If you are stranded on a deserted island and could only have one dish to survive on, what would you choose? Why?
Imagine one dish that you have to eat for the rest of your life, one dish that you will never get sick of, what would it be? Even though I know I probably would rather die than eating one dish over and over again, but I think I would choose a big plate of Char Kway Teow. For a start, I love CKT, the stir-fried flat rice noodle charred with the breath of wok and soy sauces, mix through some fresh prawns or blood cockles caught off the island, slices of lup cheong cured from wild pig caught on the island of course, then give it some crunch of garlic chives, preserved radish and bean sprouts from my own sustainable vegetable garden on the island. “Uuh hum…” I think I am in heaven, or soon would be if stranded on an island long enough.
So hereby, I would like to share with you the Char Kway Teow recipe from my cookbook, Have You Eaten? Yes, yes, I know there are no pork fat and no blood cockles in my recipe, I simply can’t please all the Malaysian aunties, can I?
Have You Eaten? Cookbook – Special Offer
Last but not least, if you haven’t got a copy of Have You Eaten? cookbook or perhaps you know someone who would love to receive a copy this Christmas, then you can now grab a copy for as low as $20, but this special offer is available on this blog only. Make sure you leave the name and message who the book is addressed to either yourself or love ones, and I will individually sign each book before sending out. And each book will also come with a handprint exclusive tea towel absolutely free, but the stock is limited, so first come first served!
But please make sure to place your order before 12 December if you would like to have the book delivered before Christmas Eve.
Char Kuey Teow
(Recipe from Have You Eaten? cookbook)
Best to cook 1 portion at a time
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
2 or 3 strips of salted radish, rinsed and patted dry, then finely chopped
1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), thinly sliced
4 raw prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined
250 g (9 oz) fresh flat rice noodles (see note)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons Cheong Chan dark soy caramel
pinch of ground white pepper
handful of bean sprouts
handful of garlic chives, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths
Sambal or Sriracha chilli sauce, to serve
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a non-stick wok over high heat, then add the garlic and salted radish and fry until fragrant. Add the lap cheong and prawns and stir-fry for a minute or until cooked.
2. Add the rice noodles, then toss the wok to mix everything together. Add the light soy sauce, dark soy caramel and white pepper, and give it a quick stir-fry to make sure all noodles are now charred and well coated in the sauce.
3. Push the rice noodles aside and make a clear space in the wok, then add the remaining tablespoon of oil and crack the egg into the oil. Stir and break up the egg with the spatula, then quickly cover it up with noodles and let it cook for 10–15 seconds before you start stir-frying again. Add the bean sprouts and garlic chives, turn the heat off, give everything in the wok a toss to combine, then tip out onto a serving plate. Serve with Sambal or Sriracha chilli sauce.
Note: Fresh flat rice noodles are available in the refrigerated section in Asian grocers or major supermarkets. They are usually sold as a block of noodles in a packet. To loosen the noodles, take them out of the packet and heat them in the microwave for 60 seconds, then dip the noodles in a bowl of lukewarm water. The noodles should be now pliable enough to separate into individual strands. Drain the noodles and let them dry in a colander before cooking.