For our Saturday family dinner, my eldest sister delighted us all by preparing Prawn Mee. We were each served an EXCELLENT bowl of noodles. And she further stunned us all with her dedication; a made-from-scratch and boiled-for-34 HOURS prawn broth! Very epic!
Prawn Mee is noodles in a prawn broth and frequently accompanied with prawns, pork slices, fish cake, and green vegetables. The prawn broth is extremely hard to master mainly because it is time consuming. Utilizing voluminous prawn heads, it is boiled down for hours with dried shrimps and pork bones to extract every ounce of the flavour before a rich spice paste is added to give it more heat and aroma. Then when a cloudy bisque-like appearance to the broth has been achieved, one knows one is on the right track. For the type-A cooks, It can take MONTHS just to find the ideal proportion of ingredients to achieve a rich robust flavour.
There was some disbelief when my sister first invited us. Weeks ago, when my eldest sister first invited us over to her place for “Prawn Mee”, my immediate reply to her Whatsapp was, “U cooking the prawn mee?”. A question that only illicit an icy reply: “Yes I cook”. Ouch! You see, this is the same sister who was the ex-high-flying-five-figure-salary-corporate lawyer. The same one who, before marriage and moving out, only stepped into the kitchen to prepare tea, instant noodles or steam vegetables. And NOW she is shunning Prawn Mee premixes and preparing our dinner a day in advance?! Now that’s crazy, y’all!
So yesterday evening, when we entered her and my brother-in-law’s ultra-chic home, we found my sister in the kitchen stirring her prawn broth tenderly like a Mother Hen – proof of more dedication. I could not resist being a busybody and ran into the kitchen for a few quick snaps. There I found a huge pot of prawn broth that looked so promising. It ticked all the right boxes: cloudy dark red, bisque-like, and above all, fragrant. Oh, I couldn’t wait for dinner to begin PRONTO!
Also waiting for us were huge Japanese bowls of noodles each filled with fish cake (hello lover!), de-shelled prawns, par-boiled kang kong (green leafy vegetables), and shredded succulent pork slices. Seeing them all assembled out made the waiting game even more torturous.
As my Dad had not arrived from his golf game, I self-entertained by admiring their new dining table and bench. I am so IN LOVE with the bench; so chic and warm. It was also so damn comfortable! Once my butt landed on it, it refused to get up for hours after.
I might also have stolen one of these freshly-deep-fried Hei Zhou or Shrimp Pork Balls my Mum brought. Although bought frozen from the supermarket and all we did was fry them in a pot of hot oil till golden, it was surprisingly good!
Crisp on the outside, juicy cubed pork and prawns on the inside that was surprisingly devoid of the stickiness of flour commonly used to bind all ingredients together.
When my Dad finally arrived, we proceeded to FEAST. For a while, no one said anything. We were too busy slurping up the noodles and drinking the aromatic broth. We also helped ourselves to more heat: chilli powder and red chilli padi in soy sauce. Our dinner was perfected with a glass of Red. 🙂
After the noodles came desserts. I was in charge of desserts and I got us ice-cream! Feeling adventurous, I got two boxes of fun-looking ice-cream from Marks and Spencer. My family usually sticks to Magnum or Haagen Daaz but a Peanut Butter Heaven flavour was irresistible! However I wished I could have liked it more but I couldn’t. They were just too damn sweet. There were little bits within to provide texture but each bit was just more sugar. Next time, I am sticking to the Magnum and HD.
And because Mid-Autumn Festival is arriving soon, we had TWG Mooncakes gifted by my Mum’s best friend. She could not have more generous and spoiled us with two boxes of these luxe “cakes”.
We tried two flavours: (L-R) Red Bean Paste with Matcha Nara, and a traditional Lotus Mooncake filled with three types of nuts. That evening was my dessert bad luck. Again, I wished I could have liked it more but I dislike Mooncakes in general.
Thank goodness my sister cooked a memorable dinner! It was a wonderful evening. We watched the National Day Parade then cooking programs from China that stirred up our appetites. >_<