There is a saying or myth in Penang about Char Hor Fun (炒河粉)–one that is only Penang’s I am sure–if you are a bachelor and would like to win the heart of your girlfriend, you would seek out the best Char Hor Fun in town and make sure you take your girlfriend there, if possible, frequently. And if you wanted to win the hearts of your future parents-in-laws, you would be smart enough to “ta pau” (take out) for them, too.
When I was little, my sisters’ boyfriends (now my brothers-in-law) would religiously pack Char Hor Fun for my parents. Being the youngest in the family, my parents would share the “bribe” with me, and that was how I started my love affair with this delicacy…
Char Hor Fun is traditionally Chinese, but there are many variations to this ubiquitous dish. When I was attending college in Kuala Lumpur (KL), I found out that the dish is called “Wat Tan Hor” there. The concept of the dish is the same, but it has a slightly different presentation and eggs are used in the gravy, hence the words “wat tan” which literally means “smooth eggs” in Cantonese…
In Thai cuisine, there is a similar dish called Rad Na and I believe Vietnamese have their own adaptation. The ingredients and toppings might be different but they are all delicious. Call me biased, but the best ones in my opinion is still Penang Char Hor Fun.
If you are a bachelor, perhaps you might want to try my recipe and make this dish for your girlfriend. And while you are at it, make some extras for your future parents-in-law, too.
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