Char Kway Teow

CHAR KWAY TEOW

Flat rice noodles wok fried with king prawns, eggs, bean sprouts and spring onions

Flat rice noodles wok fried with king prawns, eggs, bean sprouts and spring onions

“Char Kway Teow” or “stir-fried ricecake strips”  is arguably one of
the most popular dishes among Malaysians of all races. The name is
derived from the Hokkien term for “fried” which is “Char, while “kway
teow” refers to the “flat rice noodles”, which is the main ingredient.
The latter is stir-fried over very high heat with light or dark soy
sauce, chili, whole prawns, deshelled cockles, bean sprouts, Chinese
chives, and eggs. Among the Chinese community, the char kway teow is
traditionally stir-fried in pork fat with crisp croutons of pork lard
and served on a piece of banana leaf or plate. In some instances,
slices of Chinese sausage and fishcake are added to accentuate the
taste.
Originally conceived as a poor man’s food, mostly consumed by
labourers, farmers, fishermen and cockle-pickers, the dish has today
evolved into one of the most-loved dishes among Malaysians –but with
certain ingredients omitted to adhere to “halal” guidelines of the
Muslim community. As the dish became more widespred, many cooks have
come up with their own version of “char Kway Teow” but with the same
essential ingredients “Char Kway Teow” was said to have its origins in
S.E.Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei) but the common
consensus is that “Penang Char Kway Teow” tops the list when it comes
to taste and originality. In Kampar, Perak, the dish is cooked with
cockles but no prawns, unless on request. In East Malaysia, other
ingredients are used in cooking eg beef, onions, sweet soya sauce etc.
There are also so-called “gourmet version” of char kwayteow,
especially in Ipoh, Penang, Taiping and even the Klang Vaalley, where
seafood, crab meat and even duck eggs are added to suit discerning
tastes.
Head chef (also the owner) of Vistana restaurant recommends this dish severing with original taste as it is served in Malaysia.