Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kampar Prawn Noodles wannabe (金宝 "马来王" 虾麺) - (MFF - Perak)

My 2nd replication dish for Perak's Malaysian Food Fest . Ma Lai Wong prawn noodles (金宝 "马来王" 虾麺), the original prawn noodles and braised pork ribs in Wing Lok Yuen coffee shop in Kampar during the olden days. And as I mentioned before, Ma Lai Wong's prawn noodles and braised pork ribs is one of the "must-try" food in Kampar back then. 

The taste of the olden days prawn noodles is still in my memory. Ma Lai Wong prawn noodles has been around in Kampar for many years, handed down from father to son and it is once a popular haunt for the locals back then in the late 70's and early 80's. The prawn noodles stall was first located in Wing Lok Yuen coffee shop (永乐园茶餐室), in Kampar, Perak. But now, they have moved, and now  located right smack along the Kampar town main road towards UTAR, the shop at one corner right after ACS school, opposite ESSO Station.

I visited Ma Lai Wong coffee shop a month ago. As I mentioned in my previous post about Kampar Braised Pork Ribs Platter (金宝 "马来王" 卤排骨), and I kinda feelin' sad about the visit.

The cook has changed, and the taste has changed, the look has changed, the chilli has changed. And of course, price has changed too. This is for sure. The only thing remain is the name "Ma Lai Wong" printed on the signboard. 

They serves 2 types of noodles. 1st type is Pork Ribs Noodles, which they actually pour over braised pork ribs and it's sauce onto the cooked noodles. The 2nd type is the Prawn Noodles with the choices of thick yellow noodles, normal type of yellow noodles, or even rice vermicelli (beehoon) too. I ordered a bowl of prawn noodles, intentionally asking for thick noodles. Request to add some small intestines to go along. 1st sip on the soup, I stare at my mom, and I said "Mom, this is sugar-overloaded soup. Not like before". She ask me to take a look at the owner and the entire coffee shop's environment. The owner's style is quite laid back I'd say. The typical retired man just wanting to keep the family business going type. I don't see any cooking nor foodie passion in him. 

When I was 5, my mom used to sell prawn noodles in Kampar too. The taste of my mom's noodles and ribs is pretty close to Ma Lai Wong's one. My mom said, they used to call it "Kampar style" during the old days. The only difference is that Ma Lai Wong's name is somehow more famous and has become a kind of recognition by the locals.

Okay, enough with the story. So, here's my replication of Ma Lai Wong's olden day's prawn noodles wannabe with my mother's recipe.

Ingredients (Serves 5 to 6)
(Source : My Mother - Mdm. Chai)

for the soup
  • 1 kg Fresh Prawns + some extra prawn shells and head (*see note)
  • 2 pcs Pork BIG bones (or more if you want)
  • 30g Anchovy Fish
  • 35g Rock Sugar
  • 1½ tsp Salt
  • 1½ tsp Chicken Stock or Anchovy Stock
  • 50g Fried Shallot
  • 1.5L Prawn broth
  • 1.3L Water
for the condiment
  • cooked prawn meat from the 1kg prawn
  • 1kg Vermicelli (Beehoon) or mixture of both Vermicelli and Yellow Noodles. 
  • some fish cakes
  • some pork lean meat, cooked, sliced.
  • some beansprout, about 150g should be fine
  • some kangkong  (*see note)
  • some fried shallots
for the chilli  (*see note)
  • 5 fresh Red Chilli, finely blended
  • 5 tbsp Chilli Boh (or more)
  • oil from frying prawn head
  • 50g Fried Shallots 
  • 45g Garlic, minced
  • 25g Dried Shrimps, finely chopped
  • 15g Belacan, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Chicken Stock

Note : 
  1. My mother do not know about Ma Lai Wong's chilli sauce. She said she suspect Ma Lai Wong's chilli sauce might be supplied chilli sauce by food supplier. But well, we are not sure. So, instead of replicating Ma Lai Wong's chilli sauce (which we totally have no idea), she gave me her own prawn noodles chilli recipe, which I really like it. So, this chilli is absolutely optional, although it is really good to have.
  2. Kampar prawn noodles doesn't serve with kangkong. Singapore prawn noodles does. I added it in because Max insisted to have them. So, kangkong is absolutely optional. 
  3. I used to accumulate prawn shells and heads. Whenever I need prawns for stir frying. I will use the prawns meat, wrap up the prawn shells and heads, keep in the freezer nicely. When I have kept enough of em', I can use them too cook up a pot of nice prawn soup. So, do add extra prawn shells and heads in the soup for better result.  
I have my full trust on my mother's recipe as I eat her prawn noodles and braised pork ribs platter almost everyday when I was a kid. 

  1. In a wok, boil 1L water, blanch the prawns till cooked. Keep the prawn broth, drain the prawns and let the prawns to cool down. Once prawns cooled down, remove the prawn shells and prawn head. Set cooked prawn meat aside as part of the condiment.
  2. In a wok, add half cups of cooking oil. Fry prawn shells till fragrant. Fried prawn shells are for soup. Keep the oil. We need it to cook the chilli. 
  3. In a saucer, boil some water and cook the pork loin. Once cooked, let the pork cool down before cutting them into slices as part of the condiment.

for the soup
  1. In a soup pot, add in pork bones, anchovies, fried prawn shells, rock sugar, prawn broth and water. Bring to a boil, and let it simmer on high heat for 3 to 5mins. 
  2. Lower down to low fire and let it simmer for 20mins.
  3. Add in fried shallots, still under low fire, continue to simmer for another 20mins. 
  4. Once done, add in salt and chicken stock to taste. The soup should taste slightly salty. 
  5. Discard all the prawn shells, anchovies and pork bones and the soup is ready.
for the chilli
  1. In a wok, add in the oil from frying prawn head, garlic, fried shallots, garlic, dried shrimps, belacan. Fry till fragrant. For about 8 to 10mins or so. 
  2. Add in sugar, salt, chicken stock, fresh chilli and chilli boh. Fry for another 2mins. Heat off. 
to serve
  1. Boil a pot of water, cook the noodles together with bean sprout. And of course, kangkong is optional. Drain. 
  2. Place cooked noodles and beansprout on a bowl. Add in cooked prawn meat, pork loin slices, fish cakes and pour in the hot prawn soup. 
  3. Garnish with fried shallots and serve immediately, preferably with Kampar Braised Pork Ribs Platter (金宝 "马来王" 卤排骨). And here... Kampar Prawn Noodles wannabe! 

The recipe for the soup is not something complicated. And I really like the taste of it. 

And everything in the pot, let them simmer away... 

After 45mins, this flavorful soup is done! Discard all the prawn shells, anchovies and pork bones.

When I look at my prawn noodles photo, I hate myself so much! Because I didn't add enough soup on the bowl and the noodles absorb the soup so so so fast! By the time I finished shooting, I gotta rush for other errand because I have friends at home waiting to eat my prawn noodles. After all my friends left, I checked on my photo, my heart sunken like a titanic. It indeed looked deceiving. My prawn noodles looked like dried prawn noodles. Where's the soup?! How disappointing.

I did wanted to cook 2nd attempt just for photography purpose. But think again, I really don't have enough time for that, and I won't be inviting guests to come over to help me finish them up. So, I dropped the idea.

This recipe is indeed a keeper. I definitely will keep it and cook it again when I have the opportunity. Thanks mom! :)

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest Perak month hosted by WendyinKK of Table for Two….or more.


  1. thanks for the recipe dear!!! gonna try it out when I have the time!! :D

  2. A very creative post of mixing food review and cooking recipe! :)

  3. Annie, this is a good recipe to keep and pass on to future generation! I am bookmarking it to try. This kind of cooking very soon cannot find anymore outside. These days, very watered down version. You must share some more of your mum's recipes :)

  4. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comAugust 16, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Hi Annie, Yummy noodles and I like the braised hard boiled egg too!

  5. thanks for sharing this good recipe, i like this.