Penang Hokkien Char (福建炒)
April 05th, 2010 43 Comments

Penang Hokkien Char (福建炒)

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Penang Hokkien Char Recipe (福建炒)


6 oz. vermicelli (soaked in warm water until soft, drained)
6 oz. yellow noodles (rinsed with cold water, drained)
6 shrimp (shelled and deveined)
4 fish balls (cut into slices)
2 oz. pork (cut into slices)
2 oz. choy sum/Chinese mustard green (cut into 2-inch lengths)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
4 oz. bean sprouts
2 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
3 dashes white pepper powder
2 tablespoons oil
3/4 cup water
Fried shallot crisps


Heat up a wok on high flame/heat and add cooking oil. When the oil is heated, add the minced garlic and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the pork slices, shrimp, fish balls, into the wok and stir-fry until they are half-cooked. Add in the choy sum, bean sprouts, noodles, vermicelli and toss all the ingredients quickly with the spatula. Add the soy sauce, sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), water, pepper powder, and keep stirring until the noodles are cooked through (make sure not to overcooked the noodles). Dish out and garnish with some fried shallot crisps and serve immediately with a dollop of sambal belacan.

Cook’s Note:

In the United States, I can’t find Malaysian thick soy sauce, which is slightly sweet in taste so I often use Indonesian kecap manis as a substitute. If you are in Malaysia, use the local thick soy sauce. If you can’t find kecap manis, you can use Chinese-style dark soy sauce, but you might want to add a pinch of sugar to balance the flavor of this dish.

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43 comments... read them below or add one

  1. alex says:

    I love your BLOG !!!! Thanks

  2. Mark says:

    This looks like a really tasty dish. I have never been to a hawker so this is the closest I come to authentic Penang food.

  3. MaryMoh says:

    Any food from Penang wins my heart :D I can eat this any time…maybe 2 plates even :P I love prawns so I will add more prawns…..mmmm

  4. Jai says:

    Your new web design is awesome! This dish is mouthwatering. Lots of Sambal Belacan for me… Thanks

  5. You forgot to add pork liver and lard. =)Thanks for sharing this recipe. I love this dish very much.

  6. babe_kl says:

    this dish is always overshadowed by Hokkien Mee and CKT LOL hardly order this dish whenever we’re in Penang.

    • That’s true, but every time I go home, I always make sure I have Penang char ho fun and hokkien char once. Hehe, but many many Hokkien Prawn Mee. Hehe.

      • Peter Kong says:

        Hi Bee! You can get Ibumie (Har mee flavor) instant noodles in packets in Malaysia. Of course they can’t beat the original but the flavor is there as is. Maybe you can add some extra ingredients to improve the flavor.

        Give it a try if you haven’t tried it before next time you are back in Penang.

  7. tigerfish says:

    一定很鲜! 好吃! Almost like the Hor Fun ingredients (prawns, pork, veg etc) but the seasoning is definitely different.

  8. Piggy says:

    ah, I miss hokkien char! Yours looks like the real deal, yum!

  9. DailyChef says:

    Ooh, delicious! I love Hokkien Mee and Char Fun, but I don’t think I’ve ever had the Penang version.

  10. This looks soooo delicious. I’ll be in Malaysia in several months and hope to try it. BTW I was inspired by your older post on Roti Jala and made it with my Malaysian chicken curry. Delicious, though when I’m in KL next I have to find one of the roti jala moulds

  11. cariso says:

    How to ‘make sure’ the noodles is not overcooked? Adding at the very last stage and quick stir?

  12. I miss Penang food! More please :)

  13. jeanette says:

    Next time I go back to Malaysia, I will make it a point to go to Penang. Meanwhile, I will try your recipes. Keep it up. But try the food in Malacca. You will be surprise.

  14. Maureen says:

    A great recipe!! I just can’t wait to go back to Penang next month after trying out your dish!!

  15. Alta says:

    I could really go for this. Lovely photo, so crisp, so bright, and so yummy!

  16. I’m salivating! I’ve never been to Penang, but I can’t resist any kind of Asian noodle dish, especially when it’s full of seafood and sweet soy sauce. Hopefully, one day, I’ll get to Penang and taste it from one of those great hawker stands.

    • Carolyn – me too. I love noodles more than rice, give me noodles and I will take it anytime! Yes, hopefully you will get to visit Penang one day. If you love street food and culture, you would love Penang.

  17. lm foong says:

    I left Penang in year 1994 and missed the food there. Your blog has reminded me the many happenings in Penang especially the Hokkien Mee. I remember the “Hokkien Mee” in Penang is the noodle in prawn soup, and few slice of small prawn and meat.
    And the same is called “Prawn Mee” but bigger piece of prawn. Am I correct?
    (I don’t exactly remember now )

  18. ting says:

    I love it! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Pingback:Pelfy’s Journey Of Love » Blog Archive » Penang Hokkien Char (福建炒)

  20. pelfy says:

    Hi. I have just experimented this recipe and I must say, “thank you for sharing it”.

  21. MegsP says:

    Where did you get the fish balls? Any particular kind you prefer?

  22. Lilian says:

    I’m literally drooling as I look at the pictures!! :D i can’t wait to try em out! CAUSE I LOVE HOKKIEN MEE! It’s superb tasty.

  23. Lisa L. says:

    hi there, i need to alert you on this website that has the same post as yours

  24. Eunice says:

    Hi, the sweet soy sauce is the same one used in popiahs?

  25. Eunice says:

    Can I use Cheong Chan Cooking Caramel in place of kecap manis?

  26. cc says:

    A yummy and simple dish. I’ve converted your recipe into a vegetarian version and it still tastes great :D

  27. Amy says:

    Seeing the photo makes me drool! Gonna try it out this weekend and hope it turns out right

  28. Irene Benny says:

    Your Blog looks great! I share all those great Penang hawkers food to all my friends. I missed Penang food so much, like you said Noodles are my top choice. Each time I’m in Penang I will go for Noodles Soup or Fried Noodles. Thank you for the recipe and keep coming!

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