The Chinese term ‘Char kuey teow’ means stir-fried flat rice noodles. It may have originated from China's province Guangdong but various versions of stir-fried rice are found in many Southeast Asian countries. It was sold first by sold by fishermen, farmers and cockle-gatherers throughout Southeast Asia. They used all the leftovers they had to create this dish and sell for extra income. In East Malaysia, char kuey teow is synomous with Penang, a state of Malaysia. Today, char kuey teow is now one of the most popular dishes in Malaysia and Singapore. It may be just another stir-fried noodles recipe, the tips shared below will make or break your dish if you aim to have it just like in the Penang hawker centre.
Let us just agree that the pronunciation of char kuey teow itself is already a little tricky for non-Cantonese speakers. Just click the video here if you want to listen to its correct pronunciation.
Char kuey teow sauce is a special concoction which consist of soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar and pepper.
Preparing a plate of char kuey teow just like in Penang not only requires the right ingredients but also the correct techniques. I found that it is better to prepare it in small amount, that is one plate at a time unless you have a big wok to work with or you are a true professional. I learned that the noodles would turn soggy when too much sauce is added all at once.
The noodles have to be stir-fried at the highest heat. That is why you need to be fast at stirring the noodles or else they would be burnt. A slightly charred taste is all we need for these noodles to have the smoky flavour for which they are famous for.
You may add chopped preserved vegetables, blood cockles or even fry the noodles using pork lard. You can enjoy it together with some raw 'sambal belacan' and a slice lime or calamansi. Whichever way you like it, a plate of 'Char Kuey Teow' brings the taste of home to every Malaysian especially for those who are abroad.
(Penang) Char Kuey Teow is also known as: Malaysian Stir-Fried Rice NoodlesChar Kway TeowKuey Teow Goreng炒粿条
Mix soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar and pepper evenly.
Heat a wok over high heat. To cook 2 plates of char kuey teow, pour oil into wok. Add slices of Chinese sausage, minced garlic and chilli paste. Sauté until fragrant.
Then, sauté prawns and fish cake for about 30 seconds.
Add noodles to wok and quickly stir-fry them while adding few spoonfuls of sauce at a time. Then, add an egg to the noodles.
Finally, add chopped Chinese chives and bean sprouts. Continue stir-frying noodles until vegetables are cooked.
Serve hot and enjoy as it is or with raw 'sambal belacan'.