Wat Dan Hor Fun – no no, I’m not making funny noises. It’s the actual name of this dish in Cantonese. Translated, it means ‘smooth/silky’ (wat) ‘egg’ (dan) ‘flat rice noodles’ (hor fun). It’s a very common dish especially in Singapore and parts of Malaysia.
How do I describe this dish? The perfect wat dan hor fun has slightly charred ‘wok-flavoured’ rice noodles, smothered in a tasty, lightly thickened stock with chiffon ribbons of egg, fish cake, prawns, chicken or pork and chinese mustard greens or bok choy.
The ‘charred wok flavoured’ noodles bit is rather important. Pre-frying the rice noodles softens and adds a whole level of tastiness to the dish. Done the right way, the wok should be searingly hot, and the noodles are lightly seasoned with soy sauce and stir fried quickly to give the noodles the wok flavour and light brown colouring. If possible, use the thicker (wider) rice noodles instead of the thin, pad thai ones. It’s rather difficult to get the right kind of rice noodles here in the UK. I got the medium width ones and they weren’t as good.
And I didn’t have a searingly hot wok. Something to do with my pathetic electric stove. I can never get the wok hot enough. So my noodles weren’t as charred as I wanted them to be.
I’ve had better attempts at making this dish, but this was the only one I took photos of. So you’re kind stuck with a dud-y version. Still good (taste wise) but the texture from the rice noodles was a big, fat FAIL.
Anyway, accompanied with good sambal chilli or pickled green chilli – hubs and I enjoyed every tasty ribbony bit of it. I’ll just have to get the right kind of rice noodles next time.
Texture is so darn important in a dish isn’t it??
RICE NOODLES IN EGG CHIFFON SAUCE (WAT DAN HOR FUN)
650gm flat rice noodles (get the wider ‘frying type’)
4 tbsp oil
2 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp dark soya sauce
120g lean pork/chicken
100g fish cake (optional)
4 whole stalks / heads of chinese mustard greens or bok choy – washed and cut into bit size
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cornflour(heaped) mixed with 1/2 cup water
600ml stock (I used chicken stock)
1 tbsp soya sauce
pepper and salt to taste
Soften and loosen the fresh flat rice noodles as they tend to be stuck together and brittle when refrigerated. (steaming the noodles on a covered dish in a microwave is probably the quickest and best way)
Heat wok until very hot, add in enough oil to grease the wok, fry a handful of the the noodles. Add light and dark soya sauces and stir fry briskly. Allow noodles to burn a little at the edges to obtain a smoky taste. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the noodles.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and fry prawns and meat until cooked, add in garlic and fish cake and fry until fragrant.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Add in the vegetables and when gravy comes to a boil, add in the cornflour mixture. Bring gravy back to a hard boil to cook the cornflour and thicken the sauce. Season to taste.
Turn off heat and mix in 2 lightly beaten eggs, stir with a pair of chopsticks to cook the eggs and create the eggy chiffon ribbons.
Dish gravy onto the fried noodles, garnish with crispy fried shallots (optional) and sambal chilli / sliced pickled green chilli).