Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Heng Hwa Noodles


I cooked this noodles or mee sua for dinner last night. It's my own "lazy" version of our traditional dish.

When he was still a child, my dad sailed from Putian City in Fujian province in the Southern China to Singapore. Our dialect is Putian Hwa, or more commonly known as Heng Hwa here in Singapore. It has been a tradition that we eat this mee sua dish early in the morning on the first day of lunar new year, every year. It's meant for longevity, the noodles are really very long! These noodles are much thicker than the usual mee sua. It's kind of difficult to get this type of noodles here. My dad usually bought them through his Heng Hwa contacts. As such, we would only be able to cook this dish during the lunar new year period. This dish is very well-liked by the adults and children in my extended family, including my husband and brothers/sisters-in-laws who are from different dialect groups. They look forward to it every lunar new year and all of them asked for 2nd servings without fail.

The other type of Heng Hwa noodles, which we call "pah mee" in our dialect, or the Chinese translation (打面) is commonly available at the wet markets here. Some locals here who have tried Heng Hwa cuisines will know that the dish is also called Heng Hwa Lor Mee. I will probably feature that dish in my later post.

Coming back to this mee sua...it consists of 3 parts...the soup, the noodles and the toppings. The soup is usually clear chicken soup, but for a change, I made pork rib soup instead. The noodles are boiled and drained and mixed in a bowl with some oil and chicken soup, almost like preparing pasta. The noodles will become very sticky if they are not mixed with some oil. The toppings are usually stir-fried assorted mushrooms with green beans. Besides that, deep-fried seaweeds and peanuts are a must to top off the dish. As I was too lazy to stir-fry the mushrooms, I cooked them in the pork rib soup, and simply blanch the green beans. Mine came out to be a less oily version, but the taste was still as good :))

32 comments:

  1. That's quite a dish you got there :)

    BTW, michaela posted a question for you in my blog under my post on A mothers world.

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  2. Hello

    I'm also a heng hwa from Kuching, Sarawak, M'sia & my grandparents are also from Putian, China. That means, we are from the same kampung.
    At the moment, I'm in New Zealand (since March).
    Re the heng hwa mee, the heng hwas in Kch also take this noodles on the 1st day of CNY but we take it dry and also with toppings. But we cook the pha mee with soup and sometimes also dry. It's very easy for us to get both the mee sua and the heng hwa mee there. So we always have these noodles. And like you said, most of our extended families who are non-heng hwas also come to love these dishes that my mother always have to cook extra on the 1st day of CNY. Your heng hwa mee sure looks yummy!!!

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  3. Hi anonymous, you are in New Zealand, studying? working? I'm sure you will miss your mom's cooking! Oh, for us we always have it with a little bit of soup...not suppose to be very soupy but not the dried stir-fry kind. Can you speak the language? I can't!

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  4. Hi,i accidentally read your blog and found that it was so nice.
    i am from Miri,swk, also a heng hwa.I really love that mee sua,every year during cny my grandma definitely will cook that for us, it taste good! and i miss it a lot too! but i never knew how to cook it and where she bought it from. anyway,it was really a nice one and special it was so sticky and all my cousins and relative enjoyed it a lot.

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  5. Hi, could you tell me where I could get the seaweed & how should it be prepared...hope to hear from you..thanks

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  6. Hi, I am afraid I'm of not much help here...the seaweed are usually given to us by family friends or relatives, as such I don't really know where to get it. Although I have heard that there is a shop here selling this kind of seaweed (raw form). Are u a local?? I didn't prepare the seaweed myself...but my sis told me it has to be pan-fried...stiring continuously on low heat until it becomes very crispy.

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  7. Thank you for your reply. Yes, I'm a local. Let me try to find a source & then share with you @ a later date...take care.

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  8. Actually, for the seaweed, what you do buy those round sheets of seaweed from the dried good's store, shred them. Then fry some shallots in plenty of oil, should be at medium/low heat, and as they are turning light brown, put the shredded seaweed in and stir fry quickly. It doesn't take long, and once they are 'fried' and crisy, you should store them in an airtight container. We normally have them for the 1st day of CNY meesua (vegetarian style), it can keep for a few days,but you shoul finish them up asap.

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  9. Hi Anonymous, thanks for the information. However, for us, our tradition is to get those seaweeds that comes in a 'stick' form...or looks like a susage. We then need to peel off the seaweed into shreds and fry it. Yes it can only remain crisp for a few days kept in an air-tight container. This type of seaweed taste very different from the round sheets. Have you tried it before?

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  10. This is the first time I browse through your blog! And it surprise me when I see the word Heng Hwa and Putian..because my grandpa also came from there!hehehe..but we also eat the dry version of the longetivity noodle with braised meat, wong bak, waxed meat and eggs during the first day of CNY.I am from Miri too..

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  11. Hi, your noodles sure looks yummy!! I am also a Heng Hwa and think without failed all the Heng Hwas had this dish on the 1st day of lunar new year... since you just remind me of this dish, i am going to cook it tomorrow for lunch! By the way, you can get the raw heng hwa mee sua in big packet from Meng Chong restaurant at little India. They used to sell good Heng Hwa Bee Hoon also, but have been out of stock for sometimes. Do share if you have a good source of pha mee (I miss it so much!).

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  12. Hi Anonymous, thanks for the info! We usually get the mee sua from friends/relatives from Malaysia. As for the raw pha mee, I can get them easily from the wet market near my place. I heard that it is easily available in other markets too.

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  13. hi, we used to get the mee sua from malaysia also, normally Muar (in fact my hometown is very near to Muar) but when we found out this mee sua from the restaurant, we have been sticking to it, its not too salty and the quality is good. Anyway, about the pha mee I have tried many wet market one, some have a strong akaline water smell, some are too soft, I prefer a more chewy texture, miss those that are handmade by my grandmother. Hope to see you posting more Heng Hwa dishes!!

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  14. Hi, do you have the recipe for xiamen lor mee? I believed the heng hwa lor mee is different right? I tried the lor mee in one of the restaurant in xiamen and liked it very much. The gravy is alittle yellowish and thick. Thank you.

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  15. Hi, I am sorry, I do not have any recipe for xiamen lor mee...I have not eaten it before ;P

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  16. Hi Happy Homebaker,

    I am so glad i found your site, at least now i found one recipe for the noodle! I am also a heng hwa, from singapore and now living in California. Do you know how to make the dry version? We have the dry version at new years with my family with abalone

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  17. Hi Anonymous, I'm sorry, I do not know how to make the dry version :(

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  18. Hi I was browsing the web for some toast recipes & I accidentally bumped into this post...got to say something cause I'm also one of the "興化Heng Hwa" you guys are talking about. Just I'm from Taiwan instead of Singapore. My dad left Putian for Taiwan when he was 7 but he speaks that tough dialect well^^. Anyway, we used to have this mee sua--the dry version, w/o the meat & mushroom but with shreds of fried egg -- as first meal of cny when my granddad was still alive. I actually went back to Putian with my dad approx. 20 yrs ago, and guess what our folks gave us to eat? A huge bowl of this kind of dry mee sua! It was tasty~ For the dry version I think you just cook the mee sua, drain the water then stir with some cooking oil so they won't stick. My mom likes to heat the oil with some chopped garlic then stir in the drained mee sua. It's yummy. Oh, I remember my granddad said there should be 4(?) kinds of stuff on top of this mee sua...I remember we got peanuts, seaweeds, eggs & the peas which makes the colors look nice~

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  19. Hi hope, I like the dry version too. I have learned how to cook it, and yes we use oil to mix the noodles so that they wont stick together. As for the toppings, we usually have seaweeds, peanuts, dried shiitake mushroom, dried enokitake (golden needle mushroom) and green peas.

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  20. Hi: nice to see your comment so soon~
    Yes, I think we had golden needle too(which means it should be 5 toppings instead of 4.) I don't quite like golden needle so I guess I subconciously omit it :P
    But the "golden needle金針" I'm saying here is the dried flower/bud from the lily-like plant, not the tiny mushroom enoki that's in Chinese called "golden needle mushroom金針菇". The 1st one is a plant's flower & the 2nd one is a fungus(mushroom). You guys use the mushroom as one of the mee sua toppings? Maybe I can try that next time!

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  21. Hi Hope, yes yes we use the same kind of dried golden needle 金針, the kind from lily-like plant, not those enoki. Like you, I don't like the taste of the dried golden needle! We stir fry the different types of mushroom together with the golden needles and use as toppings. You can go over to this site (http://www.putien.com/food_chef.html) to drool over the heng hwa dishes ;)

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  22. Hi, may I know where can I buy the raw heng hua noodle in Singapore?

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  23. Hi elstrial, are you referring to 'pah mee' or mee sua? I get pah mee from wet market. However, for mee sua, there is a shop at Jalan Besar that sells it, but I do not know the exact address.

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  24. Hi, I'm Hakka but love this mee sua after I first tried it in my friend's home during a gathering recently. I got the address from my friend where to buy this special mee sua, I believe its hand made and imported from Malaysia. The address is 61, Jalan Besar, opp. Sim Lim Tower. The shop name is Lee Hwa; you’ll notice it’s an old provisional shop. This mee sua is a little salty, probably to preserve it, so your soup should not be too salty when you combine it. When you're there, please ask for the mee sua wrapped in newspaper. It cost $25 per pack but it worth the taste. Btw they also sell the seaweed. You need to deep fry the seaweed before serving it. Lee Hwa also sells other factory made mee sua.

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  25. Hi, thanks for the info, I am already aware of this shop :)

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  26. hello! wouldn`t it be ok if i use sotanghon or bean thread noodles in place of mee sua?

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  27. Hi Yaiza, I am afraid it will no longer be a heng hwa mee sua dish if you were to use another type of noodles.

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  28. so nice of your timely reply ;-D, ok boss, i got it, i have quiet much supply of sotanghon at home, anyway, i`ll let you know once i`ll make this soon after we`re back from vacation. thanks a lot!

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  29. hi! just saw your link on the henghua united group on fb.... i'm a henghua too ;-) 3rd generation -> my great grand father was from putian. He and many henghuas came to SG long ago as Rickshaw Pullers.

    I was a fan of your cakes and bakes since 2-3yrs ago and now then i saw this traditional dish of our ethnic group on your blog. :D i'm hungry for it now.... will ask my mum to cook it tomorrow :D

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  30. Hello,

    Where in Singapore you are able to buy the ' special ' seaweed ?

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  31. Hi ! Can i get the contact for mee sua which your father has? Usually my parents call them 'shu mee' which is 寿面 in other words. The ones i last bought locally was too salty. My parents ever bought from a old couple that lives at owen road/ pek kio but sadly they moved and lost contact.

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  32. Hi, we are not able to get the noodles too :(

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