Shrimp noodle soup recipe


The flavor of this simple noodle dish depends on the richly flavored stock made from both fresh and dried shrimp, and pork or chicken. This soup is traditionally served with delicious, crunchy pork cracklings; some may omit these for health reasons but they make all the difference to the flavor of the dish.


  • 8 cups (2 liters) water
  • 8 oz (250 g) large fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined, heads and shells reserved for the Stock
  • 1½ oz (50 g) fatback (pork fat) or salt pork, cubed
  • 1 lb (500 g) fresh yellow wheat noodles (Hokkien mee)
  • 1 cup (50 g) bean sprouts, rinsed, or a few leafy greens
  • 1 green onion (scallion), thinly sliced
  • Ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 oz (100 g) small fresh shrimp
  • 3 tablespoons dried shrimp
  • 1 dried chili, whole
  • 5 shallots, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 whole white peppercorns, ground and dry-fried until fragrant
  • 8 oz (250 g) pork or chicken bones
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
How to Make It
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a pot, add the shelled shrimp and boil for 2 minutes. Drain the shrimp and set aside, reserving the shrimp broth to make the Stock.
  2. To make the Stock, heat the oil in a pot over medium to low heat and stir-fry the reserved shrimp heads and shells with the small fresh shrimp, dried shrimp and dried chili for 5 minutes. Crush the ingredients in the pot firmly with the back of a wooden spoon against the side of the pan, then add all the other Stock ingredients, except the sugar and salt, and add the reserved shrimp broth. Simmer gently over low heat, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the liquid is reduced to three-quarters of the original amount.
  3. Heat the sugar in a small skillet with 1 tablespoon of water and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until it caramelizes, about 1 minute. Add this caramel syrup to the Stock and mix well. Remove from the heat and strain the Stock, pressing the solids firmly with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid, then season with the salt. Keep the Stock hot if using immediately.
  4. While the Stock is cooking, fry the fatback (pork fat), if using, in a wok over medium heat until the oil runs out and the pork is crisp and golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Alternatively, bake the fatback (pork fat) in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Scald the noodles in boiling water for 1 minute to heat through, then divide them into 4serving bowls. Top each serving with bean sprouts or leafy greens, ladle the hot Stock over and add some shrimp into each bowl. Sprinkle the fried pork, green onion and add a liberal dash of white pepper. Serve immediately with sliced red chili in a bowl of soy sauce or with the sambal of your choice.

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