Jeng jeng jeng jeng – I introduce to you my homesick dish – the Char Kuey Teow (CKT) – the dish that rules my foodie world and one of the most popular dish in Malaysia, I dare say, definitely as popular as nasi lemak, penang laksa, chicken rice and assam laksa. But if you ask me to rank, I would rank them all as my no.1 favourites! So hard to choose sides, you know especially when I love to eat so much and they taste equally good 🙂
CKT is not just a plate of friendly fried flat noodles (kuey teow) with soy sauce. It’s a dish that’s packed with taste and flavour using only the simplest ingredients. Not forgetting, the sweat too! So, how did they do it? 3 things – breath of the wok (wok hei), constant cling clang sound between the wok and the wok chan (wok spatula) or wok hoak (wok ladle) and lastly, the speed of frying.
I tried to copycat the style of frying this dish (the non stop cling clang sound and the speed) like the hawker’s but ended up having a very sore arm the next day! Silly me. Ah well, but the dish turned out so good that my lil’ one asked for seconds and thirds 🙂 This recipe is for 1 serving. If you’re cooking for more than one, you should separate the portions to retain the wok’s breath.
1 other must-have ingredient that’s missing here, is fresh, bloody (I mean real bloody) cockles – my hubby’s favourite! Of course, such tasty and unhealthy ingredient also naturally comes with lots of bad cholesterol. It’s a good thing that I couldn’t find it here in Melbourne 🙂 Whatever it is, it still tasted damn bloody good! My lil’ one gave a big thumbs up for the sweet version (omit chilli paste and replace with kecap manis).
Malaysian Char Kuey Teow (adapted from To food with love)
Peanut oil or lard oil (if you have)
250g fresh flat rice noodle (kuey teow), gently separate the noodles and soak in hot water for 10mins
3 large fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
6 slices lup cheong (chinese sausage), cut diagonally
6 slices fishcakes
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 handful of bean sprouts
handful of chinese chives, cut to 2 inches lengths
1 tbsp chilli paste (freshly made or store bought)
salt, to taste
1 cup dried chillies, finely blended
1 tbsp belacan (dried shrimp paste)
2 tbsp garlic, chopped
salt, to taste
1 tbsp sugar, to taste
2 tbsp ABC kecap manis (use this for the sweet version and omit chilli paste)
2 tsp thick caramel sauce
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1. Prepare the sauce. In a bowl, mix the thick caramel sauce, soy sauce and water together. Set aside. If you want the sweet version, add kecap manis at this time but omit the chilli paste later.
2. Heat wok on high heat up to smoking point and add 3 tbsp peanut oil. Stir fry garlic for a few seconds, then toss in the lup cheong and fish cakes and fry for 1 min. Toss in the prawns and stir fry until it’s turned opaque.
3. Add noodles and pour the sauce over the noodles. Toss to mix it well with the sauce and other ingredients.
4. Now, make an empty circle in middle of the wok, pushing all noodles to the side of the wok around the empty circle. Add 1 tbsp oil and break 2 eggs. Drop a pinch of salt. With your wok spatula, lightly scramble the eggs and then fold in the noodles and mix well.
5. Add chilli paste (if you are making the spicy version) and mix well. Continue to stir fry the noodles for about 3-4 mins until it’s lightly charred. Finally toss in the bean sprouts and chives and give it a good last stir fry. Dish them out and serve on a plate.