Airfryer (Philips Airfryer!),  Hawker Food,  Noodles,  One-dish Meals,  Soup,  Under $3

Hawker Staple: Prawn Ban Mian (Handmade Noodle Soup)

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I was on the way home yesterday thinking of what to cook for dinner. I wanted to prepare something simple, one-dish, something which is not saba/ salmon (we’ve been having fish almost daily as they’re easy to prepare in the airfryer!), and something new.

I knew I wanted noodles, but what kind? What noodles have I not cooked before for the blog which is relatively easy to prepare? Prawn noodles are out of the question because I didn’t have time to prepare prawn stock.. and I’ve featured Fishball Kway Teow Soup and Bak Chor Mee before.. the next easiest dish seems to be.. Ban Mian?

p/s- You don’t have to make your own noodles la, I used store-bought noodles for this dish!

Ban Mian (Handmade Noodle Soup)
Serves: 2
Total cost: $6.90 (only $3.90 if you leave out the large prawns)
Total cost per serving: $3.45

What I used:
200g Ban Mian (I got “Sakura” brand from NTUC’s chiller section)
3 cloves garlic, crushed and skin removed
2 slices ginger
5 tablespoons ikan bilis
1.8 litres water
1 tablespoon Woh Hup Concentrated Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 dried honey date
2 Egg Story pasteurised fresh shell eggs
2 chinese mushrooms, soaked til plump then sliced
100g minced meat (marinated in 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon chinese cooking wine, 1 teaspoon sugar, white pepper and a little corn starch)
A handful of green leafy vegetables
4-5 prawns (optional)
Scallops (optional)

For topping:
3 tablespoons ikan bilis
2 tablespoons oil (to fry ikan bilis if you don’t have an airfryer)
Fried shallots
White pepper

Steps:
1. In a large pot, fry ginger, garlic and 5 tablespoons ikan bilis til fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2. Pour in the water, add chicken stock, oyster sauce and honey date. Bring to boil then lower flame. Simmer for 20 mins.
3. In the meantime, airfry the 3 tablespoons of ikan bilis. 180C for 10 minutes thereabouts or until you smell something yummy. If you don’t have an airfryer (why), heat two tablespoons of oil and fry the ikan bilis til crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
4. Strain soup through a sieve, then return to pot/ wok. Add the mushrooms. Shape the minced meat into balls and drop in one by one, making sure they don’t stick to one another. Cook for 10 minutes.
5. In another pot (your instant noodles pot), ladle enough soup, meat balls, mushrooms for a single serving and bring to boil.
6. In a bowl, rinse one portion of ban mian in tap water to get rid of excess starch, pat dry slightly and add to pot. Cook til loosened.
7. Add in prawns and scallops (if using) and leafy vegetables. Crack in an egg, cook for 30 seconds or still runny, then off the flame.
8. Transfer to bowl and top with crispy ikan bilis, fried shallots and a dash of white pepper.

How much I spent:
$1.20 for noodles (I bought a 300g pack and used 200g)
$1 for minced pork
$0.20 for vegetables
$1.50 for ikan bilis
$3 for prawns (I paid for $5.95 for 8 pretty large ones and used 4)
Eggs were from Egg Story
Everything else from my pantry

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The broth was phenomenal! Subtly sweet and incredibly infused with the myriad of ingredients, I’d say this is the best ban mian I’ve had in a long time, since Qiu Lian ban mian’s standards dropped years ago. This isn’t difficult to make, why not surprise your family today? Like what Jason said, this ban mian is “sibeh 好吃啊!” LOL!

(edit: 6 Oct 2014- he is obviously very happy that I made this again yesterday!)

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