Nicholas Pilllai’s Sang Har Mein Recipe (Fresh Water Prawn Noodles)

Glorious Prawns on a Bed of Noodles - if only I liked prawns....

I am not a fan of seafood, but I do like to taste it once in a while and while I am more  a gravy and noodle person rather then a noodle, gravy and seafood, the people who eat with me tends to gain from this whole little foodie escapade.  Today I felt like having Sang Har Mein.  I just felt like eating it with just the gravy alone.

Another reason I don’t mind Sang Har Mein is because it is fresh water prawns.  Somehow there is always mixed reactions of the taste of fresh water and seawater prawns. I for some reason prefer fresh water fish and prawns because to me it does not taste so fishy and does not smell. Then you get other gourmands arguing that it tastes like mud. And my question is, how do you know the taste of mud?

Trust me I am a little warped when it comes to seafood, so do not take my word for it.

I used Seafood Tofu in mine because then I get to enjoy some form of protein. I’ve added some vegetables to it as well, you could use young endives or Brussels Sprouts.

So here is my easy peasy version.  I do sometimes add in a bit of Nam Yee into it. Nam Yee is stinky tofu, which I think is as versatile as sambal belacan.  A tiny bit though, because a little bit can go a long way with this ingredient.

Nice Large Luscious Fresh Water Prawns, say about 300 to 400 gm per prawn, cleaned, halved and deveined – Fry and leave aside

Seafood Tofu                             12 pieces to be sliced to about 6 slices per tofu

Fresh Ginger                              50 gms or so thinly sliced

Spring Onions                            2 or 3 talks – to be cut into 3 cm strips – keep the root

Garlic                                              2 or 3 to be minced

Endives                                         5 or 6 small buds or stalks – Optional

Brussels Sprouts                       150 to 200 gm – to be halved – Optional

Oyster Sauce                               2 to 3 tbsp

Good Stock                                  500 mls – better to have it hot

Corn Starch                                 2 tbsp to ½ cup water

Eggs                                                 2 nos

Hsiao Hsing Wine                     3 to 4 tbsp

Sesame oil                                     2 tsp

A little black vinegar                 1 tbsp or a little more

Sugar                                                1 tsp or a little more

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for deep frying and cooking the gravy

Good Quality Wan Tan Egg Noodles preferably the one without any alkaline


  1. Heat oil in a deep saucepan, sauté garlic and ginger. Add in oyster sauce and give it a stir before adding hot stock.
  2. Leave stock to simmer and add in sesame oil, wine, and black vinegar.
  3. Add in sugar. Leave to boil on high
  4. In the mean time heat a pan of oil for deep frying. Open up the egg noodles and with a wooden pair of chopsticks, swirl the noodles in the hot oil till it puffs.  Strain and arrange on platter.
  5. You may add in the endives and the Brussels Sprouts if you are using them
  6. Add in sliced seafood tofu.
  7. Once it is boiled, thicken with cornstarch mixture.
  8. Add in prawns and cook on high heat, season to taste.
  9. Drop beaten yolk from a height so it will have a dropped egg look.
  10. Gravy may become red if prawns has roe in it.
  11. Add in spring onions, and pour gravy and prawns over noodles.
  12. Garnish and serve immediately.

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