500 g/1 lb fresh Hokkien noodles
250 g/8 oz fresh small prawns
250 g/8 oz roasted or boiled belly pork
250 g/8 oz bean sprouts
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons canned salted black beans
1 bunch garlic chives
3 tablespoons oil
2 stems Chinese celery (optional)
2 red chillies, sliced
4 tablespoons fried shallots for finishing
Run hot water over the noodles, leave for 2 minutes then drain in a colander. Shell prawns, reserving heads and shells to make stock. Devein the prawns and if large, cut in two. Cut pork into small, thin slices. Pinch straggly tails off bean sprouts.
Put unpeeled garlic cloves on a wooden board and smash them with the flat of a knife to split the skins. Lift off skins and bruise the garlic. Finely chop shallots. Mash salted beans. Cut garlic chives in short lengths. Chop celery finely.
Fry prawn heads and shells in 1 tablespoon oil on high heat, tossing until they turn red. Add 1 cup of water and bring to the boil. Cover pan, simmer for 5 minutes, then strain stock. Drop prawns into the simmering stock just until they change colour. Strain again, reserving stock.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a wok and on gentle heat fry the garlic and shallots until golden. Add mashed salted beans and pork, celery and chives. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add stock, prawns and bean sprouts and when boiling add the noodles and stir until heated through. Serve garnished with chillies and fried shallots.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)