Never heard before…

The other day, when I shared the photo of my plate of brown rice and buckwheat noodles, fried char kway teow style


…on Facebook, it got a whole lot of raving reviews. Everybody seemed to think that it looked really good and yes, I thought so too and thankfully, it tasted great as well.

It so happened that on that same day, a Facebook friend shared her photograph of the bihun she cooked and yes, it looked very good too. Unfortunately, her posts are all in Mandarin so I could not tell what style/recipe she followed. I browsed through some of the comments she received, the translations, of course and in her reply to one of them, she shared this Youtube video from April last year, showing how she cooked it.

First, she fried some egg, scrambled it and took it out. Then she fried some minced pork, followed by julienned carrot and thinly sliced leek. After that, she poured in one whole can of cockles and then, one whole can of stewed pork slices. Usually, I would fry bihun with one or the other, never both together like that. Finally, she added a whole lot of water like she was cooking some kind of soup and put back the egg that she had taken out.

I noticed that no oil was used in the cooking, no frying of chopped garlic or sliced shallots – I would usually have that to start off when frying bihun. Gosh!!! Was that salt or msg that she added at 1:40 followed by no less than two of those bottled sauces? *faints*

However, it was what she did next that took me by surprise, something I had never heard of or seen people doing before. She took out some of the ingredients – she probably needed more space in the wok – and put in the (made-in-China) bihun straight out of the wrapper into the soup! Usually, we would soak it in hot water or even boil a bit to soften before use, never mind whether we are going to serve it with fish ball soup or Sarawak laksa broth or whether we are going to fry it. The last few times I used the bihun from China, I had to soak to soften and then I rinsed it again and again and again to get rid of the unpleasant smell.

I think she used two packs of the rice vermicelli and after it had softened, she put back the ingredients that she had taken out earlier by which time the soup would have more or less dried up, all soaked up by the bihun. She covered the wok for a while lo let it dry up completely before dishing out everything. I must say it did not look like she “fried” the noodles – in fact, it would be something like our “moon” version of our Foochow fried noodles but at least, we do fry it first. I don’t know what this would taste like but to give credit where credit is due, it did look good.

Anyway, I went browsing through some Youtube videos and came across this one – the guy looked like a professional chef and yes, he too threw in  the bihun straight from the pack! It seems that he was cooking some Putien Hinghua bihun so you do not need to soak to soften first. I wonder if we can get that here…and now I am kind of curious as to how many of you do not soak your bihun to soften before cooking?

Well, at least now we know what they call Hing Hua bihun at many stalls in town – the one fried with canned clams in soya sauce and cangkok manis

Not Hing Hua bihun

…isn’t what they claim it to be. No wonder when I first blogged about it many years ago, my cousin in Kuching, married into a Hing Hua family, said that her mother-in-law would cook it sometimes and it was not like that!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

7 thoughts on “Never heard before…”

  1. I have never tried dish with a combination of rice and noodles…won’t this be weird? LOL 😀

    Ooi, Cikgu!!! You obviously need to work on your reading skills. Where got rice and noodles combined?
    I did come across that in the UK though – chow mien fried rice and the old lady at the cafeteria simply refused to give me the noodles without the rice!

  2. Never tried brown rice and buckwheat noodles on a bihun recipe like that, only had them on ramen

    Oh? They’re good in soups…like ramen? Will try next time. I never tried them before either.

  3. My first time heard of people fried bihun direct from the packet into the wok without pre-soak. I never know bihun fried with clams and cangkuk manis are called Hing Hua bihun. Learn new things everyday and never too late to learn.

    My first time too but at least we know now that the fried bihun with canned clams and cangkok manis is not Hinghua bihun – some stalls here use that name, it seems…or maybe they cook the bihun straight from the packet like what the Hinghuas do, I wouldn’t know. Never watched them cooking.

  4. Whole can of cockles and whole can of stewed pork slices… of course it’ll be awesome, and better have blood pressure checked next day. haha

    I cannot imagine the combination of the different tastes – pretty sure it is awful and did you see her dumping all that white powder (salt or msg)? So much that I almost fainted at the sight!!!

  5. I love fried beehoon and mine must be fried till dry. I always thought that we have to soak the beehoon first. And yes, there is a smell that I dislike when I rinse the beehoon.

    The horrible cockroach smell – the made-in-China ones, not so obvious in the Thai ones but I still rinse once or twice just to be sure. I cannot imagine cooking it without pre-soaking first, must smell terrible!

  6. Aikkss… never soak mihun? Like you, I either soak it with cold or hot water and also rinsed it when softened… Don’t think I wanna eat mihun without soaking… LOL… taste original perhaps!

    …and other than the smell, we do not know what goes on in the factories. I saw photos of a bihun factory…and they simply threw all the bihun all over the floor. So shockingly disgusting! How can we cook without washing it first?

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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