East-meets-West Pork and Prawn Macaroni: This easy Pork and Prawn Macaroni recipe uses only three main ingredients yet it’s so satisfying, the perfect recipe to magically conjure up a quick and simple one-pot meal when you are short on ideas (and ingredients)!
Pork and Prawn Macaroni in Homemade Prawn Broth is one of the recipes I keep in my back pocket for days when I am too tired to cook a full meal. Most household stock up on dried foodstuff like instant noodles, bee hoon and pasta at home as a contingency for last minute meals.
For me, I always have a ready stock of macaroni because it is a very versatile main meal. I love that there are so many different shapes and sizes of macaroni (from baby pasta stars, to large macaroni shells), and so many ways of cooking macaroni. It can be baked, fried, made into a salad or cooked with soup, such as this recipe for pork and prawn macaroni.
Making the Prawn Broth
As for the prawn broth, I always like to keep a ready stock of home-made prawn broth in my freezer. Whenever I devein prawns (see how to devein prawns) for other dishes, I always save all the prawn heads and shell in the freezer. Once I have accumulated a large quantity of prawn heads and shell, I will make a large batch of prawn broth and store it in the freezer.
The resulting prawn broth is naturally sweet and flavourful – there is no need to add chicken granules or MSG. Not only can you use the prawn broth to make a quick and easy meal of Pork and Prawn Macaroni, you can also use the prawn broth to cook fried Hokkien prawn noodles, prawn noodle soup, or as a soup base for fried bee hoon! By making the prawn broth in a large batch, you can save loads of time having to prepare it from scratch every time.
Still not convinced?
If you are still not convinced, here’s the clincher: My Pork and Prawn Macaroni recipe needs only three main ingredients (the rest are just condiments and garnishing)! At the same time, it is so satisfying – the perfect recipe to magically conjure up a quick and simple one-pot meal when you are short on ideas (and short of ingredients)! It’s also kid friendly as kids usually love macaroni, so I used to prepare it for my children’s lunch when they were young, and now my grandchildren also have it regularly! I hope I have managed to convince you to put it into your go-to list of regular lunch recipes too!
- 200 g Macaroni
- 150 g Lean Pork
- 12 Medium Size Prawns Medium Size
- 3 litres Water To cook macaroni
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1-2 tsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 dash Pepper
- 1 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Corn Flour
- 1/4 tsp Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Garlic Chopped
- 1.5 litres Water Boiling
- Salt To taste
- Light Soy Sauce To taste
- 1 sprig Spring Onion Optional
- 1 bundle Parsley Optional
- 3-4 tbsp Crispy Shallots Optional
Wash the meat and cut into cubes, then marinate the meat with the meat marinade ingredients and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Peel and devein the prawns (watch this video), then wash the prawns and cut them into half. Next, add 1/4 tsp each of sugar and salt to the cut prawns and set aside for 10 minutes.
Wash the prawn shells thoroughly and drain dry.
In a large pot, add in 3 litres of water, 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of oil and bring to a boil over high heat.
When the water is boiling, put in the macaroni and boil for about 10 mins with the lid on, but leaving a gap.
Then turn off the heat, cover the pot completely and leave the macaroni to steep in the pot for 15 mins to continue cooking. After 15 minutes, drain the macaroni using a sieve, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In a wok, add 2 tsp of oil and 1 tsp of chopped garlic, and fry the garlic over medium high heat until aromatic.
Next, add in the prawn shells and fry until fragrant for about 5 mins over high heat. Use the metal spatula to press against the prawn heads to extract the juices, which adds to the flavour of the stock.
Pour 1.5 litre of hot boiling water over the prawn shells and allow to simmer slowly for about 10-15 mins over medium low heat.
Next, pour the prawn stock through a sieve into a pot.
Bring the prawn stock to a boil over high heat, then add salt and light soya sauce to taste.
- Add in the marinated meat and boil for about 5 mins.
Then add in the prawns, then immediately turn off the heat completely to prevent the prawns from becoming overcooked.
Scoop the cooked macaroni into individual serving bowls and pour the piping hot soup over it together with the meat and prawns.
Finally, garnish with parsley or spring onion, and serve with fried crispy shallots. Serve hot.
- Don’t boil the macaroni or (any kind of pasta for that matter) for too long.
- The water must be boiling before you put the macaroni in, otherwise the macaroni will stick together in large clumps.
- After boiling the macaroni for 10-15 mins, turn off the fire and allow the macaroni to steep in the boiling hot water with the lid completely covered for about 20 minutes. The macaroni will continue to cook by itself, but it will not end up overcooked!
- Make sure there is lots of water in the pot when boiling the macaroni. As I explained in my basic tapioca pearl sago recipe, if there is not enough water when boiling starchy foods like pasta and sago, the water will become very starchy. When that happens, the heat will not be able to penetrate to cook the pasta through, resulting in half-cooked pasta.
- To check whether the macaroni is cooked or not, simply take one out and cut it. If the inside is still whitish in color, it is not cooked. Boil it again for another 5 mins.
- Oil is added to the macaroni during cooking is to prevent it from sticking and becoming lumpy.
- Salt is added to enhance the taste of the pasta which is generally quite bland on its own.
- Do not over-cook the meat and the prawn. If the macaroni is not served immediately, you can take out the cooked meat and prawn and set aside until it is ready to be served. When it is served, just place them on top of the macaroni and heat up the soup and pour over it before serving.
- Do not soak the macaroni in the water or the soup for too long. It will turn soft and mushy.
- You can save up the prawn shells each time you cook prawns for other dishes. When you have accumulated a large quantity of prawn shells, you can make a large batch of prawn broth to freeze for later use. To do this, fry the prawn shells with garlic and add a bowl of water to it. Boil for about 10 mins. Pour the prawn stock over a sieve in a container. Once it is cooled, separate the stock into smaller portions, and store in the freezer for later use. The stock can be kept for several weeks in the freezer.
- You can use the prawn stock for cooking prawn noodle (fried Hokkien noodle or prawn noodle soup), or to fry dried shrimp and turnip as popiah /kueh pie tee filling, or use it as a soup base for fried beehoon or macaroni etc. The stock is naturally sweet and flavourful and there is no need to add chicken granules or MSG.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Child-Friendly: No modifications needed.
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: Use gluten free macaroni and gluten free soya sauce.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.