"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."
- 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
- 1Drain chillies and blend to a fine paste with 3 tbsp water in a small food processor (see note).
- 2Cut noodle sheets into strips about 1cm wide and carefully separate them with your fingers.
- 3Heat 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).
- 4Push 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.
- 5Wipe wok clean with paper towels and repeat with remaining ingredients to make a second serve.
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.