Northern-Style Fried Rice Vermicelli (Bihun Goreng Utara)


3 tablespoons cooking oil
4 shallots, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tablespoon dried shrimps, washed and drained
2 tablespoons preserved soybean paste (tauchu)
200g unpeeled prawns, washed
200g rice vermicelli (bihun), soaked until soft
4 stalks flowering cabbage (choy sum/sawi), cut into 3cm lengths

Chilli paste (mix together)

2 tablespoons chilli powder
125ml water


1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon squid/fish sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
150g Chinese chives, cut into 3cm lengths
150g beansprouts
2 pieces hard beancurd (tau kwa), deep fried and cut into cubes


3 red chillies, sliced
3 tablespoons shallot crisps
3 stalks spring onion, cut into 3cm lengths
2 eggs, fried into an omelette with a pinch of salt and sliced thinly
3 limes, cut into wedges


Heat the oil in a wok over a medium flame to sauté the shallots and garlic until fragrant. Add the chilli paste and fry until aromatic – about 3 minutes. Add the dried shrimps and fry for a minute before adding the bean paste and fresh prawns. Stir-fry until aromatic.

Add the rice vermicelli, flowering cabbage and seasoning ingredients. Stir-fry to mix thoroughly, about 5 minutes.

Add the chives, bean sprouts and fried beancurd and stir-fry to mix well. Turn off the flame and dish out unto a serving platter. Garnish before serving.

Note : This popular breakfast fare and anytime snack is fried in a dry style, with the chilli powder and chives lending their aromas.

For more food and wine stories and recipes, pick up the latest issue of Flavours (Mar – Apr 2005), Malaysia’s premier food magazine, available at major bookstores and newsstands or email for subscription details.

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