My Recreation of Kok Sen’s Big Prawn Hor Fun

Big prawn hor fun is one of the signature items at Kok Sen in Singapore, and it has somewhat attained the level of a cult dish. My husband was craving it recently and I decided to recreate it, based on photos of the dish and descriptions that I read online. According to Wex, it tastes pretty close to the real thing!

Big Prawn Hor Fun

(Serves 4)

For the shallot oil and prawn stock:

1 red onion, thinly sliced

200g prawn shells

5 dried red chillies

2L water

For the pickled green chillies:

60g white vinegar

30g water

1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

Big pinch of salt

1-2 green chillies, sliced

For the hor fun:

1kg hor fun

20g garlic

30g ginger

30g red onions

20g deseeded chilli

30g galangal

6 tablespoons shallot oil

1.2L prawn stock

2 tablespoons pickling liquid from chillies

4 tablespoons light sauce

65g Ayam sweet chilli sauce

Sugar and salt to taste

2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with water to form a slurry

1 large bunch kailan

8 big prawns, cut in half lengthwise, shell-on, deveined

4 eggs, stirred lightly

Freshly cut red chilli or chilli padi

To make the shallot oil, cover onions in oil then set over high heat until crispy. Pass through a sieve – save the crispy shallots for another dish. Heat some shallot oil in a pot or wok, then add the prawn heads and shells. Fry until caramelized, then cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for an hour before sieving. Top up the stock to 1.2L.

To make the pickled chillies, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small jar. Heat in a microwave until the sugar dissolves. Add the sliced green chillies and pickle for at least an hour.

If using packaged hor fun, soak in boiling water before draining well. Char in a smoking hot wok or cast iron pan. Add a little oil to prevent sticking if necessary. Blend the garlic, ginger, onions, chilli and galangal to form a rempah, then fry in a wok with shallot oil. Add the prawn stock and bring to a boil. Season with vinegar, light sauce, dark sauce, salt and sugar, adjusting quantities to your taste. Thicken with cornstarch slurry then add the vegetables and prawns and stir gently until cooked. Dribble over the eggs. Cover and cook for half a minute or so. Ripple the egg through then pour over the hor fun. Serve with freshly cut chilli and pickled green chillies.

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Author:

Pamelia Chia is a Singaporean chef and the author of the bestselling cookbook ‘Wet Market to Table’. After graduating with an Honor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from the National University of Singapore in 2014, she decided to trade a food scientist’s lab coat in for chef whites. She has since been working in restaurants in Singapore and Melbourne, including Candlenut and Carlton Wine Room. Her deepest interest being the preservation and celebration of Singaporean food heritage and culture, she started Singapore Noodles in 2020 as a platform to share about Singaporean food to a global audience. Find her on Instagram @pameliachia.

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