Penang Char Hor Fun Recipe (炒河粉)
May 29th, 2007 67 Comments

Penang Char Hor Fun Recipe (炒河粉)

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Recipe: Penang Char Hor Fun (炒河粉)

Serves 3-4 people


1/2 pack hor fun or flat rice noodles (32 oz pack)
1/2 pack vermicelli (14 oz pack)
3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon kecap manis


12 shrimp (peeled and deveined)
12 thin pieces of pork meat
12 bay scallops
12 thin pieces of fish cake
1/2 can chicken broth (14 oz can)
5 stalks chinese mustard green/choy sum (cut into 2-inch length)
1 1/4 cup water
3 cloves garlic (minced)


2 tablespoons corn flour
1/4 cup water


2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 dashes white pepper powder
Salt to taste


1) Soak the vermicelli in warm water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain the water and set aside.
2) Break the flat rice noodles off by peeling the layers. Set aside.
3) Heat up a wok and add 1 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Toss in the vermicelli and do a quick stir. Add 1/2 tablespoon of soy souce and 1/2 tablespoon of kecap manis and continue to stir the vermicelli until the soy sauce and kecap manis are well blended with the vermicelli. Continue to stir until the vermicelli are lightly burned or charred. Dish up and set aside.
4) Repeat the same for the flat rice noodles. Dish up and set aside.
5) Add some oil in a wok and stir-fry the minced garlic until fragrant.
6) Add in the pork, shrimp, bay scallops, fish cake and do a quick stir.
7) Add the chicken broth and 1 1/4 cup of water immediately.
8) Add in all the seasoning and bring it to boil.
9) Add in the starch mixture to thicken the gravy.
10) Add in the mustard green, do a quick stir and turn off the heat.
11) On a plate, place the fried vermicelli and flat rice noodles equally.
12) Pour the gravy and toppings on the noodles and vermicelli. Serve hot.

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67 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Sheyna says:


    Thanks for the recipe. I am looking forward to trying it. Out of curiosity however, how come you use kecap manis and fish sauce? Both don’t seem like ingredients that Penang hawker users would use…



  2. Teong ONG says:

    I find it unusual to serve Sar Hor Fun with sambal belacan in Penang. It is traditionally Cantonese and served with green pickled chillies and soya sauce.

    • You are right Char ho fun is served with pickled green chilies but as a personal preference I would also ask for Sambal belacan from the vendor for an extra kick!

  3. That dish was one of my favorites growing up in Kedah/Penang. Now that I am in USA for the last 30 years, I miss it very much, which is why I visit Nyonya (Little Italy in NYC) restaurant. In any case, I have a question for you…. How come there is no egg in the sauce recipe? I was under the impression that eggs were used in the sauce. Please clarify.

  4. Davidoon says:

    Oh yes, a dish I miss most from my early years in Penang and Sungai Petani. Haha and you are so right about the myth, that’s what I cooked although with crispy noodle instead of flat noodle, to win my ex-girl friend’s (now my dear wife) heart when we were 18. So long ago… Now want to share this with my 3 boys…

  5. genevieve says:

    You forgot the eggs. There are always eggs in Penang hawker stalls’ hor fun.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    please can you post up a picture or email me the picture of the chicken broth you use?? thanks

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