Char Hor Fun is a typical street (hawker) Chinese food in Malaysia and Singapore. For many of us, it is also a childhood comfort food that we will never get bored of eating. There are also many Malaysian chain restaurants or food stores all over the world selling this popular classic dish. Hor fun or shahe fen (Mandarin) originated from Guangzhou in Southern China region of Guangdong and its popularity proliferated into Southeast Asia. Another name for this dish is wat tan hor (Cantonese), which literally means “silky egg fried noodles”. In addition, a different version called ying yong hor (in Cantonese symbolizing Yin and Yang) with a twist is the used of flat rice noodles cooked in light and dark soy sauce plus thin rice noodles (rice vermicelli) fried until crunchy. Usually, only fresh flat rice noodles are used and cooked with light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Then meat like chicken or beef or pork and/or seafood together with choy sum are cooked in a silky and thickened egg gravy. Subsequently, the hot egg gravy including the ingredients used are served on top of the cooked noodles. However, fresh flat rice noodles or hor fun, normally have wheaten cornstarch added in addition to rice as a main ingredient, so I will not recommend using these noodles in any gluten free recipes. For my gluten free recipe, I am using gluten free pad Thai noodles (Chang’s) cooked in blackstrap molasses and salt. Chicken, prawns and choy sum are the main ingredients used and tossed and served in a smooth and silky egg sauce. This recipe is also soy free, dairy free and nut free.
- Some extra virgin olive oil for pan frying
- 1 kg 35.2oz/2.2Ib skinless and boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 kg 35.2oz/2.2Ib peeled raw king prawns, tails intact (wash and reserve shells)
- 500 g 17.6oz/1.1Ib gluten free Thai style rice noodles (Chang’s) or any gluten free rice noodles
- 2 bunches baby or Hong Kong choy sum washed and cut into 8cm in length
For the Egg Gravy:
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 7 tablespoons gluten free corn maize starch mixed with ½ cup water
- ¼ cup pale or medium dry sherry
- 3 eggs
- Salt to taste
For the Prawn Shells Stock:
- All reserved prawn shells
- 2.25 litre 9 cups water
For the Noodles Sauce:
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons Blackstrap molasses
- ¼ cup pale or medium dry sherry
- 3 teaspoons salt or to taste
For the Marinade for Chicken
- 2 tablespoon of pale or medium dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons gluten free corn maize starch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper
For the Marinade for Prawns:
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon gluten free corn maize flour
- 2 tablespoon pale or medium dry sherry
For the Garnish:
- 3 spring onion shallots, thinly sliced
- Combine chicken with marinade in a large bowl and mix well.
- Combine prawns with the prawns marinade in a large bowl, toss and mix well.
For cooking the prawn shells stock:
- Add 2.25 litres (9 cups) water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add in all the reserved prawn shells.
- Turn heat to low to medium, cover with lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
For cooking the chicken and prawns:
- Heat up the wok with some extra virgin olive oil, stir-fry the chicken on medium to high heat for 3 minutes or until just cooked. Remove chicken and set aside. Discard chicken juice. Clean wok with kitchen paper towel.
- Heat up the wok again with some extra virgin olive oil, pan fry the prawn for 2 minutes on each side or until prawns are just cooked. Remove and set aside. Clean wok with kitchen paper towel.
For cooking the noodles:
- Prepare and mix the noodles sauce ingredients except salt in a separate bowl. Set aside.
- Fill a pot half full of water, bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the rice noodles into the wok for 2 minutes or until the rice noodles are just soft. Separate the noodles, drain the water, remove and set aside.
- Heat up a wok and add in all the cooked noodles.
- Drizzle all the sauce prepared in step 9 onto the noodles in the wok.
- Add salt to taste and stir and mix well on low to medium heat until noodles are soft.
- Apportion and place the noodles onto deep serving plates and set aside.
For cooking the egg gravy and combining the dish:
- For the egg gravy, heat up the wok with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, add garlic and stir-fry until lightly golden on low heat.
- Add in 8 cups of prawn shells stock prepared in step 5.
- Then add in the gluten free corn (maize) mixture, stir-fry on medium to high heat until the gravy has thickened.
- Add in 3 eggs one at a time and stirring the gravy continuously as you add the eggs.
- Lastly, return the cooked chicken and prawns and mix well and bring to a boil.
- Then add in the choy sum and cook for another 2 minutes or until choy sum turns bright green. Turn off the heat.
- Place some egg gravy and ingredients on top of the noodles on each serving plate.
- Garnish and serve with some spring onions (shallots).