Prawn Mee (大虾面)



I saw some HUGE tiger prawns at the market yesterday and couldn’t resist the temptation to attempt Hokkien Prawn (Hae) Mee. I asked the market if they would give me the prawn heads in the tray and they kindly agreed! I got a pound of the tiger prawn heads for free! That made cooking this dish so much cheaper and easier. The prawn heads are the critical ingredients in this recipe, without which, it will never taste like Prawn Mee.


  • 1 lb prawn heads, wash and drained
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar or gula melaka
  • 1/2 lb large prawns
  • 1 1/2 lb pork ribs
  • 6  pints water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp msg
  • 100g anchovies, rinsed and drained
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 lb bean sprouts, picked, washed and drained
  • 1/2 lb water convolvulus (kangkong, 空心菜), separate the leaves, and cut stems into 3 inch strips
  • 1 lb yellow noodles
  • 1 lb rice noodles, vermicelli
  • 1 piece fish cake, cut into strips and pan fried
  • Crispy shallots for garnish
  • Fresh chilies, julienned


  1. Wash and drain prawns. Separate the prawn heads from the prawns and collect the prawn heads together with the additional pound of prawn heads. If you couldn’t buy prawn heads, then you have to save and freeze them every time you prepare prawns until there is enough to attempt this recipe.
  2. Boil the prawns in 6 pints of water until cooked. Remove prawns from the water and remove the shells. Refrigerate the shelled prawns until ready to serve. Save the prawn liquid and prawn shells for soup.
  3. Fry all the prawn heads with 3 Tbsp of oil for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Press the prawn heads with potato masher.
  4. Add the prawn shells, anchovies and the garlic and fry for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the prawn liquid and bring to a boil.
  6. Using a strainer, scoop the prawn heads, prawn shells, anchovies, garlic, and peppercorns into a muslin bag. Tie the muslin bag and put it in a slow cooker.
  7. Blanch the pork ribs with hot water, drain, and transfer the ribs into the slow cooker with the muslin bag.
  8. Pour the prawn liquid into the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to cook for 8 hours until ready for dinner.
  9. When ready to serve, blanch the bean sprouts and water convolvulus in a pot of boiling water.
  10. Cook the vermicelli and yellow noodles per package instructions. When cooked, plunge into a basin of cold water for 5 minutes. Drain.
  11. When ready to serve, divide the noodles and vermicelli into serving bowls. Top with ribs, shelled prawns, fish cake, bean sprouts, and water convolvulus. Ladle prawn soup over the noodles and toppings.
  12. Sprinkle crispy shallots and a dash of white pepper over the toppings. Top with sliced fresh chilie if desired.
  13. Enjoy.






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