Dish of the Day: Wat Tan Hor

Dish of the Day: Wat Tan Hor

For days when you’re unsure of what to get at the hawker centre, Wat Tan Hor is surely a no-brainer. A plate of silky noodles, combined with vegetables, and slices of protein, the dish is as filling as it is tasty. What sets it apart from other kinds of noodle dishes is the runny egg gravy – thick enough to provide a slippery mouthfeel but not too starchy for you to feel jelak. 

What is Wat Tan Hor?

A dish of Cantonese origins, Wat Tan Hor literally means egg gravy over hor fun, a type of flat rice noodle commonly used in Asian cuisines.

The dish is prepared by lightly searing the noodles before pouring a generous serving of stringy egg gravy on top. Plus, the addition of choy sum, and bits of prawns and chicken as toppings.

The key to a great Wat Tan Hor is the “wok hei” taste from the noodles. Defined as a slightly charred taste, the “wok hei” taste is believed to have come from the cooking of the past, where charcoal was used for cooking the noodles instead of a frying pan.

The traditional cooking technique helps to coat bits of the noodles without burning it completely and adds extra texture to the dish. While the method of using charcoal for cooking is rare these days, many seasoned cooks still try to replicate the “wok hei” taste with modern cooking instruments.


Besides the cooking method, not much history can be found about the dish other than it originated from Guang Zhou – the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine – and later migrated over to Southeast Asia in regions where Chinese communities are prominent.


While a typical plate of the dish features chicken slices and some prawns, certain hawker centres take special care in making their own variation of the dish.

For example, in Singapore, Beef Hor Fun is a popular option at kopitiams as it features tender beef stripes exclusively. Choices of beef include rib eye, sirloin and rump steaks for that extra punch of meaty goodness.

Seafood Hor Fun is also another sought-after dish, mostly due to its rarity. Priced higher than usual, a plate of Seafood Hor Fun would usually include clams, squids, and prawns, and a delicious broth to go with.

Herbivores, on the other hand, need not miss out on the goodness of the dish when a plate of Vegetarian Hor Fun can provide the same amount of satisfaction. Some vegetables you’ll find in this dish on top of choy sum are mangetouts, sugar snap peas, beansprouts, and Chinese cabbages, which are known to absorb broth and gravy rather well.

Nutritional Value 

A hearty plate of Wat Tan Hor can rake around 400 calories, depending on the serving size, which is not too bad of a number for a lunchtime meal. Heavy in carbohydrates, it can help sustain the feeling of fullness so you won’t be snacking too much after the meal.

With the added protein and vitamins from seafood slices, vegetables, and eggs, Wat Tan Hor can be considered an all-rounded meal that satisfies all your nutrient needs.

Where to Find in Malaysia

Luckily Wat Tan Hor isn’t a dish you have to search high and low for. Its accessibility is part of the reason why it’s such a popular dish among all Malaysians. To have it delivered straight to your doorstep, use foodpanda now!

If you’re adventurous enough to experiment cooking different dishes, why not use our Wat Tan Hor recipe and be the creator of your own meal!

Article Written By Anna

Anna is an absolute foodie, and lives by the motto that food is happiness. She is a writer by day and a gamer by night. She believes that good food comes from all over and is constantly amazed by the passion and dedication it takes to make food that warms the soul.

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