I might not be an Ipoh-rian (person from Ipoh) but I married one. And during our visits back to Ipoh, we will definitely have the famous Ipoh Hor Fun from Thean Chun Coffeeshop. It might seem like a simple and underwhelming noodle dish compared to curry laksa or prawn mee but it is arguably one of Ipoh’s most iconic dishes – and for a good reason.
The secret of this noodle dish lies in the incredibly flavoursome soup coupled with the vividly orange layer of oil that comes from boiling the prawn heads. A handful of shredded tender poached chicken, halved shrimps, and chopped chives, served with a small saucer of chopped birds-eye chillies in soy sauce… You may find yourself downing a bowl in record time; slurping up every strand of the noodles and drinking up every drop of soup.
Like and follow us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page and subscribe to our blog. Follow us on Instagram (@TheRealBeyondNorm, @beyondnormcooks) and YouTube (@BeyondNormEats), to get the latest exciting updates and videos. We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you, whether newbie or veteran.
Serves 4 to 5 pax
1 kg hor fun / flat noodle
2 litres of water
1 chicken (about 1.2kg)
1 chicken carcass
500g prawns, shelled (reserved)
1 bag of 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
Rock sugar to taste
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons cooking oil
Spring Onions / Chives
Fried shallots (optional)
Making the Broth
- Remove the chicken breast meat and set aside.
- Place the chicken carcass, the remaining chicken, water, and the bag of peppercorns in a large pot, then bring to a boil.
- Skim off all the impurities and reduce to medium-low heat. Let it simmer for 1½ to 2 hours.
- Next, add 4 tablespoons of oil to a pan then fry the prawn heads and shells for about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Then strain the shells, reserve the oil, and place the shells into the broth.
- Bring the broth to a boil then simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Season with rock sugar and salt.
- Once the broth is done, adjust the taste accordingly with more salt or sugar, if required.
- Strain the broth and set aside.
Preparing the garnishing ingredients
- Cook the chicken breast meat in the stock for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the stock and randomly tear them into thin strips using your fingers.
- Blanch the peeled prawns in the broth.
- Remove the prawns from the boiling water and let the cool before slicing the prawns into two halves.
- Cut the chives into 1-inch strips.
- Bring the broth to a boil.
- Boil a pot of water and blanch the required portion of the hor fun for a few seconds, then distribute them into each serving bowl.
- Add a few pieces of the cooked prawns, chicken, and chives.
- Add the boiling broth into each bowl, 1 tablespoon of the reserved prawn oil, and garnish with fried shallots (if you like), then serve immediately.
- A small dish of light soy sauce with cut red chillies will be an added bonus!