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Hokkien mee
Singaporean-style hokkien mee
Place of originFujian province, China
Associated cuisineIndonesia,[1][2][3] Malaysia, Singapore
Main ingredientsEgg noodles, rice noodles, egg, pork, prawn, squid
VariationsHokkien hae mee, Hokkien char mee
Hokkien mee
Traditional Chinese福建麵
Simplified Chinese福建面
Hokkien POJHok-kiàn mī
Literal meaningHokkien noodles
Hae mee
Traditional Chinese蝦麵
Simplified Chinese虾面
Literal meaningPrawn noodles

Hokkien mee, literally "Fujian noodles", is a series of related Southeast Asian dishes that have their origins in the cuisine of China's Fujian (Hokkien) province.[4]


Hokkien mee can refer to four distinct dishes, with each being ubiquitous in specific localities in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The dishes are all indigenous to the region and not known in Fujian itself, although they are all thought to have descended from lor mee (卤面), a staple of Fujianese cooking.

Type Singapore hokkien mee
(fried noodles)
Penang hae mee (prawn noodles) Singapore hae mee
(prawn noodles)
Medan hokkien mie Hokkien char mee
(fried noodles)
Origin Singapore Penang Singapore Medan Kuala Lumpur
(Petaling Street/Pasar Seni)
Cooking method Stir fried Broth-based Stir fried
Ingredients Egg noodles and rice noodles Egg noodles Fat yellow noodles
No dark soy sauce used Dark soy sauce is used
Egg, prawn, squid, fish cake and pork, often with lard, limes and sambal on the side. Prawn is the main ingredient, with slices of chicken or pork, egg, kangkung and sambal added as well. Prawn is the main ingredient with slices of chicken or pork, squid and fish cake. Egg, fish cake, fish ball, prawn ball, crab claw meat, cabbage, often with lard, slices of chicken or pork, sometimes oyster and slices of shiitake mushroom. Slices of chicken or pork, squid and cabbage

Singapore Hokkien mee

A plate of Singapore-style hokkien mee

In Singapore, Hokkien mee (福建面) refers to a dish of egg noodles and rice noodles stir-fried with egg, slices of pork, prawns and squid. The key to the dish is copious quantities of an aromatic broth made from prawns and pork bones, slowly simmered for many hours. Sambal chilli and calamansi limes are served on the side for the diner to blend in, giving it an extra zing and tanginess. Traditionally, small cubes of fried lard are added,[5] and some stalls also serve the dish on an opeh leaf (soft areca palm bark), which enhances the fragrance of the dish. Some still use koo chye or garlic chives in their dishes.[6]

The Singaporean version of Hokkien mee was created after World War II by Chinese sailors from Fujian (Hokkien) province in southern China. After working in the factories, they would congregate along Rochor Road and fry excess noodles from the noodle factories over a charcoal stove. The dish is considered a classic of Singaporean cuisine[7] and several hawker stalls selling it have been recognized by the Michelin Guide.[8]

The dish is also known as "fried Hokkien noodles" (炒福建面), "Hokkien fried prawn noodles" (福建炒虾面), and particularly in Malaysia, "sotong mee" (squid noodles) to differentiate it from other types of Hokkien mee.

Penang hokkien mee (noodle soup)

A bowl of Penang Hokkien mee

The Penang variant can be easily distinguished from the other variants by its characteristic spicy prawn broth. It primarily consists of rice vermicelli and thicker yellow egg noodles, while the broth is made with prawn heads and shells, and pork ribs.[9] Sliced prawns or shrimps are also added into the dish, along with pork slices, hard boiled eggs, and kangkung (Ipomoea aquatica). Some of the Hokkien Mee are served with bean sprouts, fried shallots, lard and sambal too. In Penang, pig skin, an ingredient rarely served in Kuala Lumpur, is a common topping as well.

Egg noodles are served in richly flavoured dark soup stock with prawns, pork slices, fish cake slices and bean sprouts, topped with fried shallots and scallion. The stock is made using dried shrimp, plucked heads of prawns, white pepper, garlic and other spices. Traditionally, lard is added to the soup, but this is now less common due to health concerns. A "dry" (without soup) version is also available; this version usually involves flavouring the noodles and toppings with vinegar, soy sauce, oil and chili, if desired. The dish is also usually served with freshly cut red chili slices in light soy sauce and lime juice.

The name "Hokkien Mee" is controversial and often discussed in local forums. Majority of the Penangites and hawkers are Hokkien who talked in Hokkien-dialect. Thus, the Hokkien prawn-soup noodle was called "Hokkien Mee" in Penang as there are varieties of noodles with prawn as main ingredients such as "lam mee" while local Hokkien Mee was served with sliced small shrimp. Nevertheless, not all Malaysian speaks hokkien. Theerefore, Penang Hokkien Mee is also known as "Penang Har Mee" especially in other northern region which Cantonese was their most-spoken dialects, as "Har" means prawn in Cantonese ("Hae" in Hokkien).

Singaporean hae mee

A bowl of Singaporean hae mee noodle soup

Another version of the dish called "prawn noodles" (虾面 hae mee) in Singapore is similar to the Penang variation of Hokkien mee. Egg noodles and rice noodles are served in richly flavoured dark soup stock with prawns, pork slices, fish cake slices, and bean sprouts topped with fried shallots and spring onion. The stock is made using dried shrimps, prawn heads, white pepper, garlic and other spices.

Medan Mie Hokkien

In Indonesia, hokkien mee (known as Mie Hokkien) is associated particularly with the city of Medan on Sumatra. While the ingredients resemble the Singaporean version, instead of being stir-fried together, the ingredients are typically cooked separately and simply tossed together before serving.[10]

Hokkien char mee

A plate of Kuala Lumpur-style hokkien mee

Hokkien char mee (Hokkien fried noodles; 福建炒麵) is served in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding region. It is a dish of thick yellow noodles braised in thick dark soy sauce with pork, squid, fish cake and cabbage as the main ingredients and cubes of pork fat fried until crispy (sometimes pork liver is included). The best examples are usually cooked over a raging charcoal fire. This dish originated from a hawker stall chef, Ong Kim Lian, at Petaling Street in 1927.

See also


  1. ^ "Yuk Cari Tahu Jenis-Jenis Mie yang Populer di Indonesia!", ilmupedia
  2. ^ "Bosan Mie Bakso Biasa? Yuk Coba Kelezatan Lomie", tribunnews
  3. ^ "Gurih Mantap! Lomie Lombok Khas Bandung Buat 'Brunch' Akhir Pekan", Detik
  4. ^ Tan, Bonny (2011). "Hokkien prawn noodle soup". Singapore Infopedia. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  5. ^ Hedy Khoo, STFood Online (8 February 2024). "Food Picks: Addictive barbecued chicken wings, Hokkien prawn mee and Kyoten's lunch set". The Straits Times. ISSN 0585-3923. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  6. ^ Hedy Khoo, STFood Online (8 February 2024). "Food Picks: Addictive barbecued chicken wings, Hokkien prawn mee and Kyoten's lunch set". The Straits Times. ISSN 0585-3923. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  7. ^ "Uniquely Singaporean dishes that originated on our island". Timeout. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee – Singapore - a MICHELIN Guide Restaurant".
  9. ^ "Behold, the Penang Hokkien Mee". 13 April 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Mie Hokkian Medan/Hokkian Noodle". 3 October 2017.

Further reading