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Hoongan Chau Chai

This is my FAVOURITE noodle dish to eat when I get home. Not so much mee suah or laksa or kolo mee. 'Hoongan', 'kampua', 'cha chu mien' and 'kueh chap' are what I look forward to. This noodle is mainly SOUR and sour to the max from the preserved vege.
Cuisine: local
Keyword: bihun, noodles, preserved vege, salty, sour


  • Chau Chai preserved sour vege, chopped rather finely
  • Rice noodles
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • Chicken Stock
  • 1 tomato cut to wedges
  • Pork balls optional
  • Prawns peeled and de-veined
  • Light Soy sauce
  • White pepper
  • Scallions
  • Fried shallots
  • Chilli dipping sauce optional
  • Sunflower oil


  • Soak the dried rice noodles in water till they're soft and stringy. Chop the chau chai rather finely or you can use the food processor to do this. Use more of the stem for extra sour kick!
  • In a hot wok, stir fry the garlic and then add the chopped chau chai. Stir fry till it's fragrant. Add tomatoes.
  • Add chicken stock till you cover all the ingredients. Let it come to a boil.
  • Season with light soy sauce and white pepper.
  • Let it simmer for 15 - 20 mins and then taste. See if the sourness is to your liking, if you want more sour, add more tomatoes.
  • My mother cooked the pork balls separately because it was frozen and she didn't want that thawed taste to seep into the soup. But if your pork balls are room temp, it's fine to just toss it into the soup.
  • Add your fresh prawns at the last second and adjust any seasoning necessary.
  • This is how we like to do it; we take a few scoops of the soup into a separate pot and heat it up. Add a handful of noodles into the soup for 5 seconds. Dish it out into a bowl.
  • Add more soup to your liking along with the pork balls, tomatoes and prawns. Top with scallions, fried shallots and chilli.


There is no hard and fast rule what you put as fillings. The important thing is to get the soup right. You can use sliced chicken or pork or even fish. Fishballs or fishcakes work well too.