Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wonton noodles topped with Dried Shrimp Roe


I went to Hong Kong for an annual eating spree recently and came back with some Dried Shrimp Roe.
Dried Shrimp Roe is a Chinese condiment made by salt-curing the eggs of prawns before they hatch. I suppose they are considered a semi-delicacy in Hong Kong and they impart a salty umami-rich seafood flavour to whatever food they are sprinkled on. The Dried Shrimp Roe can last quite a long time as long as you keep them refrigerated. They are also not very expensive.


The dried Shrimp Roe can be used as a condiment in wonton noodles, either they are mixed into the noodle dough before the noodles are dried and release their taste when the noodles are boiled or simply sprinkled or scattered on the cooked noodles. They are also sometimes cooked with bean curd or vegetables. ‘Ha-Zi’ is Dried shrimp Roe in Cantonese.
It is like Bottarga which is a salt-cured fish roe from Sardinia or Karasumi, the Japanese version of Bottarga. For this Dried Shrimp Roe, all you need to do is to dry fry any amount in a pan until you can smell the fragrance and they are ready to use.
Some of my friends have requested for this dish to be put on the blog when I posted a picture of my home made wonton noodle on the facebook. I hesitated to write about this, not because I do not want to share the recipe. We simply cannot buy any dried shrimp roe in Singapore. I have tried looking for it in some of the dried sea food wholesale shops but to no avail. The people there have not even heard of it.
So, when my good friend, S told me she was going to Hong Kong, I jumped at  the chance to ask her to get some more for me. She was so sweet to hunt them down for me. Thank you my dear friend S.

I plan to put some on pasta the next round and I think it might just work.

To serve 6
36 Wonton skin
250g Mince pork
200g prawns, peeled, cut in half and reserve shells and heads
6 rounds of fresh wonton noodles
Small bunch of choy sum, washed
A few strands of chinese yellow chives, finely cut
2 to 3 tsp light soy sauce
5 to 6 shallots, sliced
6 tbsp oil
4 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
6 tsp Dried Shrimp Roe
Dry fry shrimp roe till fragrant and set aside.

Put 2 to 3 tsp of soy sauce and a few dashes of pepper to marinade mince pork. Mix well

Add in cut prawns and mix. set aside.

Fry the cut shallots in the oil till it is lightly browned. Separate the shallots and the oil. The shallots are to top the noodles and the oil is for mixing with the noodles.

Boil a big pot of water for cooking the noodles.

Get ready a big basin of cold water for dunking in the cooked noodles.

While the water is boiling, put 1 or 2 tsp of meat mixture onto the wonton skins to make wontons.

You can make prawn flavoured soup to be served with the wonton noodles by boiling a small pot of water with the prawn shells and head, add some salt and pepper. (this soup is optional)

Take out 6 serving plates and on each plate put in 3/4 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1 tbsp of shallot oil and dashes of pepper. Use a spoon to mix well.

Scald the vegetables when the big pot of water is ready. Dish up the vegetables and set aside.

Now cook the wontons, when the wontons float up, it is an indication that it is cooked. If you find it time consuming, cook it in another small pot on another flame simultaneously with the vegetables.

In the same pot of boiling water after cooking the vegetables, cook the 1 round of noodles at a time. The noodles need to be cooked for just 1 minute or to your liking of doneness. I like mine with some bite.

When the noodles are cooked, dunk it in the basin of cold water for a few seconds to stop it from cooking.

Then put it back into the pot of boiling water to heat up for 1 to 2 seconds. Drain thoroughly and immediately put it in the plate of mixed oyster sauce and oil mixture and using a pair of chopsticks or tongs to mix the sauce well with the noodles.

Put 5 to 6 cooked wontons and some vegetables on the side of  the noodles on each plate,  sprinkle 1 tsp of prepared Dried Shrimp Roe all round on the noodles and topped with some fried shallots.

Do likewise for each plate and serve noodles with a small bowl of prawn flavoured soup.

Not many places in Singapore sell this kind of noodles.


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