This dish does not originate in China but in the Malaysian city of Ipoh.
It is firmly rooted in the Cantonese tradition hence I have classified it as a Cantonese dish. There are so many dishes with the same name “Ipoh Horfun” – some with prawns and others in a light-coloured soup – such that I have altered it to better reflect this version.
I have made a chicken stock using the whole rib-cage of medium size chicken. The rest of the meat went to making fillet and the wings and legs went to some other recipes. Once the stock is done, there is still so much meat left on the carcass, so I got my chicken shreds by peeling off the flesh from the bones. The result is tender white chicken meat that is not as tough as that of chicken breast and thick and long enough to serve as my topping. Now that you have the background to this dish, we shall begin!
- 500ml chicken stock
- 8-10 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked in lukewarm water for 1 hour)
- 2cm long ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbs oyster sauce
- 1 tbs dark soy sauce
- 3 tbs corn starch
- Salt and pepper
- 4-5 stalks choy sum/caixin 菜心
- 2 portions of fresh or dried “horfun” – flat rice noodles 河粉 (use the thin variety)
- 120-150g shredded chicken
- Chili oil (optional)
Serving: 2 persons
- Cut a cross in the top part of your mushrooms. Remove the stems.
- Heat up a pot with your stock on medium heat. Add in your mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Bring to boil and let it simmer for five minutes. Add in your oyser sauce and dark soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix your corn starch with a bit of water and slowly stir it into your broth to thicken. Once thickened, turn off the fire and set aside.
- Bring to boil a pot of water and cook your noodles until soft or al dente. Remove and drain. Place in serving bowls. Use the same boiling water to poach your vegetables. Once cooked, place them on top of your noodles.
- Use a ladle and slowly pour your thick mushroom gravy all over your noodles. Once done, sprinkle your shredded chicken on your noodles. Serve with a big dollop of chili oil as done in Ipoh!
October 2015 update: Can’t find good rice noodles? Make it yourself! Here’s how to do it!