Char kway teow is a stir fried, flat rice noodle dish. I’ve now had delicious char kway teow in Brunei and Malaysia. My favourite is Penang style. This recipe is a recreation of my preferred version of Penang style char kway teow.
Penang Style Char Kway Teow Recipe
Note: Each serving should be cooked separately for the best results. The ingredients listed below are for one serving. Depending on where you go, Penang char kway teow may include slices of Chinese sausage (lap cheong) and/or fish cake. If you would like to use these in your char kway teow, add them to the wok first. You want the sides of the Chinese sausage slices to be nicely browned and crispy before adding the shrimp. The slices of fish cake just need to be stirred a few times before adding the shrimp.
small handful of fresh, thin and flat rice noodles, loosened (Note: A one-pound package of fresh rice noodles will make 5 or 6 servings. Do not use a lot of noodles at once.)
4 large peeled and deveined prawns
small handful of fresh bean sprouts
a few Chinese chives, cut into 2 inch long pieces
1 large duck or chicken egg
1 tablespoon cooked and de-shelled blood cockles (Note: You could try substituting with cooked baby clams.)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon home rendered lard (see recipe here) (Note: You could substitute with vegetable oil, but the lard is the secret to making the noodles silky and rich without feeling greasy.)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon light or sodium reduced soy sauce
sambal or hot chili paste to taste (Note: I used 1 teaspoon.)
1 fresh lime wedge (optional)
Heat a wok over medium high heat. Once the wok is very hot, but not burning, add the lard. From this point on, you need to work quickly. Once the lard has melted, swirl it around so that it coats the bottom half of the walk. Add the prawns and garlic and stir until both sides of the prawns have just turned pink. At this point, the prawns are not yet cooked all the way through. This is good, because you don’t want to overcook them. Immediately add the noodles, spreading them out all across the bottom of the wok. Add the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and sambal, and stir continuously until the noodles are well combined and heated through. Then add the blood cockles and bean sprouts, and give the dish a few quick stirs. Push all of the ingredients to one side of the wok and place a fresh egg on the other side of the wok. Use your spatula to break the yolks and roughly scramble the egg. Allow the egg to cook, undisturbed until it is almost cooked all the way through. Then add the Chinese chives and stir the entire dish together until everything is well combined and heated through. Dish out and serve immediately with a fresh lime wedge on the side, if desired. The bean sprouts should be softened but still a bit crisp, the Chinese chives should be just wilted, the prawns should be just cooked through, and the noodles should be soft and hot. This dish is best enjoyed when still piping hot.