Prawn noodles are a common Singaporean hawker centre dish – and a classic favourite among locals. Unsurprisingly so – it’s flavourful, at once umami and sweet, and satisfyingly soothing.
For some connoisseurs, the broth has to be thick with flavour, brewed from lots of prawn heads and shells as well as pork ribs.
For others, it is the spicy chilli powder mixed into the soup that gives the dish an extra kick. In dry versions of the dish, noodles are tossed in potent chilli and lard.
Here are our 8 favourite renditions around the island.
Penang Culture’s Premium Lobster & Scallop Noodles ($16.50), which turns the humble Penang Hokkien prawn noodles into a gourmet version topped with scallops, slipper lobster, chicken, and more.
As importantly, the broth is as rich as in the original hawker version, with the complex flavours of the prawns, crabs and chicken bones used to brew it.
#04-27 Jem, 50 Jurong Gateway Rd, Singapore 608549; #04-11/12 Century Square 2, 2 Tampines Central 5, Singapore 529509
NEXT: The Naked Finn →
In this bowl of luxe prawn noodles, the stars are the heady, complex and flavourful broth – made with wild-caught blue and red shrimp, Northern prawn and dried sakura ebi, each type adding its own complexity and flavour – and the plump prawns.
Instead of pork ribs or slices of lean pork, ramen-style pork belly rounds are served with the noodles.
You have a choice of bee hoon or Japanese somen. Opt for the somen- it absorbs the flavour of the broth beautifully.
Block 39 Gillman Barracks, Malan Rd, Singapore 108937
NEXT: Sumo Big Prawn →
This hawker stall offer an original take on prawn noodle soup by adding clams and having options that include crayfish or lobster. Prices start at $5 for the basic prawn noodle soup and go up to $8 for the big prawn version. The crayfish one is $13 and lobster is $18.90.
Skip the lobster – the cheaper versions are good enough, if not better. The broth was rich and full of shellfish flavour, which the noodles soaked up. The prawns were big and, with part of the shell already removed, easy to eat. The clams were cooked just right and were sweet and juicy.
#01-72, 628 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, Singapore 560628
NEXT: Ming’s Prawn Noodle →
Although a hawker stall, Ming’s Prawn Noodle is unique – they even provide you with a free wet tissue.
Almost every day, he heads to Jurong Fishery Port at 3am to pick the freshest prawns and to a wet market to get his supply of pork ribs. At about 5am, he gets his master stock going for the day.
For those who prefer a lighter yet equally flavourful broth, this will be your cup of tea – or bowl of soup noodles.
#01-01 Alexandra Village Food Centre, 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150120
NEXT: Chung Cheng →
The chilli mee (from $3 and upwards) here is a version of dry prawn noodles.
The fragrant chilli sauce, which has the consistency of a thick gravy, is dolloped on top of the noodles like a topping. And it’s certainly the star of the show. The well-balanced chilli gravy has been cooked with skill, using ingredients that include garlic, belacan, shallots and even sesame seeds.
#01-59 Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Rd, Singapore 199583
NEXT: 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles →
545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles is no-frills and affordable. The noodles only cost $3-$4 a bowl.
Opt for the chili version – it’ll cling beautifully to the strands of noodles, along with a decent number of halved prawns, sliced lean pork and the twin pleasures of crisp lard pieces and deep-fried shallots.
Somehow, the chilli, pork fat and shallots mingle to make magic on the palate. There is crunch, there is spice, there is lard, there is umami. There is nothing more that anyone needs.
#01-326 Tekka Centre, Block 665 Buffalo Rd, Singapore 210665
NEXT: Ha Ha Big Prawn Noodle →
Beo Crescent Market & Food Centre’s hidden gems draw a steady stream of diners right from breakfast time. And Ha Ha Big Prawn Noodle, with its intriguing name, is one of these gems.
For a hearty meal, order the big prawn pork rib noodles. It comes with three whole prawns that have the middle part of the shell removed and cleaned as well as tender pork ribs. The fragrant prawn broth that wafts from a bowl of the noodles.
Prices start from $4 and upward.
#01-81 Beo Crescent Market & Food Centre, 38A Beo Crescent, Singapore 169982
NEXT: Bendemeer Road Prawn Noodles →
In this dish, crustaceans do not take centre stage. Instead, what satisfies is a rib-sticking pork stock. The cloudy, dark brown broth that accompanies the noodles packs lots of oomph.
The ribs are juicy are well, and it’s such a joy biting into soft bone.
Verdict: will return for a re-visit!
Block 44 Bendemeer Rd, Singapore 330044
NEXT: Penang Culture →
By The Straits Times, November 2016
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