A super easy one-pan stir-fried noodles perfect for any day of the week, pot lucks, or any gathering to feed the crowd. Don’t let the pale white color fools you. White bee hoon is anything but pale!
Stir-fried bee hoon (thin rice vermicelli noodles) was one of the food mom made often for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s more of a breakfast food in our house, to be honest. We call this bihun goreng putih in Indonesia. For simplicity or quick breakfast, mom would just stir-fried the noodles with eggs for protein and some Chinese greens like choy sum (chai sim) and we would polish it off faster than she made it. The appearance of the overall dish is usually white pale in color.
FRIED WHITE BEE HOON
I learned about this term “fried white bee hoon” in Singapore. It is a very popular fried noodles in Singapore, from homecooks, Zi Char places (food stalls), all the way to restaurants dining will have this dish. Singaporean loves this dish. In Chinese we call it “chao (stir-fried) bai (white) mi fen (rice vermicelli noodles)”. Named as such simply because of the white pale overall appearance.
FLAVORFUL DESPITE ITS PALE APPEARANCE
Please don’t let its humble pale appearance fools you. The key of making a good fried white bee hoon is in the stock. You can use your best homemade chicken bone stock to cook this dish, which I did this round. I don’t always have bone stock available, and I have cooked this fried white bee hoon with store-bought chicken stock too and the dish still turns out delicious.
This is the rice vermicelli noodles I used. It’s thinner than regular rice vermicelli noodles. Some companies label it as angel hair rice vermicelli noodles.
PROTEIN CHOICES TO USE FOR FRIED WHITE BEE HOON
You can use any of the following and not limited to just one. You can combine seafood with meat too if you fancy that.
Seafood: Shrimp, clams, squid, firm white fish slices
Meat: boneless skinless chicken, pork, beef
Vegan or vegetarian: dried bean curd slices, extra-firm tofu
VEGETABLES TO USE FOR FRIED WHITE BEE HOON
I used shredded cabbage and carrots for some contrast of color. You can use any of the following:
Baby bok choy, choy sum, and beansprouts are perfect to use for this dish
A COUPLE OF KEYS TO MAKE AMAZING FRIED WHITE BEE HOON AT HOME
1. Do not soak the noodles for too long. The instruction in the package says to soak for 2 minutes in water (not warm or hot water). We will simmer the noodles in the stock later and we don’t want it to turn into a mush
2. Cook the seafood and/or meat first and then dish out to prevent overcooking
3. If you are not familiar with stir-frying noodles, I suggest halving the recipe portion instead of doing a big batch as I did. It’s easier for you to manage
Let’s get started with cooking, shall we?
1. Soak the noodles in water for 2 minutes (or according to package instruction)
2. Preheat oil in a wok or skillet. Stir fry the shrimp first until they are cooked through and then dish out and set aside
3. Bring the wok or skillet back to hot. Add more cooking oil and stir fry the garlic and onion
4. Add the cabbage and carrots and stir fry briefly for about 3 minutes
5. Add the soaked bean curd slices (if using)
6. Pour in about 1/4 cup of chicken stock
7. Cover with a lid to let the steam soften the cabbage
8. Add the soaked rice noodles,seasonings, and pour in the rest of the stock
9. Stir to mix everything and then bring the stock to simmer and let the noodles absorbs the stock
10. Add the shrimp back. Have a final taste by adding more soy sauce if needed
11. Add the green part of the onion and give it a final stir and turn off the heat
12. Serve immediately with pickled green chili or your favorite sambal chili
So, what do you think? Pretty simple to make aye? If you make a big batch like I did, it can sure feed many.
Stir-fried White Bee Hoon (Bihun Goreng Putih)
- 500 gr dried thin vermicelli noodles
- 4 dried bean curd slices optional
- 3 Tbsp cooking oil divided
To marinate the shrimp:
- 5 cloves garlic peeled, finely minced
- 5 stalks green onion separate green and white parts
- 1 carrot julienned
- 2 cups cabbage shredded or other veggies of your choice
- You will get a large amount with this recipe. If you are new to stir-frying noodles, I suggest half the recipe. It's easier to manage when you stir-fry a smaller portion. This is something to keep in mind
Things to prepare before cooking:
- Marinate the shrimp and set aside while you prepare other things
- Soak the noodles in water for 2 minutes or according to instruction on your package
- Then drain off water and set aside before you start cooking. This is such thin noodles and doesn't require long soaking
- Soak the dried bean curd slices (if using) in hot water until soft. Separate the white and green part of the green onion. Cut into about 3-inch pieces
- Mix all ingredients for seasonings together and set aside
- Preheat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add the shrimp and stir fry until they turn pink and cooked through. Dish out and set aside
- Bring the wok or skillet back to hot. Add the rest of the cooking oil. Add garlic and white part of scallions and stir fry until aromatic, about 1 minute
- Add carrots and cabbage (if using0 and stir fry for about 3 minutes.
- Add bean curd sticks (if using)
- Pour about 1/4 cup of chicken stock
- cover with a lid and cook for the next 2 minutes or until cabbage is soft
- Uncover the lid and add noodles and seasonings. Add the rest of the chicken stock. Stir to mix everything. Bring to a simmer and cover with a lid to let the noodles absorb the stock and almost dry up
- Add the shrimp back. Have a final taste and add more soy sauce to your taste if needed
- Scatter in the green part of green onion and stir to mix everything. Turn off the heat. The residual heat will continue to soften the green onion
- Serve immediately with pickled green chili or your favorite sambal chili
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