Most commonly known as hae mee here in Singapore, prawn noodles aren’t just delicious-they’re also nutritious. Served in an intensely flavoured soup packed with even more meat and vegetables, this dish has been popular for generations. But how much do you really know about it?
From China to Singapore
The name hae mee comes from the Hokkien Chinese translation for ‘prawn noodles’, giving a little insight into its background. The dish originated in Fujian Province (the home of Hokkien speakers) and was a well-kept secret until the 1800s. However, when war broke out, the Fujian people began to seek refuge in countries like Malaysia and Singapore. They took with them their favourite comfort food: Hokkien prawn noodles. It didn’t take long for everyone to see the wonders of the dish and begin adding their own twists, and the rest is history.
The best thing about prawn noodles is that they’re so much more nutritious than many other delicious meals out there. Alongside being low in calories and high in protein (surprisingly, as much as chicken or beef), they provide the body with vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, selenium, and omega fatty acids. These nutrients help keep your energy up, build muscle, replenish and repair cells, and even reduce heart attack risk. That means you never have to feel guilty about enjoying a bowl of hae mee.
What makes this dish so great?
A rich broth you can’t get enough of is the basis of every bowl of hae mee. To make this, boil a stock of shrimp heads and tails, pork ribs, onions, garlic, and a seasoned chili paste. When it’s time to serve, the broth is poured over a medley of delicious ingredients. The prawns, of course, are a key feature. Sometimes sliced shrimp are used, other times it’s fried mantis shrimp. The other main component is the noodles, usually thick egg noodles and boo hoon (vermicelli) for a great slurping experience. But that’s not all. Most variations of prawn noodles also include a range of added delicacies, from smoked pork belly to hard-boiled eggs to bean sprouts and shallots. The result is an aromatic, hearty yet elegant meal that warms the belly and the soul.
The best way to eat this dish is steaming hot with a side of fresh chili slices in soy sauce and lime juice. The chili adds a great extra bite to prawn noodles, although many find this meal is spicy enough on its own.
Satisfy your prawn cravings
Thankfully, if you’re hungry for prawn noodles, you’ll find them from numerous restaurant menus at foodpanda.