When I lived abroad there were certain Malaysian dishes I craved from time to time...some of these were Roti Canai, Hameediyah's Fried Chicken, Thosai, Chinese Pancakes, Rojak...I suppose the list could go on for a bit...but today I want to focus on Char Kway Teow...translated this literally means fried flat noodles...and this it just what the dish is...with a few additions of course! This dish is traditionally made with wide flat noodles fried together in pork fat with dark soy sauce, chilli, prawns, cockles, scrambled egg, bean sprouts and chives in a wok over extremely high heat. However, thesedays there are many variations where you can get mixed veggies, chicken, chinese sausage, or fishcake added to it.
It sounds simple enough...and yet I cannot tell you how hard it is to find a really good kway teow. To me the perfect kway teow is a mixture of smoky, sweet and spicy flavors...with the egg and bean sprouts giving it a more neutral base. It shouldn't be too oily and the noodles should not be lumped together...when this happens the result is often bland tasting noodles that have not been tossed properly in all the flavors...sadly I have yet to find a good kway teow stall in KL...in Penang however, a tiny place on Swatow(mind the spelling) Lane is my stall of choice. When I last went back to Penang though they had moved all the stalls into a shiny new hawker center...the only problem with this is I can't find my regular kway teow stall!