Hokkien noodles are round egg noodles that are usually of medium thickness. Often packaged and sold in refrigerated packages in ethnic food shops and health food stores, these noodles are favorite options for inclusion in stir fried dishes as well as in several varieties of soups and entrees seasoned with mixtures of meats, fish, and vegetables.
Dishes that make use of Hokkien noodles are found all over the world, with some of the most popular recipes originating in Malaysia, Singapore, and China. Singapore is the source of a very simple recipe that can be prepared using a wok or even a large frying pan. Using the Hokkien noodles as stir fry noodles, Hokkien mee pairs the noodle with young shrimp, small sections of pork, and shredded cabbage. The combination is usually seasoned with a small amount of lime and sambal chili.
For a more colorful dish, Hokkien hae mee builds on the same premise. This dish combines the Hokkien and rice noodles, seasoned with a stock made from shrimp and dried prawns. Usually, small chunks of chicken or pork are also tossed into the combination. Fish cakes, a variety of leafy greens in season, various colorful vegetables, green onions, and a shot of lime make up the final product. Often, Hokkien hae mee is given a shot of soy sauce and gently tossed just before serving.
As an ingredient in soups, Hokkien noodles also provide a nice change from Italian type pasta. The rich flavor of the egg noodles is enhanced with the addition of a range of spices, and immersed in a broth made with a mixture of soy sauce, chicken or beef broth, and a selection of colorful vegetables. The soup can be enhanced with the use of barley for a tasty vegetarian dish, or cooked chicken or beef can be added to the soup.
Unlike dried pasta, these noodles should be refrigerated upon purchase. While they have a relatively long shelf life when kept in the refrigerator, many cooks who use Hokkien noodles regularly recommend that the noodles be purchased no more than a few days before use.