Healthy fried bee hoon (Singapore street noodles)

This is a recipe for how to make Singapore street noodles. It is a healthy version of Singapore fried bee hoon with chicken and red rice vermicelli, high in protein and low in fat. Never again suffer through rice noodles that’s drowned in oil and fat!

Recipe overview

Singapore street noodles, as they’re known in the Western world are actually called “fried bee hoon” or “mee hoon” locally here in Singapore. That’s why when you visit Singapore and look for Singapore noodles, you won’t find one.

If you are new to fried bee hoon, it is rice vermicelli stir-fried with protein of your choice and vegetables with a delicious sauce and is a complete meal in itself. It is a local staple that is served in Singapore hawker stalls any time of the day as breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. (‘Hawker stall’ food is the Singapore version of street food.)

This is one of the easy Singapore food recipes that can be replicated at home. You can customize it the way you want with chicken, shrimps or pork. You can also control the amount of fat and type of carbs to make it tasty and healthier. Follow the tips below and you can make these Singapore noodles way healthier than most of the hawkers here.

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Why this is a healthy Singapore street noodles recipe

  • This recipe uses lean meat (chicken breast) instead of pork which is commonly used.
  • I’ve used red rice vermicelli instead of the more common white rice variety. Red rice has more nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • If you want to shift to healthy carbs like red/ brown rice, this can be a good place to start because, unlike rice, red rice vermicelli is not much different from the white one in terms of taste and texture, but the health benefits are immense. Once you get used to this red rice vermicelli, you can try red rice recipes like Thai-style fried red rice or stir-fried chicken with red rice. You may also like brown rice recipes like lemon rice.
  • The optional “ground dry mushrooms” is a healthy twist I’ve introduced into this bee hoon recipe. It increases the flavor as well as antioxidants, plant-based protein and other nutrients.
  • I’ve used (and recommend) a non-stick wok instead of the traditional wok. Hence, the quantity of oil required to stir-fry is comparatively less. That’s how I made this healthy version of sesame chiken stir-fry!

If you’re worried about the noodles sticking together due to less oil, I’ve got you covered. The vermicelli is blanched in a lot of water to remove the starch which makes it less sticky.

Healthy bee hoon being stir-fried in a non-stick wok.

Ingredients

Sauce

  1. Soy sauce: You’ll need light and dark soy sauce for this recipe. If unavailable, use 3 tablespoons of regular soy sauce.
  2. Chilli sauce, chili flakes and pepper for the heat. This is a moderarely spicy rice noodles recipe. You can adjust the quantities according to taste or completely omit the chili flakes.
  3. Oyster sauce is one of the main ingredients that give the characteristic flavor to this Singapore noodles recipe.
  4. Sesame oil for flavor, to bring the sauce together and give a final gloss to the dish.
  5. Ground dry mushrooms (optional): In some local hawker stalls, dried mushrooms are soaked overnight and stir-fried with the bee hoon, but this is an easier way to add dried mushrooms.
Labelled ingredients for healthy fried bee hoon sauce recipe.

How to make dried mushroom powder

Take about 5 or 6 dried mushrooms, wipe them with a wet cloth to remove any dirt and let them dry on the kitchen counter. (Ensure that you buy good quality mushrooms that are free from grit.) Grind them to a smooth powder using a spice grinder or small blender jar. Store in a dry airtight jar in the refrigerator.

This recipe requires just 1 teaspoon but you can make this in bulk and store in the fridge. It stays fresh for about 3 months.

Use this mushroom powder in Chinese stir-fries, noodles and tofu and taste the difference! You can also use it in soups, stews, broth or even pasta sauce. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of this powder to the sauce in the scrambled tofu recipe and also the creamy pasta with spinach.

Labelled ingredients for healthy fried bee hoon recipe.

Rice noodles

Red rice and brown rice vermicelli can be used interchangeably for this recipe. The white variety can also be used. It also tastes great but you’ll be missing out on those health benefits 🙂

Chicken

I’ve used chicken breasts here, but any skinless, boneless chicken can be used for this recipe. Marinate in a little of the sauce for about 20 minutes. If you have 20 more minutes, try this hack I use to tenderize chicken breasts before stir-frying.

Prawns

Dried prawns are used for fried bee hoon but if not available, fresh ones can be used. Fresh prawns can be stir-fried as is, but if using dried prawns, soak in hot water for about 20 minutes before stir-frying.

Vegetables

Carrots and cabbage are usually added, but other stir-fry vegetables like bell peppers or leafy greens like bok choy and chye sim can also be used.

Additionally, garlic, onions, bean sprouts and spring onions are added for flavor and crunch.

Step-by-step instructions

Whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Marinate the chicken with a little of the sauce and soak the dried prawns.

soaked prawns and marinated chicken for healthy fried bee hoon recipe.

Blanch the vermicelli- boil water, add vermicelli and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water. Drain again.

For stir-frying, use a wide wok so you can stir the ingredients with ease. Start by heating oil on high flame and stir-fry garlic, onions, marinated chicken, prawns, vegetables, beaten eggs, blanched vermicelli, sauce, and bean sprouts in the same order. Garnish with green onions.

Vegetarian fried bee hoon

This fried bee hoon can be easily made vegetarian by substituting the following:

  1. Use extra-firm tofu instead of chicken. Marinate and stir-fry the same way.
  2. Omit the prawns.
  3. Use hoisin sauce instead of oyster sauce.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon more of the dried mushroom powder in the sauce.
  5. For a vegan recipe, omit the eggs in addition to the above.

Shrimp stir fry with rice noodles

Chicken can be replaced with shrimps in this recipe. Follow the same instructions for marinating and cooking except that shrimps take less time to cook. Stir-fry the shrimps for about 1 minute only (as compared to 2-3 minutes for chicken) before adding the dried prawns.

Recipe tips

  • Keep the flame on high throughout the cooking process. If you feel that something is getting burnt, add a splash of water and continue stir-frying.
  • When you blanch the vermicelli, add a lot of water with a little oil (about 6 cups for this recipe) so that there is room for vermicelli to move around and they don’t stick to each other.

Common questions

How do you cook bee hoon without breaking it?

1. Blanching the vermicelli helps hold its shape and texture. Plunging in cold water after cooking stops it from getting overcooked and breaking.
2. After adding the vermicelli, do not stir-fry for more than 2-3 minutes.
3. As soon as you turn off the flame, transfer the fried bee hoon to a serving dish so it doesn’t continue to get cooked in the residual heat.

Are rice vermicelli noodles healthy?

It depends on the protein you add and the amount of oil used for stir-frying. When you use lean meat and limited oil and salt, combined with the nutritious antioxidant and fibre-rich red rice vermicelli, you get a healthy fried bee hoon.

How do you soften bee hoon?

Bee hoon (rice vermicelli) cooks very fast. Add it to boiling water and stir well. The bee hoon becomes soft in 2 minutes.

How do you cook vermicelli without it sticking?

Add rice vermicelli to boiling water (about 6 cups per 200 grams) in a wide pan and cook for not more than 2 minutes. Drain and plunge in cold water. This blanching process helps remove the starch from the vermicelli making it less sticky. Adding oil to the water while boiling also keeps it from getting sticky and maintains a springy texture.

More healthy chicken recipes

Healthy fried bee hoon served in 2 white plates.

Healthy fried bee hoon recipe (Singapore street noodles)

This is a recipe for how to make Singapore street noodles. It is a healthy version of Singapore fried bee hoon with chicken and red rice vermicelli, high in protein and low in fat. Never again suffer through rice noodles that's drowned in oil and fat!
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course brunch, dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 320 kcal

Ingredients
  

For fried bee hoon

  • 200 grams rice vermicelli (7 ounces) (See note 1)
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil, divided peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrots julienned
  • 300 grams chicken breast boneless, skinless
  • 2 tablespoons dried prawns (note 2)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup green onions finely chopped for garnish

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chilli sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (reduce according to spice level)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried mushroom powder (optional- see note 3)
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

The sauce

  • Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce.

Preparation for fried bee hoon

  • Soak the dried prawns in hot water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile prep the other ingredients.
  • Clean and chop the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Marinate the chicken with 2 teaspoons of the prepared sauce. Keep aside.
  • Chop the vegetables and green onions.
    Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Blanching rice vermicelli

  • Boil 6 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a large pot or wok. Add the rice vermicelli to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to a bowl of room temperature water. Mix well, drain and keep aside.

How to fry Singapore bee hoon

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large wok or pan. Once the oil becomes hot, add garlic and toss for a few seconds. Add onions and stir-fry for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the marinated chicken and toss for 2 minutes. Drain the soaked prawns and add. Fry for 1 minute. Next stir-fry the carrots and cabbage for a minute.
  • Create some space in the middle of the wok by pushing the ingredients to the sides. (As you can see in step-by-step pictures in the post above.)
    Add the beaten eggs and scramble until half-cooked. Toss with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix in the blanched vermicelli, add sauce and toss with tongs or chopsticks until all ingredients come together. Do not toss for more than 2 minutes or else you risk overcooking and breaking the vermicelli.
  • Add bean sprouts, toss for a minute and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with green onions and transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Substitutions:
  1. Rice vermicelli: I have used red rice vermicelli here. Brown or white varieties can also be used. 
  2. Dried prawns: Can be replaced with fresh prawns. (They don’t need to be soaked.) 
  3. Ground dried mushrooms: This is optional, but I highly recommend using it to enhance the “umami” flavor. Wipe dried mushrooms with a clean, dry cloth and grind to a smooth powder using a spice grinder or small blender jar. This mushroom powder can be made in bulk, stays fresh in the fridge for about 3 months. You can use it for Chinese noodles, soups and stir-fries, too.
Vegetarian fried bee hoon recipe:
  • Replace chicken with tofu (marinate and use in exactly the same way). 
  • Replace oyster sauce with hoisin sauce.
  • Omit the prawns. 
  • Ensure that you make the mushroom powder as above for added taste and protein.
Vegan fried bee hoon: Skip the eggs in addition to the above substitutions.
Make-ahead option
This fried bee hoon is best eaten fresh. If you want to make ahead, follow these instructions:
  1. Do not add bean sprouts while cooking. Stir-fry and add them just before serving. Bean sprouts tend to spoil fast and lose texture.
  2. For refrigerating/ freezing, use a wide container and spread out the vermicelli as much as possible.
  3. Reheat on high heat in a wok or pan on stove top for a short time. 
  4. If reheating in the microwave, use a wide container and lay the bee hoon flat. Use high power and short time. 
  5. This fried bee hoon stays fresh for 2 days in the fridge and 1 month in the freezer. Though it would still taste delicious, there would be slight difference in the texture.
Healthy fried bee hoon (Singapore street noodles)
Keyword Chicken Singapore noodles recipe, Easy Singapore food recipes, Fried mee hoon, Healthy fried bee hoon, Singapore fried bee hoon recipe, Singapore noodles, Singapore street noodles recipe

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4 thoughts on “Healthy fried bee hoon (Singapore street noodles)”

  1. 5 stars
    Have always wanted to try to make these simgapore noodles at home.the ones in the shop are not authentic at all. This one is great!

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