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Hong Zao Mian Xian (Ang Zao Mee Suah)

   

Hong Zhao Mian Xian (Ang Zao Mee Suah) 红槽鸡面线
Comfort Food for the Soul: A hearty and nourishing bowl of 红槽鸡面线 (red glutinous wine ginger chicken)

My love affair with hong zao chicken 红槽鸡 cooked in red glutinous wine didn’t get off to a good start at first.

When I was young, my mum who is Hock Chew, would make her own red glutinous wine or more commonly known here as “hong zao jiu” 红槽酒 (hong zao jiu) for home consumption. She will often make a huge pot of hong zao chicken (to be served with rice), or cook it with mee suah (flour vermicelli) for a simple one-dish meal. But back then, I didn’t dare to touch the chicken at all because I thought it looks all red and pretty scary. 我真不识货! When I grew older, I somehow became a lot more adventurous with food (greedy?) and upon trying some hong zao mian xian outside, I fell in love with this dish. And I wish I had tried my mum’s home made wine back then. Now, she told me that she has “forgotten” how to make the wine no matter how much I begged her T_T

I tried looking for the bottled hong zao wine so that I can cook this dish at home, but none of the supermarkets and grocery stalls I checked sell the red kind, all the ones I saw are the yellow type which I think is not authentic – after all, the wine is made from red glutinous rice so how can the final product not be red?!

Hong Zao Wine and Wine Lees

So help came in the form of a kind, and very generous food blogger Rei from All That Matters (do check out her blog for great recipes and AMAZING bakes). When she read my post at a local food forum asking where I can purchase the red wine in Singapore, she immediately offered to give me some of her home made wine for free. This is such a kind gesture especially when I didn’t know Rei before this. I was incredibly touched by her kindness and generosity and I still am today, as I am writing this post. Thanks Rei! ^_^ If you would like to make your own wine at home, check out Rei’s recipe. I feel so inspired to try making my own wine so that I can have an endless supply, haaa…

For the uninitiated, this dish is also known as a “confinement dish” – a must have for women recuperating after child birth. But you don’t need to be having your confinement to enjoy the health benefits of this dish. This is a super nourishing dish and is said to boost benefits such as lowering bad cholesterol, strengthening cardio, regulating menses and so on. For me, I just love the aromatic and slightly sour taste of the wine, so I try to cook it at least once a month. This is truly comfort food for the soul for me.

Hong Zhao Mian Xian (Ang Zao Mee Suah) 红槽鸡面线

Note: The dish can be quite “heaty” especially due to the generous use of ginger and sesame oil, so do not consume this during “that time of the month” or when you’re having a sore throat.

My recipe is based on Rei’s but I made some modifications to suit my own cooking style/preference.

Ingredients
(Serves 2)

- 600g chicken (you can use drumlets/chicken wings portions), or half a chicken, cut to bite sized pieces
- 100g (about 5 bunches of mee suah)
- ginger, cut to thin strips (for garnishing)
- cilantro (for garnishing)

A) For the marinade
- 1.5 tbsp hong zao wine lees
- 1 tbsp ginger juice (grate the ginger, take the ginger pulp and squeeze out the juice)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp hong zao wine

B) For the stir frying
- 1 cup hong zao wine
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp brown sugar

Directions

For Hong Zao Chicken 红槽鸡 (Serve as a main dish & served with warm rice)

1. In a deep and wide bowl, marinade chicken pieces with the marinade ingredients (A). Marinade for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.
2. Heat wok with 2 tbsp sesame oil and fry the ginger strips till crisp. Set aside the ginger strips.
3. Using the oil left in the wok, add in the marinaded chicken pieces (along with the marinade sauce) and stir fry for a few minutes till well coated.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients (B) into wok, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes on low flame.
5. Open the lid, using a pair of tongs, turn the chicken pieces the other side, cover the wok and simmer for another 10 minutes.
6a. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with cilantro and the previously fried ginger, and serve with warm rice.

For Hong Zao Mee Suah 红槽鸡面线 (Serve as a one-dish meal)

I prefer a more “watery” consistency as compared to the thicker sauce for the chicken as a main dish, so I added a further 1/4 cup of wine after step 5. To prepare the mee suah and assemble the dish,

6b. Rinse mee suah pieces in cold water to remove the starch, then cook them in a wok of boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, separating the strands with chopsticks.
7. Take out the cooked mee suah and set in a serving bowl. Arrange the cooked chicken pieces on top of mee suah, and pour the sauce over. Garnish with cilantro and the previously fried ginger.


A box of locally made mee suah noodles

                                           

Leave a Comment





63 Responses to “Hong Zao Mian Xian (Ang Zao Mee Suah)”

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  1. Ching — July 7, 2009 @ 2:05 am

    Looks so vibrant in red. I never have this before, curious to try it.

    Reply

  2. lisaiscooking — July 7, 2009 @ 2:48 am

    The color of the finished dish is so pretty! I’d love to try this if I can find the wine. Sounds really delicious.

    Reply

  3. Wandering Chopsticks — July 7, 2009 @ 3:03 am

    I’ve never heard of this before. Fascinating. How could your mom have forgotten? :(

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — July 8th, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

      It’s a combination of “forgotten” and “lazy” hehe

      Reply

  4. Reeni — July 7, 2009 @ 6:12 am

    Bloggers are the nicest people in the world! I bet this is out of this world delicious!

    Reply

  5. Ellie — July 7, 2009 @ 10:56 am

    Hi,
    My mum makes this too and she buys the red stuff from Tiong Bahru Market from 1 stall selling dried goods, she told me its a fat lady selling :) The wine she still uses the hong zao wine from Cold Storage tho if she gets a chance she will buy from Sitiawan in Perak, West Malaysia, my dad’s hometown. The mee suah that the hockchews use is actually different from the normal one we get here (thinner and more sticky). Unfortunately also gotta buy from Sitiawan :p tho I heard rumors of shops selling the mee suah in Jln Besar…

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — July 8th, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

      yes! there are many hock chews residing in the Perak, Sitiawan area and this dish is a speciality there. How I wish I can travel there just to buy the wine and the special mee suah u mentioned. Thanks for telling me where I can find the red paste in Singapore … do you happen to have the address? I am not that good at finding places hehe :halo:

      Reply

      • Ellie replied: — July 12th, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

        Tiong Bahru Market is 30 Seng Poh Road but you will have to hunt down the dried goods stall that sells the red paste – look for fat lady :p :)

        The foochow coffeeshop is at 33/35 Sultan Gate, Kampong Glam Conservation Area :)

        If you ever happen to go to Ipoh, take a detour to Sitiawan, not only for the red paste and mee suah but the food there is out of this world and not found anywhere else!! :)

        • wiffy replied: — July 12th, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

          Hi Ellie,
          Thank you so much. Really appreciate your sharing! Shall look for the pastes when I’m around the area. Coincidentally, my mum may be going Sitiawan for a holiday soon … I shall pester her to bring back some wine and the special mee suah back if she go. Thanks! :-)

          • wiffy replied: — April 20th, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

            Hi Ellie, I tried the mee suah at the Sultan Gate coffeeshop, both my mum and I didn’t really like it (we have strict standard lol) so I didn’t buy the lees there. But at least I tried coz I’ve always heard about this place when talking about finding 红槽面线 in Singapore.

            Shall stalk the Tiong Bahru Market place soon. Hope I find the store :)

  6. Ellie — July 7, 2009 @ 11:10 am

    I think I also saw the red paste being sold at the coffeeshop selling foochow fishball noodles at Sultan Gate which by the way serves up a yummy version of the hong zao chicken tho I usually change it to yen pi :)

    Reply

    • ShroomTen replied: — February 1st, 2010 @ 2:32 am

      Ellie .. you’re from sitiawan.. me tooo.. sigh.. i love this red wine chicken with meeh suah.. since small..now i miss my grandma’s Hong zao Chicken Mee Suah..

      Reply

      • wiffy replied: — February 1st, 2010 @ 9:09 am

        Hi Shroom, I’m not from sitiawan, hehe

        • ShroomTen replied: — February 2nd, 2010 @ 12:06 am

          i see.. lol.. but its okay.. the thing is your mum know how to make this red wine sauce… lol..

  7. Rei — July 7, 2009 @ 11:47 am

    Glad you enjoyed it and you’re most welcome! Do try to make the wine, it’s not difficult. In any case should you need more, I have spares. :D

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — July 8th, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

      Yes will definitely try out wine making one day. Thank you so much girl :)

      Reply

  8. smallsmallbaker — July 7, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    Oh, my mother makes this too and often cooks it with Mee Suah. The wine is really sweet. Unfortunately, I don’t quite like the red paste. I only like the wine. :oops:

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — July 8th, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

      the red paste and wine got different taste? I though the paste is just more concentrated hehehe … I can’t get enough of it, paste and all ;p

      Reply

  9. rachel — July 7, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

    WOW!你煮的红槽鸡面线很吸引哦。
    我肚子都饿了。
    请问那里能买到道地的红槽?

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — July 8th, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

      您住在新加坡吗?
      请看评论5,6 – 有读者提到可以购买红槽的地方。

      Reply

  10. Joyce — July 7, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

    I know what this is! My neighbor makes it all the time and gives me a bowl whenever she does! yum!

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — July 8th, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

      Oh, lucky you!!

      Reply

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