Fried bee hoon is a regular dish on my family’s weekend breakfast table. I only started cooking this regularly around 2015 and back then I do more western pasta dishes than Asian dishes. So I couldn’t cook it very well. Many times, it turned out too dry, too hard, too bland, too salty, or too ‘torn up’. It took many rounds of trial and error and on-the-job training from my mummy, as well as countless weekends with my family consoling me over my failed attempts while eating my less-than-ideal char bee hoon. As you can see, it’s a very simple ingredient, nothing fancy, but the simplest thing is usually the hardest to do.
These days, I’d say I’m getting much better in making it as palatable as possible, achieving the right texture, doneness and seasoning. These days, we love eating it with sambal chilli. What I learnt in cooking the fried bee hoon:
- Soak the rice vermicelli in room temperature water for about 15 minutes until softened. For enhanced flavour, add soy sauce to the water when soaking the rice vermicelli. There might be some brands of the rice vermicelli that ask for boiling it in water before stir frying it, it’ll break the rice noodle into too soft a texture and after cooking it, you will give ‘broken’ fried bee hoon.
- My mummy highly recommends the ‘chilli’ mark of rice vermicelli, the actual brandname is actually called ‘Tai Sun‘.
- Simple seasoning can consist of soy sauce, vegetable or chicken stock, mushroom sauce or oyster sauce or scallop sauce, sesame oil, white pepper. I usually mix them in advance with a bigger portion of the stock. The rice vermicelli soaks up water very fast, I use about 1.5-2 cups for each 400g pack.
- Drizzle with some flavoured sesame oil after it’s done cooking will help keep the dish ‘moist’ before serving, giving it a more intensified fragrant.
- Leftovers can be stored, covered with clingwrap in the fridge and make warm the next day before consuming.
- I used onions in this recipe. Some vegetarians or vegan might omit root vegetables such as onions and garlic, or even mushrooms from their diet. These ingredients can be removed and replaced with other vegetables you prefer.
What is Fried Bee Hoon?
Fried bee hoon, also called 炒米粉, char bee hoon, rice noodles or rice vermicelli is a typical popular staple in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Locals eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Made from rice, this type of noodle is tasteless generally and thus is versatile to take on the taste and flavours of other ingredients it’s cooked with. It can be used in stir fry, stews, soups, salads and even springrolls.
Rice vermicelli comes in different form factors, the thicker ones are used in fish head soup and laksa, the thinner ones can be used in salad, springrolls or even soup stews.
Ingredients used in my Vegetarian Fried Bee Hoon
Watch my Vegetarian Fried Bee Hoon recipe on YouTube
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Vegetarian Fried Bee Hoon 斋炒米粉 (Singapore Noodles / Rice Vermicelli)
- 400 g bee hoon rice vermicelli
- 1 carrot
- 300 g cabbage
- ½ onion
- 100 g oyster mushrooms
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 1.5 cup vegetable stock
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce season to taste
- Prepare seasoning by mixing soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper in the vegetable stock.1/2 tsp white pepper, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 2-3 tbsp soy sauce, 1.5 cup vegetable stock
- Soak bee hoon in room temperature water for 15 minutes until softened.400 g bee hoon
- Once the bee hoon is softened, drain off the water and set aside.
- Cut the oyster mushrooms into small pieces.100 g oyster mushrooms
- Peel and dice onion into smaller pieces.1/2 onion
- Peel carrots, cut off the top and bottom, and cut into strips.1 carrot
- Slice cabbage into thin pieces. Then rinse the cabbage in water.300 g cabbage
- Warm cooking oil over medium heat in a wok or large pan. Add onions and sauté until slightly caramelised.3 tbsp cooking oil, 1/2 onion
- Add carrots and cabbage and stir fry for a minute until the vegetables are slightly soft. Then add oyster mushrooms and stir fry for another minute.1 carrot, 300 g cabbage, 100 g oyster mushrooms
- Add softened bee hoon and stir fry to mix well with the vegetables. This takes about 2-3 minutes. Bee hoon will soften more.400 g bee hoon
- Add the seasoning.
- Stir fry to mix well for about 3-4 minutes. The bee hoon should be coated with the seasoning evenly at this step. Do a test taste and add seasoning if need be according to your taste preference. Bee hoon should be soft and savoury, and the bee hoon should not be broken.
- Turn off the heat. Drizzle some sesame oil over the fried bee hoon.
- Serve warm with chilli sauce.