Braised pork trotter bee hoon (rice vermicelli) was one of the many dishes that I grew up eating frequently at Grandma’s place. This traditional Hokkien bee hoon is comfort food, homely and simple, but with great flavour and taste. Grandma loved to cook this for our Sunday lunch as a one-dish meal with a hot sweet dessert (usually sweet potato and ginger soup) and I could have 2-3 bowls of the bee hoon at one go.
The rice noodle is redolent with the aromatic flavour from the canned pork trotter, which means you do not have to rely too much on other ingredients for flavour. The noodles are braised in broth to absorb the flavour, rather than fried. This way, the bee hoon will not disintegrate or break easily.
You can use/add other vegetables like cabbage, leek or carrot but I love using Chye Sim (Choy Sum or Cai Xin) in this dish as this was exactly the same way how Grandma did it.
I cooked this bee hoon dish and the sweet potato ginger soup recently for the family’s Sunday lunch. While I was enjoying the sight of my kids happily finishing the bee hoon on their plates, I was also transported back in time to when I was a school boy sitting on the wooden stool enjoying granny’s cooking from those ceramic rooster bowls. That brought a smile to my face as I could feel the heritage continuity.
Our culinary heritage – Let’s pass it on.
1 packet Dried Bee Hoon (400g) (Chili brand)
2 cans pork trotters (Insist on Narcissus brand)
300g Cai Xin (Wash and cut into 3-inch sections)
3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
3 tbsp Dark Sauce
2 tbsp chinese wine
2 tsp fish sauce
500ml chicken stock (If unavailable, substitute with hot water)
Soak the dry bee hoon in water until softened, about 30 minutes. Drained and set aside.
Mix all ingredients for the sauce. Stir well and set aside.
Heat up a frying wok and stir fry the garlic in cooking oil until fragrant without browning. Empty the cans of pork trotters into the wok. Keep frying and at the same time break up the trotters into smaller bite size.
Pour in the sauce mixture, turn up the heat and bring it to a boil.
Add the bee hoon and stir well to ensure the noodles are well coated with the braising liquid. Cover the wok with a lid and braise the noodle on high heat for about 10 minutes or until noodles are cooked. In between, give the bee hoon just a slight toss to ensure even braising throughout. Do not allow the gravy to dry up. (Add hot water if required)
Just before noodles are cooked, add the vegetables and mix well. Continue braising until both noodles and vegetables are cooked.
Sprinkle homemade crispy fried shallot over. Serve with sweet potato ginger soup.
Welcome to Heaven.