Thursday, 25 October 2012

Char Kuey Teow - Malaysian Shrimp n Noodles

Char Kuey Teow - Malaysian Shrimp n Noodles

You can't miss Char Kuey Teow, if you go to Malaysia. This one of the best known dishes available in the road - side food stalls. The freshly made Rice Noodles or Kuey Teow (spelt as Kway Teow) and loads of Shrimps, bloody cockles, Chinese lap cheong (sausage), eggs, bean sprouts, squids and chives in a mix of soy sauce make this mouth watering dish. What attracted me to dish was the charred smell of the Rice noodles that comes from super heated wok in which the ingredients are stir fried.  This dish is generally cooked in lard... I always cook it in peanut oil, though it does not taste exactly same. I am sure you would enjoy this dish as much as I do.

Preparation Time  : 30 minutes
Cooking Time       : 45 minutes
Difficulty               : Medium
Serves                   :  6

Ingredients :

  • 450 grams fresh Flat Rice Noodles (Kway Teow noodles) or dried flat rice noodles, cooked as packet instruction 
  • 3 tablespoon Garlic, peeled, finely chopped
  • 200 grams Lard, finely diced, or substitute with 4 tablespoon Peanut Oil
  • 200 grams Squid, cleaned, cut into inch squares or thick rings (you can use packaged ones)
  • 200 grams of medium-sized Shrimps, cleaned,deveined, keep the tail if you wish
  • 1 Lap Cheong (Chinese sweet sausage), cut diagonally into thin slices (you can also use any normal sausage if you wish)
  • 2 to 3 Eggs
  • 4 cups fresh Bean Sprouts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Chives, cut into 1½ inch lengths or use scallions
  • 2 tablespoon thick, Dark Soy Sauce (choose a brand that has a high caramel content)
  • 3 tablesp Light Soy Sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • White Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon Water
  •  This recipe calls for Fresh Cockles, but I have never used them.. I genarally use 1 additional cup of Shrimps 

  • Ingredients for pan-roasted Chili Paste :
  • 3 tablespoon Lard, which I substitute with peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon Garlic, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Belacan, also spelt belachan or blacan (dried shrimp paste mostly available in Oriental ingredients rack in Super Markets)
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Chili Paste (use packaged ones or soak red chilies in luke warm water and grind)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


    Method :

    To prepare Pan-roasted Chili Paste :
      1) Heat wok over medium high flame, add lard or oil
      2) Once the Oil is hot, add Belacan(Shrimp paste), and stir-fry till belacan is quite roasted
      3) Add garlic, stir-fry till light golden brown
      4) Add chili paste and stir rapidly, till it bubbles
      5) Add sugar, salt and white pepper to taste
      6) Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, keep stirring 15-25 mins till the chili sauce reduces, oil starts to separate, and color of the chili paste changes to a dark, reddish brown - Be careful not to burn!
      7) Immediately pour the pan-roasted chili paste into a small bowl and set aside.
      8) Use to your taste of hotness.
      9) Cool and Store any extra in an airtight container in the fridge. It stays well for more than a month.
    To Prepare Rice Noodles : 
    1) If you are using Fresh flat rice noodles...  Gently separate the noodles.
     If they are too stuck together, do not force them apart. Soak the noodles in warm water for 1 to 2 mins, and using your fingers, gently separate the noodles. Be careful not to soak them too long - noodles should be 'al dente' or they will break up too much when stir frying. Drain thoroughly.

    2) If using packaged Dried flat rice noodles.... To prepare, pour hot boiling water, enough to cover the dried noodles. Soak till just al dente. Use a chopstick or tongs to give it a stir to separate the noodles in the hot water.

     3) Drain the hot water from the noodles. Immediately place noodles under a cold tap and allow cold running water to cool off the noodles. Drain well. It's vital for the noodles to be just al dente - not soft so that it does not break up too much when stir-frying

    To stir fry Char Kway Teow :

     1) In a small bowl, mix the thick, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce with 2 tablespoon water This is your flavoring soy sauce mixture. Set this aside.
     2) Heat wok on high flame, add lard cubes if you use it, otherwise omit this step. 
     3) If you are using lard, melt it and remove lard oil into a small bowl.
     4) Heat wok, preferably a cast iron wok to smoking hot, add 4 tablespoom of the lard oil or peanut oil
     5) Immediately add garlic and stir-fry garlic a few seconds, add lap cheong (Chinese sausage) and stir-fry the lap cheong for about a minute.
     6) Toss in fresh shrimp and squid, stir-fry till just turned opaque - do not overcook
     7) Add noodles, sprinkle 3 to 4 tablespoon of the soy sauce mixture all over the noodles, and salt and white pepper to taste.
     8) Gently stir-fry for 3-5 minutes.
     9) Make a circular empty space in the middle of the wok, using your ladle to push the noodles up and all around the outer edges of the wok.
    10) Add 1-2 teaspoon lard or peanut oil, break 2 or 3 eggs upto your preference, add a pinch of salt to the eggs.
    Picture Curtesy : RasaMalaysia                                  
    11) Roughly scramble the eggs, when it's done, push the eggs aside, add the fresh cockles if you are using it, and stir-fry a few seconds otherwise, simply Omit This Step.
    12) Fold the noodles over and add 3 tablespoon of the pan-roasted chili paste. If you think you can't handle the heat, reduce or increasease according to your taste.
    13) Stir-fry gently, allow noodles to get slightly charred in the hot wok, 5-8 minutes
    14) Finally add chives/scallions and bean sprouts, fold the noodles over, give it one good last stir-fry to mix well with the noodles.
    15) Turn off heat, dish onto individual serving plates, add a dash of white pepper and serve hot immediately.
    Note :
    The bean sprouts should be nice & crunchy when the Char Kway Teow is served. Therefore, it's very important to add the bean sprouts at the very last minute - as the bean sprouts will continue to cook & wilt after removal from heat.

    For an authentic 'Char-red' Kway Teow i.e. for that 'charred taste', you have to maintain a very hot wok, preferably an cast-iron wok. Also, it is best to divide the ingredients and stir-fry the noodles in smaller or individual servings.


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