Chef's Recipes

Stir-fried flat rice noodles

Char kway teow is a perennial Malaysian favourite for a reason. Tony Tan shows us how it's done.

By Tony Tan
  • Serves 2 - 4
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking plus soaking
Stir-fried flat rice noodles

"A popular street food, the best char kway teow is smoky and laced with lard, Chinese sausage and prawns," says Tan. "Made with fresh rice noodles, it's my go-to dish when I yearn to eat Malaysian food. It's best to cook one serving at a time so the noodles take on the charry taste of the wok. In Malaysia char kway teow traditionally also includes blood cockles, known as kerang."

Ingredients

  • 5 dried long red chillies, torn and softened in hot water
  • 300 gm fresh flat rice noodle sheets (see note)
  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 small green prawns, peeled, tails intact, deveined
  • 1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp dried turnip (optional; see note), finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 handfuls of bean shoots
  • 30 gm garlic chives, cut into 5cm lengths

Method

  • 1
    Drain chillies and blend to a fine paste with 3 tbsp water in a small food processor (see note).
  • 2
    Cut noodle sheets into strips about 1cm wide and carefully separate them with your fingers.
  • 3
    Heat half the oil in a wok over high heat. Add a tablespoon of chilli paste and half the garlic. Stir fry for 5-10 seconds – the chilli paste burns easily. Then add half the prawns, half the lap cheong, half the dried turnip and half the noodles, toss well to coat and combine, and stir-fry until lightly charred (3-4 minutes).
  • 4
    Push noodles to the side of the pan and add half the beaten egg. Add half the soy sauces, half the bean shoots and half the garlic chives, stir-fry to combine (about 1 minute), season to taste, then transfer to a serving plate.
  • 5
    Wipe wok clean with paper towels and repeat with remaining ingredients to make a second serve.

Notes

Fresh rice noodle sheets and dried turnips are available from Asian grocers. If rice noodle sheets are unavailable, use refrigerated pre-packed noodles brought to room temperature; they're brittle when cold. As an alternative to blending dried chillies, use shop-bought sambal oelek.
Drink suggestion: Cold bottle of Tiger lager. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.

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  • Author: Tony Tan