I know it can be confusing if you are not familiar with all the different names a type of noodle can be called for the same thing in different languages. Hor fun is one of the example. Hor fun is the Cantonese name for the flat rice noodles that we often use in Southeast Asia called Kwe Tiau in Hokkian. Some people also call it Shahe fen in Mandarin, originated from the Shahe fen province in China. Have I lost you yet ? but they all mean the same thing, which refer to this flat rice noodles.
I made beef chow fun the other day. The chow fun is made using the same type of flat rice noodles as this hor fun. Chow fun is stir-fried and it’s dry, while this san lau hor fun is stir-fried and then the thick gravy is poured on top of it. I really love how smooth the noodle is and the fishes are just perfect in this dish. The first time I had san lau hor fun was in Singapore at commonwealth crescent hawker center and has been in love with it ever since.
This popular Hong Kong street food, san lau hor fun, is characterized by its “pale” color, lots of beansprouts and the fish slices. But don’t let that color fools you. If you are able to create that “wok hei” (smoky flavor, not burnt flavor mind you!), this dish is going to be even more incredible. It’s been my obsession as well trying to recreate this dish. I can’t say it turns out exactly like the one I had, but this is good enough to satisfy my cravings for san lau hor fun!!
SAN LAU HOR FUN / CANTONESE-STYLE FLAT RICE NOODLES WITH FISH AND BEAN SPROUTS (4 servings)
- 1 lb dried flat wide rice noodles (soak in warm water for 20 minutes, then discard water)
- 1 Tbsp garlic , finely minced
- 1 lb of white fish fillet (cut into about 2.5 to 3 inches and about 1/4 inch thick)
- 4 cups of beansprouts (head and tail picked off)
- 4 stalks of spring onions (cut into 3-inch pieces)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- Oil for cooking
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp corn starch + 2 Tbsp water
Fill up a medium-size pot with water and bring it to a boil, blanch the fish slices in the boiling water as well for about 1/2 to 1 minute. Set aside
I suggest using a cast-iron wok to whip this dish if you have one and make sure you have good ventilation, because there will be some smoke 😉 Heat it up until it's really hot. You will see smoke start coming out. Add about 2 Tbsp of oil into the wok and tilt the wok to spread the oil evenly (be careful, the handles of the wok will be hot too, so use a mitten if you need to). Add in the spring onion slices and stir-fry for about 15 seconds, add in the hor fun and soy sauce and stir-fry for about minute, try not stir until you mush up the hor fun. Add in the beansprouts, turn off the heat and give it a one last stir. Dish onto a serving plate. Arrange the fish slices on top of the noodles
Heat up another 2 Tbsp of oil in the wok and add in the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 5- 10 seconds. Add in the chicken stock and a pinch of salt and pepper. Have a taste and add more salt if needed. Bring it to a boil and add in the corn starch mixture. Your sauce will start to thicken up, make sure your stir so you won't get any lump. Pour this sauce over the fried hor fun. Serve immediately