This Hokkien Noodles recipe with char siu pork or Chinese barbecue pork is an old favourite inspired by a dish from legendary Australian chef Neil Perry. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been cooking this dish for close to two decades.
As part of my series of recipes using char siu pork or Chinese barbecue pork, I thought I’d include an old favourite that I’d almost forgotten about, a Hokkien noodles recipe that I cooked up for Lara last night.
Hokkien Noodles Recipe With Chinese Barbecue Pork
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been making this Hokkien noodles recipe with char siu pork, or Chinese barbecue pork, cooked up by legendary Australian chef Neil Perry since 1998. My version is modified from his dish that was published in his first cookbook, Rockpool.
Perry’s cookbook featured an eclectic set of modern Australian recipes for dishes that fused global flavours — everything from European to Asian, and some dishes that featured both. As Aussie chefs have been inclined to do.
On a photo shoot with the chef a few years ago, I reminded him of a dish in the book that melded Asian and Italian — a Chinese roast duck risotto. The dish was inspired by his love of the classic Chinatown duck and his obsession with Italian food.
What was fascinating about this dish was the use of coriander root in the flavour base and the use of the duck ‘sauce’ in the stock to cook the risotto with. The duck ‘sauce’ is that amazing juice that runs out of the duck as it’s being chopped up.
This dish was a dinner party staple of mine for several years and was my go-to dish when I needed to plate a main course that would work with white wine or red wine, for red meat adverse diners, and also cater for a celiac sufferer who could not eat wheat pasta. It was a constant winner for its unusual — but delicious — combination of flavours.
What has this have to do with Hokkien noodles? Well, the next night after the dinner party, I had to do something with the leftover pieces of the delicious whole duck we’d buy at Chinatown for the risotto. Being ‘tired’ (okay, probably hungover from the wonderful wines our friends would bring to the table), the idea of whipping up this Hokkien noodle dish was always appealing.
Chef Perry’s Hokkien noodles recipe from the same cookbook had a footnote that it could be made with roast duck as the protein, instead of the char siu pork. Perfect! These days, however, with pork in such abundance here in Cambodia, I tend to opt for the pig instead.
Since moving to Siem Reap I’ve been so excited to find we have local fresh egg noodles in the supermarkets. Unlike the fermented rice noodles, these are not really sold in the wet markets. They are a little thinner than traditional Hokkien noodles, but who is going to argue with having daily fresh egg noodles on their doorstep? Not me. It’s fantastic.
I love this Hokkien noodles with pork recipe because it’s just so simple to make. Once you’ve made your char siu pork, the ingredients are easy to find in any supermarket with a decent Asian section.
From my travels around the world cooking, the only ingredient that I’ve found that can sometimes be a challenge to get hold of — providing you can find some fresh egg noodles — is fresh ginger. You’ll miss that sharp flavour without it but it’s not essential. Many similar recipes omit it.
While the original recipe called for Chinese cabbage, I like to use bok choy. But could you get by with a different cabbage? I think so.
Fresh bean sprouts might also be hard to come by in some places, but you can omit it if necessary, you’ll just lose that little fresh crunch.
The original recipe also required some palm sugar. It’s not necessary, but if you need a little sweet lift, a sprinkle of white sugar tossed and stirred in with the sauce will suffice.
A quick note on the authenticity of this dish. It’s not as dark as Kuala Lumpur Hokkien mee (or KL Hokkien mee as it’s commonly known), which has a lot more dark soy in the sauce and oyster sauce is used to marinate the pork.
This dish’s colour is similar to Singapore Hokkien Mee, but doesn’t have rice vermicelli (bee hoon) involved. It’s also pork-based whereas the Singapore Hokkien Mee is based on prawn stock just like Penang Hokkien mee. Given that Chef Perry used palm sugar in his original recipe, perhaps it’s derived from Phuket Hokkien mee, only with less sauce.
Just like my Chinese special fried rice recipe, these Hokkien noodles are best made in a nicely seasoned carbon steel wok to get a little smoky flavour in the dish.
Also note that this is a great dish for families as it’s not ‘chilli’ hot, but the adults at the table can add a little Sriracha sauce to heat things up.
Hokkien Noodles Recipe With Chinese Barbecue Pork
- 60 ml peanut oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
- 300 g Hokkien noodles, fresh and separated
- 2 bunches of bok choy, chopped
- 6 long beans, chopped
- 1 long fresh chilli chopped
- 150 g Chinese Roast Pork, (char siew) sliced
- 30 grams beansprouts
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 80 ml chicken stock
- 4 tbsp oyster sauce
- Heat wok over medium-high and add ginger. Stir until coloured.
- Add garlic, beans and char siew pork and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the Hokkien noodles, soy sauce, chicken stock and chilli. Stir to coat the noodles with the sauce and stock.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the bok choy. Stir until the bok choy is coated in the sauce and slightly wilted.
- Add the oyster sauce and combine well with the other ingredients.
- Turn off the heat and add most of the beansprouts.
- Serve in individual bowls and top with the remaining beansprouts.
Do let us know if you make this Hokkien Noodles Recipe With Chinese Barbecue Pork. I’d love to know how it turns out.