Hi Makan Kakis, this week’s episode is dedicated to the Chee Cheong Fun lovers! The best steamed rice noodle roll has to be tender, silky and delicate, but a good roll is hard to find. Lucky for us, Masterchef Singapore Season 3 Top 4 contestant Sharlene Tan is back to share with us her secret place for excellent local-style chee cheong fun! It’s not found in the shops or at a restaurant or hawker stall and will require a little effort on your part, but boy, is it worth it!
Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s saucy D-I-Y epsiode!
Foodies may already know about Kwong Woh Hing Sauce Factory, a home-grown brand that manufactures small-batch artisanal soya sauces, vinegars and other condiments. Located in the depths of the Defu Lane industrial estate, did you know you can visit Kwong Woh Hing to pick up your orders of sauces, pastes and spice blends? Sharlene revealed that their sesame paste is the perfect pairing for Chee Cheong Fun, which you can order and make yourself at home.
The sesame sauce (& sambal chilli sauce) can be easily ordered online for delivery (f$10 delivery fee for orders below $40), but here’s the thing: you won’t find chee cheong fun in their online shop! This is a secret item for those in the know (thanks, Sharlene!) but needs to be ordered via phone 1 – 2 days in advance.
According to Sharlene, the factory gets their secret stash from friends who are manufacturers of the luscious chee cheong fun and when you call to order Kwong Woh Hing’s sauces, you can also order some of their limited supply. A large plastic-wrapped tube contains 10 rolls and costs just $5. BUT – you have to pick up the phone to call in your order! Following Sharlene’s careful instructions, I did just that. I called the sauce factory, placed an order for their sesame sauce and their sambal chilli sauce, plus 1 portion of the chee cheong fun. I was told I could pick-up my order the very next day between 12 and 5pm. Score! See the video above for my little driving adventure to collect my order.
Safely home with my haul of goodies, I got to work cutting the chee cheong fun into bite-sized pieces, then into the steamer they went for a swift 90 seconds. The helpful and friendly auntie at Kwong Woh Hing sagely advised me not to steam it for too long, otherwise it would become too soft and mushy. Straight out of my steamer, the chee cheong fun got a liberal dressing of the premium sesame sauce ($5 for a 240g jar). Speckled with whole sesame seeds, it was fragrant, nutty and savoury-sweet. Thankfully, it wasn’t too sweet and didn’t have that artificially bright-red colour so many other local-style chee cheong fun sauces have.
To offset the sweetness, I also added a large dollop of Kwong Woh Hing’s premium sambal chilli sauce ($6 for a 220g jar), which gave the dish an umami, spicy dried shrimp kick.
And there you have it, a tasty snack, quickly and conveniently done! 3 tablespoons of the sesame paste was more than enough to coat the 5 rolls of chee cheong fun I cut up and steamed. The best thing about DIY is you can make everything to your personal preferences. Like a softer chee cheong fun? Steam for longer! Want a much moister dish? Spoon on more sauce! Like it hot? Pile on the sambal!
The chee cheong fun was silky and tender, smooth and soft, with a pleasant jiggle – the perfect conduit for the tasty sauces. Next time I make this dish (with the remaining sauce & chee cheong fun), I might add Kwong Woh Hing’s premium light soya sauce for a touch of deep-brewed saltiness and a drizzle of sesame oil as well! Thanks to Sharlene, we now know this secret hack to getting affordable, quality chee cheong fun and premium sauces that are fun to prepare and tweak to our own taste. It’s a fun experience for home cooks, so do give it a go!
Kwong Woh Hing Sauce Factory Pte Ltd
5 Defu Lane 9, Singapore 539247
Open Daily: 8am – 5pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 3pm (Sat), closed Sun & PH.
Tel: +65 6288 9497 (CALL IF YOU WANT TO ORDER THE CHEE CHEONG FUN!)