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Char Kuey Teow (炒粿條/Penang Fried Flat Noodles) http://rasamalaysia.com/char-kuey-teow/
November 03rd, 2009 160 Comments

Char Kuey Teow (炒粿條/Penang Fried Flat Noodles)

Char Kuey Teow
Char Kuey Teow pictures (1 of 5)

When it comes to Penang hawker food/street food, there are a few dishes that are chart-toppers: Penang Assam Laksa, Hokkien Prawn Noodles, and Char Kuey Teow. It’s hard to decide which one is the most popular, but if you go to Penang, you won’t—and don’t want to—miss these three stellar hawker food.

Char Kuey Teow is basically flat rice noodles stir-fried with shrimp, bloody cockles, Chinese lap cheong (sausage), eggs, bean sprouts, and chives in a mix of soy sauce. A great serving of Char Kuey Teow is flavored not only with the freshest ingredients, but equally important is the elusive charred aroma from stir-frying the noodles over very high heat in a well-seasoned Chinese wok.

The mouthwatering aroma is the “wok hei” or breath of wok. If you’ve been to Penang and walk on streets where there are Char Kuey Teow hawkers, you’ll know what I mean. A great Char Kuey Teow beckons you from blocks away; the tempting aroma fills the air and lure diners in from afar. The very thought of that smell is enough to set my stomach rumbling.

While Char Kuey Teow can be found throughout Malaysia, the Penang version reigns supreme. I’ve heard many stories about tourists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, and beyond who trek religiously to Penang for a satisfying meal of the dish. Somehow, Char Kuey Teow from outside of Penang is simply an inferior shadow of the real stuff—lack of wok hei, too dark in color, and/or wrong taste and texture. And that’s the very reason why Malaysians from out-of-state would go to Penang—just to have a plate of Char Kuey Teow.

Char Kuey Teow

Char Kuey Teow is one the most requested recipes on Rasa Malaysia. I have readers who’ve been begging me to post my Char Kuey Teow recipe since three years ago. Great things, especially a perfect recipe, is worth waiting for. Of course I’ve made Char Kuey Teow many times, but I wanted to share the ultimate Char Kuey Teow recipe, and this is it.

So, what are my secrets?

  1. Get the freshest ingredients—fresh and crunchy bean sprouts, freshly-made noodles, big, fat, succulent shrimp/prawn, bloody cockles (I love my Char Kuey Teow with them, without them, it’s not quite the same!), etc.
  2. Wonder why the prawn in Penang Char Kuey Teow are always so succulent, juicy, and sweet? I believe some of the most famous stalls treat their prawn with sugar and ice water, or perhaps they are just very fresh.
  3. Use lard if you can. That’s the secret for the rich silky taste.
  4. Very hot wok.
  5. Control your timing of cooking and hence control your “wok hei.”

Without further ado, here is my secret Char Kuey Teow recipe and a detailed step-by-step picture guide that everyone is waiting for. Char Kuey Teow is seriously scrumptious and I don’t see why it can’t be as popular and well-known as Pad Thai and the likes on the global stage. I strongly believe that one day, the world will discover the delicacy that is Penang’s Char Kuey Teow.

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160 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Michael says:

    Just like in the streets of Georgetown. The best recipe for CKT I have tried. Thanks!

  2. Derek Ling says:

    I tried this recipe and followed it to the letter. My dad, who is quite fussy, said it tasted like Penang CKT. I told him I just followed your recipe and was absolutely delighted that he liked it. I have cooked this so many times now. Much respect for the recipe. Peace

  3. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Hi, thanks for the recipe. Even though i’m not Chinese, but I love Chinese foods. I want to cook char kuey tewo at home. buy what is the bloody cockles? i can’t find it in my country. can it be replaced another ingredient?

  4. sidney says:

    Hie! This recipe of yours is good for how many pax? Can’t wait to try it.

  5. Catherine says:

    Can’t really fidn fresh kueh teow/ rice noodle here.. can only find the blocks kind and takes too much to separate all the strands.. any suggestion to either make the separation faster or alternative noodle? the thai flat noodle possibly? does it taste the same?

  6. Pingback:Hunting for Delicious Foods at Gurney Drive Penang

  7. Eryl says:

    Do I soak the cockles in water?

  8. ingrid says:

    I miss the sesame oil, is that right?
    Do I have to saok the rice noodles in hot water first?

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