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16 Interesting Facts About Hokkien Noodles

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Introduction

Hokkien noodles are a popular noodle dish that originated from the Fujian province of China. Also known as Fujian noodles or hae mee, these thick, yellow egg noodles have become a beloved staple across Southeast Asia and beyond.

From Malaysia and Singapore to Indonesia, Thailand, and even North America, Hokkien noodles can be found gracing the menus of Chinese and Asian restaurants. Their popularity stems not only from their convenient instant noodle format but also their delicious taste and texture.

In this article, we uncover 16 fascinating facts about the origins, ingredients, nutritional value, and global reach of Hokkien noodles. Read on to learn more about this iconic noodle dish!

KL Fried Hokkien Noodles - Straits Cafe
KL Fried Hokkien Noodles – Straits Cafe by avlxyz is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 .

Facts About Hokkien Noodles

  1. Hokkien noodles originated from the Fujian province of southeast China. The noodles were likely created by Chinese immigrants from the Hokkien region who set up restaurants across Southeast Asia.
  2. The main ingredients are wheat flour, egg, and water. The addition of egg gives Hokkien noodles their distinctive yellow color and springy, chewy texture when cooked.
  3. Hokkien noodles are available in fresh and dried formats. Fresh Hokkien noodles need to be refrigerated or frozen. Dried Hokkien noodles have a longer shelf life and are the basis for instant noodles.
  4. In Singapore and Malaysia, Hokkien noodles are known as Hokkien mee or hae mee. The term “Hokkien mee” can also refer to a popular fried noodle dish.
  5. In Indonesia, Hokkien noodles are called mie Hokkien or mi Hokkien. They are especially popular in the North Sumatra city of Medan.
  6. Hokkien noodles are called หมี่โฮกเกี้ยน in Thai. When served in soup with seafood, the dish is called ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมี่โฮกเกี้ยน (kuaytiao mi Hokkien).
  7. Hokkien noodles have a high gluten content. This gives them an elastic, bouncy texture when cooked. Too much stirring can damage the noodles.
  8. Starch is added during production. This stabilizes the noodles and allows them to better retain moisture during cooking.
  9. Hokkien noodles contain B vitamins, calcium, and iron. They provide energy and nutrients from the wheat flour and eggs used to make them.
  10. Hokkien noodles can be prepared in many ways like soup, stir-fried, braised, in a salad, or served straight from the packet with a sauce.
  11. In Malaysia, Hokkien noodles are commonly served fried. Known locally as Hokkien char (fried noodles), this version includes egg, bean sprouts, prawns, pork, and squid.
  12. In Singapore, the noodles are served in a rich prawn broth. Additional toppings include pork slices, fish cakes, fried shallots, and garlic.
  13. Hokkien noodles likely spread via Chinese immigrants. Their popularity across Southeast Asia reflects the cultural influence of Chinese traders and settlers in the region.
  14. Hokkien noodles are now consumed worldwide. They can be purchased from Asian grocery stores and supermarkets across North America, Europe, Australia and beyond.
  15. Dried Hokkien noodles last 12-18 months in storage. They should be kept sealed at room temperature away from moisture and direct sunlight.
  16. Fresh Hokkien noodles last just 4-5 days refrigerated. They should be blanched or stir-fried before the best-before date for maximum flavor and texture.

Conclusion

With their convenient preparation, versatility, and scrumptious taste, it’s easy to see why Hokkien noodles have become so beloved around the world. Their far-reaching popularity is a testament to both the skilled Chinese immigrants who created them and the enduring appeal of classic Asian noodles.

From their origins in Fujian province to modern-day iterations across Southeast Asia and beyond, Hokkien noodles tell a fascinating story of cultural cross-pollination. These 16 facts only scratch the surface when it comes to this iconic noodle dish.


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