I’ve been wanting to try making char kway teow, otherwise known as stir fried flat rice noodles, for quite sometime now. Back then, I’d seen one of my aunts attempted this hawker dish several times but it always ended up in a big sloppy pile. I’ve always thought that the secret technique to it was to be lightning fast in terms of your stir frying skill and that would take a lot of practice. However, that’s not entirely the case. After doing a bit of research on other food blogs and recipe books, I’ve learnt that the trick to making a decent bowl of char kway teow is to have all the ingredients ready and to cook them in smaller servings. I’ve adapted the recipe from Adam Liaw’s ‘Two Asian Kitchens’ cookbook and did a little bit of tweaking for the seasonings and changed the techniques to suit my own. If you’re not a fan of seafood, you can always add pork or chicken for the proteins.
2 fried fishcakes sliced
1 tbsp neutral flavoured oil
5 prawns (any number you’d like actually) peeled and de-veined
50g squid sliced
1 Chinese sausage (optional)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
40g Chinese spinach, chopped (I’ve omitted this)
1 spring onion, cut into 4cm lengths
200g fresh thick, flat rice noodles
1 tbsp of chicken stock (I’ve used the powdered form dissolved in soy sauce)
1 tsp of light soy sauce
1 pinch of chili powder (I’ve used chili flakes instead)
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch of white pepper
1 tsp Cheong Chan cooking caramel (I’ve used 1 tbsp to add a bit more colour)
50g bean sprouts
Coriander, lemon wedges, chilli and garlic oil to serve (optional)
1. Boil the fishcake slices in water for 1-2 minutes till cooked. Drain and set aside.
2.Heat the oil over high heat in a wok till it’s smoking. Add the prawns, squid, fishcake and Chinese sausage and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until almost cooked. If you’re confident with your skills, you could just add in the spinach, garlic and spring onion and continue to stir fry. If you’re afraid the seafood will get overcooked, just take them out and set them aside on a small plate and add them in again later.
3. Stir fry the garlic and spring onion till fragrant and add the noodles and toss to coat with the oil. Add the soy sauce, chilli flakes, white pepper, salt and the cooking caramel. Stir fry till evenly coated and add the seafood back in.
4. Push everything to one side of the wok and crack an egg on the side of the space you’ve just made. Break up the egg and quickly toss all the ingredients together till the eggs are nicely scrambled and cooked.
5. Add in the bean sprouts and stir fry for a further 30 seconds or 1 minute, so as to not lose the crunch of the fresh bean sprouts.
6. Serve with fresh coriander, a lemon (or lime) wedge and some chilli and garlic oil.