Char Kway Teow is Hokkien and literally translated as “stir-fried rice cake strips”. This dish is omnipresent in Malaysia as well as Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei.
There are many versions to this dish, but the most popular connotation linking to this dish is the one dubbed as Penang Char Kway Teow. Even in Hong Kong, these stir-fried noodles are often known as Penang Char Kway Teow, indicating the dish’s origin.
I haven’t been to Penang in a long, long while; hence, my memory of an equally good plate of Char Kway Teow was my last trip home to Kuching in 2008! I made sure that every trip home would include stopovers at my family’s favourite Char Kway Teow hawker stall 😀
When the craving gets tough…
It has been almost 6 years since my last trip home!! Man, how time flies… Yes, I’m crazy craving for foods I knew and grew up eating.
The closest platter of Char Kway Teow I could get here in Belgium is the Thai version of Pad See Ew, meaning fried (with) soy sauce.
These were the Thai Pad See Ew variations I have had in Belgium, BUT, they were not the same as the Malaysian or Singaporean Char Kway Teow 😦
And then – out of the blue – one fine day, a girlfriend was asking if I wanted fresh flat rice noodles! Oh yes, bring ‘em over friend. I knew immediately what I could conjure from those oodles of noodles 😀
I am aware we could use the store-bought pre-packed dried rice noodles, but the fresh ones are oh, so delicious. It’s quite different, most certainly.
Armed with the 2 packets of the fresh flat rice noodles, I went in search for a hawker style Char Kway Teow recipe. I found the exact recipe I wanted in a little cookbook called “Hawker’s Delight – A guide to Malaysia & Singapore hawkers’ food”
Sorry for the foggy picture because I was totally blurred and smitten with my platter 😉
The day I got the fresh flat rice noodles, I cooked my first plate (ever) of Char Kway Teow in Belgium. As there are many versions to this dish, I stuck to the basics, and most of all, using ingredients I had in my kitchen larder and refrigerator rather than explicitly replicating the entire recipe. I could if I wanted to, but my craving got the better of me. I did not rush to the supermarket to buy all the ingredients but remained loyal to the approach of a rather good plate of Char Kway Teow, I must say 😉
By the way, here’s how my first plate of Char Kway Teow turned out…
Absolutely delish!Ingredients – Serves 4-5
- 600g Kway Teow or flat rice noodles (I took a handful per plate x 4. Personally, the CKT tastes better cooked in smaller portions)
- 300g Medium size prawns – shelled and deveined (I used 4-5 prawns per plate per person, shelled and deveined but leaving only the tails intact)
- 250g Oyster or cockles – boiled and shelled (I did not have these but used fishballs in lieu)
- 250g Squids (I will use these the next time)
- 200g Chicken, beef or pork – cut thinly (I did not use meat. I made seafood CKT)
- 300g Bean sprouts (I will use these the next time)
- 12 Stalks of chives – cut into 2cm length (I used spring onions, but will use chives the next time)
- 2 Stalks of chai sim or sawi (bok choi) – cut into 3cm length
- 3 Eggs
Pounded ingredients –
- 2 Fresh red chillies
- 6 Cloves garlic (I used quite a lot – whole knob!)
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce, to taste
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce for the colour
- I also added some white vinegar (this was not in the recipe)
For marinating the meat and seafood – leave for about 15 minutes
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp pepper
3 Tbsp cooking oil
- Heat oil in a smoking hot wok. Fry pounded ingredients until fragrant.
- Add seasoned prawns or meat strips and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add some water (if necessary), then followed by squids, cockles or fishballs.
- Increase heat and stir fry for 3 minutes.
- Pour in the soy sauces, bean sprouts, chai sim, chives (or spring onions). Fry and mix well. Crack the eggs and keep stirring. Finally, add in the flat rice noodles.
- Stir and toast thoroughly for 2-3 minutes
- Taste for seasoning and colour before plating up
I like my CKT quite dark and garlicky 😉
They were so addictive that I cooked more that evening. My guys lurve their CKT, albeit home cooked on an electric stove. Ha ha ha…
I think I have improved in the colour and taste the second time around. LOVE it!!
I realised I have not been linking up to CYB in a long time. Joyce, I hope my quick, simple and basic hawker-style Char Kway Teow will do justice on your CYB blog-hop page ;-). So here I am linking my CKT to Cook-Your-Books#10 hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours
As prawn is one of the mainstays of the CKT recipe, I’m also linking this post to Little Thumbs up with the March theme ingredient using “PRAWNS” organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and hosted by Food Playground
Have a great day. Enjoy!