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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Go for dry hor fun

The noodle dish sans gravy is a healthier choice and even more so when made with wholegrain noodles, says Lee Hui Chieh
The Straits Times - March 1, 2012
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Go for dry hor fun

Any self-respecting plate of hor fun (flat rice noodles in Cantonese) would come drenched in glistening, gooey gravy.

The dry version of hor fun, without the viscous sauce, tends to look and taste more like fried kway teow - fried flat rice noodles in Hokkien, usually narrower than hor fun and often eaten for breakfast - instead.

So the dry version of hor fun - if cooked with less oil and salt - should be less sinful than the wet version fried in gravy.

The nutritional value of the dish can be raised further by substituting the usual white rice noodles with noodles made of a mix of both white rice flour and brown rice flour.

Brown rice is a type of whole grain, with only the hard outer shell of the husk removed, so it provides more vitamins, minerals and fibre than white rice. White rice is the starch-yielding endosperm, or tissue left behind after the husk, the next layer of bran and the embryo of the seed, called the germ, have been removed.

Eating whole grains has been shown to reduce a person's risk of developing certain types of cancer and heart disease.

Majestic Wok, which runs 10 Ya Fu Xiao Chu stalls in food courts and coffee shops, made the switch to wholegrain noodles for its dry version of seafood hor fun at its stall in Compass Point in Sengkang last October.

It did so when it was invited by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to join the Healthy Hawker Programme.

The cook at the Compass Point stall, Mr Yang Shou Long, 35, said: 'My boss agreed to it because he thinks there's a demand for healthier food.'

More vegetables have also been added into the mix for this healthier version, said Mr Yang.

Frying is done with a light hand, using only about half the usual amount of oil and that of salt, he added.

At the Compass Point stall, the $4.50 bowl of seafood hor fun offered a huge portion of noodles and plenty of ingredients - a prawn, slices of fish cake, diced crabstick, shredded steamed chicken, as well as bean sprouts and strips of lettuce and chye sim.

The prawn was dry and the crabstick tasted of too much flour.

But the wholegrain noodles were virtually indistinguishable from the regular type. They were savoury and quite moist despite the lack of gravy.

It may not seem like the most enticing choice on the menu, but it is a reasonably hearty - and healthier - meal for the hungry.

Mind Your Body paid for the meal.



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