Chances are if you’ve spent parts of your childhood in Chinatown, you will know what a Cheong Fun Cart is how it serves Cheong Fun (Rolled up flat rice noodles with fish balls and their signature sweet sauce), along with congee and/or spicy curry squid (I am craving it as I type).
There is another variation of Cheong Fun that is prepared differently from the one in the recipe below–where the rice noodle batter is poured directly onto a large hot rectangular pan, with freshly cooked minced meat and garlic (there are different fillings to chose from such as eggs or shrimp too). The meat mixture is then folded right into the bubbling batter, topped with chopped scallions and soy sauce. I made the latter years ago and it turned out ok but I didn’t have the proper equipment to create it. I still need to perfect that recipe.
Well, luckily, I’ve recently discovered the perfect Cheong Fun with Fishballs. I purchased store bought bags of Cheong Fun fresh from the vendor that sells it in bulk and figured out that Sunflower butter ties the entire dish together (while I was actually making the sauce for Vietnamese Shrimp/Spring noodle rolls).
I got for the sweet soy sauce recipe from Cooking with Allison. I think her sauce is perfect. I didn’t have to change a thing. She also has a recipe of the rice noodles made from scratch! Mine is the short cut version.
Here’s the Picture Walk:
Fresh Cheong Fun ( they often have bags of it in the refrigerator section of the Asian Supermarket- I believe it’s the same noodles that are used to make the flat noodles for Chow fun).
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp water
Sunflower Butter (start with drizzling 1 tbsp then adjust to your liking)
1-2 packs of Fried Fishballs
You can replace Sunflower Butter with Peanut butter if you wish- I think that’s how it’s usually served, but I prefer sunflower because I feel it adds another element of flavor that is more savory than peanut- smoother, earthier and not as thick. If you use peanut butter, you might want to dilute it with the recipe here. My husband prefers it runnier (the carts have a bottle where they squeeze the sauces)– so I may do that next time when I make it again). Any Asian style hot sauce ( such as Sriracha or Sambal) would be amazing with this if you like it spicy!
1- Steam the Cheong fun for about 10-15 minutes or until tender. Cut into bite size pieces.
2- Steam the Fried Fishballs until warm in a separate dish (about 10 minutes) or boil them (that way you’d not have to wait to assemble the dish). If you have a multi steamer, you can steam Fishballs and cheong fun at the same time.
3- Heat up hoisin, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water on a pan on low heat for a minute or 2 until it slightly thickens and turn off heat.
4- Prep peanut or sunflower sauce.
5- Assemble cheong fun (rice noodles), Fishballs (I cut them in half for my kids), drizzle to your liking the hoisin sweet sauce and sunflower butter/ peanut sauce.
Have you ever had Cheong Fun before? If so, what kind(s) had you tried? Do you have a favorite?