Fried Beehoon with Shrimps and Fish Cakes

It was a rainy weekend here in Minnesota with heavy down pour from Friday through Sunday. The deluge made staying home and indoors the obvious choice. We lazed around, ate, and worked on our hobbies. The lawn was well watered and the grass probaby grew several inches but it will have to left alone for now.

As we did not feel like going out, I made something really simply for lunch on Saturday. Fried rice noodles is a family favorite which I have not cooked in a while. There is no fixed rule as to what can be included with the noodles and so I added whatever I had on hand. We all cleaned our plates in no time and wished there was more. Next time I will have to cook a little extra so that we can have second helpings.

Fish sauce, though very commonly used in Vietnamese and Thai cuisines, is not as prevalent in Chinese cuisine. It is seldom, if ever, used in Cantonese cuisine. I think it is mainly used by the Min Nan Chinese comprising mainly of the Hokkien (Fujian) and Teochew dialects. Again this can also be regional as I noticed that in Malaysia, the northern Hokkiens in Penang and Kedah use fish sauce while those in the central and southern regions not as much. My mom does not use fish sauce at all in her cooking. Hence, fish sauce is a relative new ingredient to me. While it is said to impart an umami flavor to food, it is definitely an acquired taste.

There are many grades of fish sauce available and because I use it sparingly, I try to buy the best grade I can find. According to my Vietnamese friend, the highest grade fish sauce should have the word “nhi” on the label. She recommendeds the Phu Quoc or Three Crabs brand. She personally prefers Phu Quoc. I have tried both and I like the Phu Quoc better too.

Fried Beehoon with Shrimps and Fish Cakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 8 oz (225g) beehoon (rice sticks)
  • 8 oz (225g) shrimp, shelled
  • 6 oz (170g) fish cakes or chicken breast, sliced
  • 12 oz (340g) xiao bai cai (baby bok choy)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (60ml) water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  1. Soak beehoon for 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat oil in pan. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimps and fish cakes. Cook until shrimps turn pink and curl, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add noodles, xiao bai chai, soy sauce, water, and fish sauce. Stir to get everything well mixed and until beehoon and xiao bai cai are cooked, about 5 minutes or so.
  4. Remove and divide into 4 individual plates. Serve immediately.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)

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  1. says

    Hi Biren! Look at the smoke coming out from the wok! I love beehoon (I didn’t know this is how you spell it) and your version of shrimp and fish cakes sound really nice. Japanese don’t use fish sauce but since I came to the US and eat more Vietnamese and Thai food, I got very addicted to that taste. Your seasoning is easy to remember (garlic, soy sauce, and fish sauce), and I must try this one! It sounds nice that your family worked on their hobbies… My kids are still small that they won’t let us do any hobby.. LOL.

    • Biren says

      Fish sauce is definitely an acquired taste. I like it in hot foods, not so much in cold dips and sauces. It takes me a long time to finish a bottle of fish sauce.

      It is difficult to work on hobbies when you have little kids. They need a lot of attention. :) You will have more time for hobbies when they are a little older.

  2. says

    I have only cooked with fish sauce once, but I hope to do more Asian cooking at some point and get more use for it. Thanks for the great tips on fish sauce, and I’m glad your family enjoyed this dish.

    • Biren says

      I think fish sauce is best used sparingly so that it does not over power the entire dish. The food should alos be served warm.

  3. says

    My daughter is hooked on fried rice noodles, I like that you can add what you have to it. It is good to know about fish sauce. I have tried it before, but I like to know what brand others like. I have to get my family used to it. I do use oyster sauce when it calls for fish sauce for now….but I will looks for this brand of fish sauce. One of our Oriental market’s owners are Vietnamese, so we can find a lot of Vietnamese products it that store.

    • Biren says

      I have cut down drastically on the use of sauces in my cooking except for soy sauce and some Worcestershire sauce. I use the rest of the sauces very sparingly.

      If you can’t find this brand, try the Three Crabs brand. They both have a nice, light color, and the taste is not as strong.

    • Biren says

      I like beehoon too. Come to think of it, you may be right about women preferring beehoon and men liking those yellow noodles. :)

  4. says

    This is simple in making, and simplY delicious in taste!:) Good ol’ fried beehoon, and I loved that you used shrimps and fish cakes…yummy!!:D

  5. says

    What a great way to spend a rainy day. It has been extraordinarily dry here in London and I’m wishing for some rain. I can smell your beehon from here, Biren. Food like this is the very essence of homecooking: quick and simple but extremely tasty.

  6. says

    Hee heee…yes. I think I can eat this for breakfast! I have not used fish sauce in my cooking before cos I never really stock this seasoning in my pantry. For me, just a little soy sauce and lots of white pepper for my fried bee hoon. Sometimes, curry powder and spices to do Indian-style.

  7. says

    Biren, your fried beehoon looks wonderful and delicious. Love that you used shrimp and fish cakes, two of my favorites when I eat noodles. My Mom and I use fish sauce in a lot of our cooking. It definitely is an acquired taste (and smell teehee). I use the 3 crabs brand, but have not seen the Phu Quoc brand. I’ll have to keep an eye out and give that a try next time. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Biren says

      I am surprised that you have not seen the Phu Quoc brand in Canada as it is quite easily available here. As I understand it, Phu Quoc is an island off Vietnam and their fish sauce is outstanding. However these are actually made in Thailand. They are pretty good though. :)

  8. says

    Biren, I haven’t had beehoon for a while, and looking at yours I just feel that I have to make some tonight. Yours look delicious with the shrimps and fish cake and extra flavor with the fish sauce. Have a wonderful week :-)

  9. says

    It’s been raining here for a couple weeks straight…and I can definitely see how this would be the perfect comforting meal! Love the flavors in this dish, Biren!

  10. says

    Hi There, This is looking absolutely delightful. Loved the new combo of ingredients and the recipe is so nicely made and presented. Have a great day….Sonia !!!

  11. says

    Surprisingly, I don’t mind fish sauce (I’m not an anchovy or sardine fan) and have used it in recipes without any family complaint. I will, however, be seeking out the brand you mention. Thanks for letting me know about that.

    Your dish is fantastic. I love the fact that you just threw this together yet it’s so gorgeous.

  12. says

    What a pretty dish, I love the bowl and fish sauce always make things taste so much better. In china we call beehon ‘fen si’ (I think..) apparently it’s called vermicelli but it’s not the same as the italian thing, it’s much nicer!

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