Hokkien mee, also known hokkien prawn mee, is the definition of ugly delicious. Hailing from the Fujian province of China where it was brought here by early immigrants, this saucy dish has quickly become a favourite among Singaporeans.
The dish looks relatively simple – noodles, usually yellow noodles with thick or thin been hoon noodles, are stir-fried and cooked in a rich prawn stock with various proteins such as prawns, squids and pork before it is served with deep-fried lard pieces and sambal chilli.
Yet, foodies will tell you that the dish is not as simple as it seems with the great ones made with luscious broth and comes with the smoky aroma of wok hei. Ahead, we share with you the best hokkien mee – both the wet and dry versions – you can find in Singapore.
Kim Keat Hokkien Mee
Kim Keat Hokkien Mee offers two versions of its signature dish – wet or dry. The former is the more famous of the two and is served in a rich gravy bubbling away in a claypot. The latter is the kind we’re familiar with and served on opeh leaves.
The hawker eschews the usual lard for crispy deep-fried pork belly that adds the same luscious quality. Oh, and did we mention that their hokkien mee is also made with la la (venus clams)?
Block 92 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, #01-264, Singapore 310092
Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Mee
For Michelin Plate-recommended hokkien mee, Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Mee is the place to head to. It is located among a bevy of other yummy offerings in Chomp Chomp but it still enjoys long queues of devotees (you’ve been warned).
The noodles are mixtures of thick yellow noodles and thin bee hoon noodles that are then cooked with prawns and squid. Those who are watching their intake will also be heartened to know that they don’t use lard.
57 Garden Way, Chomp Chomp Food Centre Stall 27 Serangoon Gardens
Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee
Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee is helmed by couple Xavier Neo and Alice, the former of whom was previously a sous chef at the acclaimed Les Amis.
Their take on hokkien mee uses a mix of yellow noodles and thick bee hoon cooked in flavourful broth and is served with a spicy and sweet nasi lemak-inspired sambal made by Alice when she used to run a nasi lemak stall.
Block 19 Lor 7 Toa Payoh, #01-264, Singapore 310019
Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee
Dating back to 1963, Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee is likely the oldest surviving hokkien mee stall in Singapore. The chef, Ng Hock Wah has been doing this for over five decades and the experience and consistency show.
Nam Sing uses a combination of thin bee hoon and yellow noodles but isn’t served with the usual sambal. Instead, fresh-cut chillies are used, which are said to be the traditional pairing. Nam Sing has also recently opened at ION Orchard’s Hawkers’ Street, where it is run by the third-gen member Albert Ng.
51 Old Airport Rd, #01-32 Old Airport Road Food Centre & Shopping Mall, Singapore 390051
Come Daily Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee
Maybe it’s the water but Come Daily Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee is another entrant located in Toa Payoh.
Employing yellow noodles and thick bee hoon, the noodles here are cooked to be on the wetter side and is made with both lard and pork belly for extra unctuousness. In fact, Come Daily has been awarded the Michelin Plate – a testament perhaps to why they recommend you to tian tian lai (come daily).
Block 127 Lor 1 Toa Payoh, #02-27, Singapore 310127
Original Serangoon Hokkien Mee
Every mouthful of the Original Serangoon Hokkien Mee is imbued with history. The original stall was opened by a crippled hawker, the late Mr Neo, who would whip up delectable plates over a charcoal fire. It was also said to the best hokkien mee around then.
Now made by his friend who had inherited the recipe, the hokkien mee is made with yellow and thick bee hoon and still pulls crowds with its rich and smoky wok hei taste.
566 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218181
Swee Guan Hokkien Mee
Another well-established name in the hokkien mee scene, the four-decade-old Swee Guan Hokkien Mee has become a haunt for those who love their charcoal-fired hokkien mee. The result is a wok hei filled plate that dances alongside the yellow and thick bee hoon noodles, rich prawn stock and additions of prawns and squid.
5 Lor 29 Geylang, Singapore 388060
YouFu Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle
There has been a slew of youths setting up their own hawker stalls in recent years. YouFu Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle is one of them.
YouFu was started by 22-year-old Andre Ng who has been inducted into the craft since 14 when his father had his own stall. You get a choice of yellow noodles with thick or thin bee hoon noodles, both of which are cooked in a broth amped up with collagen-rich pig skin. Finally, lard adds the final flourish.
505 Beach Rd, #01-57 Golden Mile Food Centre, Singapore 199583
Geylang Lor 29 Hokkien Mee
Easties, you aren’t left out in this roundup. Operated by Alex See (the sibling of Swee Guan Hokkien Mee), Geylang Lor 29 Hokkien Mee also uses the traditional charcoal fire to prepare the dish, which results in a lovely smoky wok hei being imparted into the dish of yellow and thick bee hoon noodles and seafood.
396 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428994
Mian Wang 1971
Head to Mian Wang 1971 if you’re feeling adventurous and want to try a unique twist to the usual hokkien mee. Take for example the Salted Egg Calamari Hokkien Mee where the usual squid rings are replaced with deep-fried iterations coated with the umami dust.
Other radical offerings include Sambal Belacan Pork Belly Hokkien Mee and Mala Hokkien Mee. Don’t fret traditionalists, the 50-year-old brand still offers the classic hokkien mee.
537 Bukit Batok Street 52, Sin Eating House, Singapore 650537
This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.