Comfort Cooking

Covid-19 stay-home recipe: Noodles that hit the spot

At a loss as to what to cook today? Fret not. In this daily series, STFood Online Editor Hedy Khoo features nourishing recipes you can whip up

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Cooking at home does not mean you have to whip up a meal of three dishes and a soup.

Sometimes, a simple dish is all you need, like the huai shan noodles I'm making here.

These noodles, made from wheat and huai shan (Chinese wild yam) extract, are available in dried form. For a list of retailers, go to:

Huai shan noodles take only two to three minutes to boil. Jazz up the dish with a boiled egg with a jammy yolk and a bunch of chye sim, and top with sprigs of coriander and spring onion.

For added crunch, fry your own ikan bilis. At $2.30 for 100g, you can get a decent grade of ikan bilis that is not overly salty. After frying, allow them to cool and store in an airtight jar in the fridge. They should be able to keep for up to a month.

Fried ikan bilis adds a flavourful punch to simple noodle, rice and porridge dishes.

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4 refrigerated eggs (63g each)

1 litre of water

½ tsp salt

50ml cooking oil

100g raw ikan bilis, rinsed

2½ litres of water

180g chye sim

4 servings of dried huai shan noodles (87g a serving)

10g fresh coriander

1 stalk of spring onion, sliced


1 Tbs light soya sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

½ tsp dark soya sauce

Dash of ground white pepper

1 Tbsp of crispy chilli


1. Place eggs in a saucepan and pour in the water. Water should cover the eggs by 21/2cm.

2. Bring the water to a simmering boil.

3. Add salt. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook the eggs for four minutes.

4. Remove the eggs and place in cool tap water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

5. In a frying pan or wok, heat 50ml of cooking oil over medium heat.

6. Add the ikan bilis and fry over medium-low heat until brown.

7. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper to drain excess oil. Set aside.

8. Bring 1 litre of water to a boil.

9. Blanch the chye sim and set aside.

10. In each serving bowl, add the light soya sauce, sesame oil, dark soya sauce and white pepper.

11. Bring 11/2 litres of water to a boil.

12. Cook two servings of the dried huai shan noodles at a time. Cook for two minutes. Drain and divide the noodles among the serving bowls.

13. Arrange the blanched chye sim in each bowl. Place 1 Tbsp of ikan bilis in each bowl. Peel and halve an egg for each bowl.

14. Add 1 tablespoonful of crispy chilli a bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander and spring onion.

15. Serve immediately.

Serves four

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2020, with the headline Comfort Cooking: Noodles that hit the spot. Subscribe