How to Cook Sarawak Foochow Noodles

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If there’s one revelation that stands out from the myriad of new discoveries in my Borneo trip, it is the influence of the Foochow dialect group in this part of the world. Prior to that I never knew much about Foochow people and their culture; back in Peninsular Malaysia it was broadly Cantonese in the south and Hokkien up north.

On our trip, I heard about the Foochow clan and how the original settlers were concentrated in Sibu, Sarawak – and learned that since the first mass migration from China in 1901, this group has been highly respected for their hardworking, enterprising nature and adventurous spirit.

I’m hoping to travel to Sibu next time I’m in Sarawak, in order to explore this aspect of Borneo’s culture and cuisine. Until then, I have this recipe from Chef Liou of Four Points by Sheraton – a favourite of the hotel’s owner himself, I’m told.

Photo with a kucing in Kuching. FYI Kuching is the old Malay spelling for the word "cat".

Photo with a kucing in Kuching. FYI Kuching is the old Malay spelling for the word “cat”.

Foochow noodles incorporates a couple of techniques that set it apart from your run-of-the-mill braised noodle dish. –

1) The yellow noodles are first scorched in a wok to bring out the “wok breath” or smoky flavour most home-cooked noodle dishes lack.

2) The sauce used in the dish is made from premium “chicken essence” (Chef Liou’s term for the juices obtained from steamed chicken) – as opposed to just chicken stock.  

3) Finally, the soya sauce needs to be of good quality, and also the seafood, if used, must be very fresh.

The scorched noodles are braised in this chicken essence and finished off with steamed chicken slices and fresh prawns.

 Foochow Noodles

Click here to watch on YouTube >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epTPzO-2lO4

Ingredients –

200g yellow noodles

3 garlic cloves

20g spring onion

20g mustard greens

20g sliced leek

20g chicken meat

50g shrimp

100ml chicken essence

10ml light soya sauce

30g steamed chicken

15ml oil

Method –

Char garlic & noodles in wok. Remove.

Fry sliced leek, then add noodles, chicken essence and all other ingredients.

Cook through, then serve.

 

Foochow Noodles

Foochow Noodles

Recipe courtesy of Four Points by Sheraton, Kuching, Sarawak.

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