg bits to the side and heat the wok again. Add 1/2 tbsp of oil to the wok. Add onions and peppers. Stir fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add prawns and stir fry for another 30 seconds. Then add vermicelli noodles and stir fry for 1 minute. Pour in the spices and sauce. Stir the noodles around, ensuring they are well mixed into the spices and sauce. Continue to stir fry until the noodles have dried out.
5. Dish out and serve in a large bowl. Scatter the spring onion before serving.