Sunday, January 11, 2009

Char Kway Teow

On some days, the Malaysian side of me kicks in and I find myself craving some hawker-style food that involves lots of oil, pork lard and piping-hot stir-fries. As much as I think the Malay Satay Hut is a saving grace to all the forlorn Malaysians in Washington, I sometimes don't think paying $10 for a plate of noodles is justified.

Char kway teow is basically just fried rice noodles, Malaysian style. The three main ingredients in any good char kway teow are chinese sausages, prawns and especially fresh bean sprouts. It's super easy to make, provided you're not afraid to use the highest heat setting on your stove, and make sure everything is prepared beforehand so that you can chuck things in to the wok at rapid-fire speed.

My mum's trick to bringing out the flavour of any fried noodle dish is to add a little pork lard, so I'm using this method here. You can omit this and just add vegetable oil, but I guarantee you won't regret trying out what a little piece of bacon can do!

Char Kway Teow
Serves 4

12 oz. flat rice noodles (fresh or dried)
2 slices bacon or pork belly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 link chinese sausage, sliced thinly on the diagonal
20 medium-sized fresh shrimp (31-40 ct)
4 cups bean sprouts
3 stalks scallions
1 tsp chili paste (sambal olek) or 2 tsps if you like it spicier
1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp sweet soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp white pepper

If using dried noodles, soak in boiling water for 10 minutes. Bring entire pot of noodles to a boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and leave the noodles in the pot until al dente. Drain and rinse well with cold water.

Heat a wok or cast iron skillet on medium heat. Fry the bacon until crispy and the lard starts to melt in the pan.

At this point, you want to do everything in rapid succession.

Turn the heat up to high. Add in the chinese sausages. Fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the garlic, prawns and salt. Fry for about 2 minutes until the prawns are no longer pink.

Add in the noodles, chili paste and sauce mixture. Fry for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Push the noodles aside and break in the eggs at the empty side of the wok. Quickly scramble the eggs and combine it with noodles. Mix everything together and fry for another 3 minutes until the noodles are slightly charred.

Add in the bean sprouts and scallions. Turn the heat off. Give the noodles a quick stir, flip to combine all ingredients and serve immediately.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This looks so good! If only we knew how to pronounce it. :) But that probably doesn't matter!