Char Kway Teow or Malaysian Fried Noodles is a popular street food that has come to personify street food in Malaysia and can be found at most local coffee shops and hawker stalls.
This dish does not require many ingredients, however, the freshness of the ingredients and the cooking technique are very important elements in getting the taste right. Char Kway Teow should not be wet or soggy so make sure that all ingredients used are as dry as possible.
Serves 1 person – Char Kway Teow is best cooked for one person at one time. You may cook for 2 if you are pressed for time – just double the ingredients.
- ½ lb kway teow noodles – flat rice noodles usually found in Asian grocery stores
- 6 large shelled and deveined shrimps
- 6 Malaysian shelled cockles (optional)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- I/4 cup chopped chives, 1 inch length
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 egg
- Chili paste to taste
- Light soy sauce
- Dark soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp cooking oil
Noodles (Kway Teow)
Use only the fresh variety which will be a little oily. First, separate each strand of noodle as they tend to stick together. This is an important step as you want every strand of noodle to be well fried.
Stir 2 Tbsp of pure chili powder in water to make a thick paste. This should be sufficient for 1 person. However, if you prefer it more or less spicy, just adjust the amount of chili powder accordingly. You may also omit the chili powder altogether, if that is your preference.
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok on low heat. Saute the garlic until golden brown and fragrant.
- Add ½ cup bean sprouts and fry on high heat until the water from the bean sprouts evaporates. Push to one side of the wok.
- Add ½ Tbsp oil in the same wok and fry the prawns on high heat until the outside of the prawns turn lightly brown with the inside still slightly uncooked. Add 2 tsp light soy sauce as you fry. This should not take more than half a minute. Push the prawns aside in the wok.
- Add 1 Tbsp of oil and fry the noodles on medium heat for about 1 minute. Add a little more oil if the noodles stick to the wok. Add 1 Tbsp of light soy sauce and 1 Tbsp of dark soy sauce and as much or as little of the chili paste as you like and fry for another minute. 1 Tbsp of the chili paste would give a medium level of spiciness.
- Add the chives and fry together with the noodles for another minute. Push noodles and the chives to one side of the wok.
- Add ½ tsp of oil in the wok and crack the egg in and fry on medium heat until cooked. Add ½ tsp of light soy sauce to the egg. Put to one side.
- If you choose to use cockles, add them in and fry for ½ a minute.
- Put all the cooked ingredients – noodles, prawns, chives and bean sprouts - back into the wok and mix together.
- Add the remaining ½ cup of bean sprouts to the noddles and fry on high heat, making sure to mix everything, especially the chili paste, well. The second portion of bean sprouts need not be cooked through – this will add a fresh crunchy taste to the Char Kway Teow.