Singapore hawker centers have this popular Teochew (ChaoZhou) noodle dish in 2 varieties: Fishball or Bak Chor (Minced Pork) from S$ 3 to S$6 (Michelin class) a plate. It is so common to locals that we hardly treasure it, but once away from the island for months or years, we would crave for it nostalgically. I once took a 7-hour train from Southern France city Toulouse to Paris in 1979, just to taste this nostalgic home dish cooked by a petite Singapore Embassy’s Secretary-cum-hawker-Chef.
Why “Teochew” fish ball? the legend goes back to the First Chinese Emperor QinShi HuangDi (秦始皇帝) who liked to eat fish but hated the bones (nice fish has plenty of tiny bones), so a Teochew chef in desperation used the back of knife to beat the de-boned fish meat out of frustration and fear, accidentally invented the minced fish meat in a ball shape, which pleased the Emperor greatly. The fishball recipe quickly spread to whole China.
1. 鱼丸面 Fishball Noodle
2. 肉脞面 (Bak Chor Mee)
Experience from a tourist – Singapore Best “Tai Hua” 大华 Bak Chor Mee