Friday, 25 May 2012

Prawn Noodles For Cooling-Off Day

Blanco Prawn Noodle House: Final Story of the Prawn Mee Dynasty
Jumbo Prawn and Pork Ribs Noodle Soup $8

The ancient texts tell us: "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity" Psalm 133:1.
How true!
As I pen this next story, I can't help but contrast the success of the Blanco Court Prawn Mee empire with some of the other hawker stalls which are currently undergoing family squabbles over rights to the family brand name. It seems to me that it happens to Yong Tau Foo hawkers more than anyone else! Just take for instance the family splits of Ngee Fau Ampang Yong Tau Foo, Rong Xing Yong Tau Foo and more recently, Hup Chong Hakka Yong Tau Foo. Is there something about Yong Tau Foo that results in these sorts of problems, I wonder? Probably not, but you can easily see how a family united and working together can help expand a business and a brand name much more effectively than when they split!
I have already written about the other four stalls in the Blanco Court Prawn Mee empire and this is the last stall to be added to the blog. Blanco Prawn Mee is run by 2nd sister, Susan Lee, who tells me that this really is her retirement job now that the kids have all grown up. As such, their location in sleepy Jalan Kayu (during the day) is perfect for her and for those of us who want to eat this classic prawn mee soup in a less hectic environment.

The prawn noodles here tastes very close to that of Beach Road Prawn Mee and Blanco Court Prawn Mee. They should be, since they not only share the same recipe, but also the same workflow and processes. In this respect, they are almost like three franchised stalls but with the very important fact that they are run by family members. This is very important as you need someone like Susan who grew up eating her grandfather's and then her father's prawn mee to know what it is supposed to taste like and to be able to sense that something has gone wrong before the customers find out.
If you are familiar with the prawn noodles in the two stalls I already mentioned, then you can appreciate what Blanco Prawn Mee would taste like. It really does taste like the type of prawn noodle soup I grew up eating except that perhaps the oiliness and saltiness has been toned down to suit the more health conscious modern generation.

If you love to eat at Beach Road
or Blanco Court Prawn Noodles but want to get away from the stressful environment, then this quieter place at Jalan Kayu is your best bet! It's the same successful formula paired with Ngor Hiang except that it is a little more laid back than the other two stalls.
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Prawn Noodle Soup with Prime Ribs (排骨虾面汤)
"Prawn noodle soup with super tender pork ribs in slow cooker"It has been years since I first made prawn noodle soup (see my homemade Prawn Noodle Soup recipe). It is so simple to cook and devour on your very own "home-taste" prawn noodles. Moreover, prawn noodles are definately healthier choice than having curry laksa noodles.

This time, I cooked a slightly more 'complicated' version of prawn noodle soup, with pork ribs added, too. Steps remained, but the soup base was cooked with additional ingredients which makes the soup a special one. It was adapted from recipe of Ms. Yvonne Soh, which has been featured under Taste column of The Sunday Times last week (thanks). The mention of "using cloves, star anise and black peppercorn" in prawn noodle recipe caught my eyes. Never thought that these spices will go along with prawn flavoured broth, so I thought I should give it a try!

Yes, it turned out fabulously. I love the taste of soup with a hint of dried anchovies and spices. The intense flavour in the soup was enhanced by slow cooking method. As I need to work, and wish to cook the ribs till very tender which can be achieved only by hours of cooking. I cooked it first in the wok, and then, transferred over to slow cooker, early in the morning before leaving the house. Goodness! The pork ribs were so tender which almost melt in the mouth. To me, it taste better than the outside stores.

Note: No Electioning and Politicking on Cooling-Off Day

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