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Char Kway Teow


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I am trying to think of what char quay toew is...

I have a net-sister in the city right across the bridge from Singapore, Johor Baharu.

Several of my friends and a niece have met her, but I haven't! :sad:

She's always telling me about the wonderful food there, but she wants my joong! :laugh::laugh:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I am trying to think of what char quay toew is...

It's the southeast-asian way of chow fun.

Rice noodles stir-fried with curry powder, shrimp, strips of BBQ pork, onion, green pepper, chili pepper, green onion, and some strips of fried eggs (omelet).

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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It's the southeast-asian way of chow fun.

Rice noodles stir-fried with curry powder, shrimp, strips of BBQ pork, onion, green pepper, chili pepper, green onion, and some strips of fried eggs (omelet).

Sounds like the way I make Singapore rice noodles except for the eggs. I added bean sprouts to mine.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I am trying to think of what char quay toew is...

It's the southeast-asian way of chow fun.

Rice noodles stir-fried with curry powder, shrimp, strips of BBQ pork, onion, green pepper, chili pepper, green onion, and some strips of fried eggs (omelet).

Kuay teow is Hokkien / Fujianese for the Cantonese hor fun. Char is Hokkien / Fujianese for the Cantonese chow.

When Malaysian (Singaporeans too I think) refer to char kuay teow, we're referring to the Penang-style of chow fun. It's usually fried with lard (that's what makes it so good :raz: though there are healthy / halal versions with normal vegetable oil), minced garlic, chilli paste (optional), light soya sauce, pork crackling (jue yau char), prawns, cockles, lap cheong, egg, bean sprouts and chives (gau choy). Some deluxe versions also have crab meat in it while KL version has some dark soya sauce in it as well.

I've a picture of char kuay teow from an old post here - another variation though - Ipoh style with chilli sauce.

Malaysians are quite obsessive with their char kuay teow :cool:.

hzrt8w - the style you've referred to is known as Sing Chow Mai (Singapore-style fried rice vermicelli) here which was apparently concocted in Hong Kong it seems :biggrin:.

Edited to add egg to CKT ingredients

Edited by Shiewie (log)
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hzrt8w - the style you've referred to is known as Sing Chow Mai (Singapore-style fried rice vermicelli) here which was apparently concocted in Hong Kong it seems  :biggrin:.

Well. I know the distinction between Sing Chow Mai (using rice vermicelli) and Char Quay Teow (which use thick rice noodles). I think perhaps most chefs in Hong Kong interpret the Char Quay Teow the same way as they do Singapore style rice vermicelli. They do use yellow curry powder and salt to make Char Quay Teow instead of soy sauce.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Woo hoo...Shiewie! Thanks for the waisikkai link. Some of the places that guy went to, I've been. Wish he was more wordy, though. And, I don't necessarily agree with some of his reviews. Like his XLB at Suzhou Noodles, the Dragon one beats it hands down. The Suzhou one tasted very porky.

Went back to your old link and looked at the CKT. Didn't know the Ipoh one is also black like KL's. Somehow, I'm partial to the KL CKT.

Definitely, no curry powder in CKT, hz.

Somehow, HK-gers and Sporeans tend to do much damage to the original Msian version of food. (Ducking head to avoid rotten eggs.....!)

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Definitely, no curry powder in CKT, hz.

Somehow, HK-gers and Sporeans tend to do much damage to the original Msian version of food. (Ducking head to avoid rotten eggs.....!)

Then CKT really is the same as Cantonese "Dry-Fried Beef Rice Noodle" (Gone Chow Ngau Ho) - if you use soy sauce. Perhaps you use shrimp/fish/seafood other than beef.

Hong Kong chefs may be all wrong... If you walk into a restaurant in Hong Kong and order Char Quay Teow, you will get rice noodles cooked with curry powder.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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[...]

Hong Kong chefs may be all wrong...  If you walk into a restaurant in Hong Kong and order Char Quay Teow, you will get rice noodles cooked with curry powder.

I don't think curry powder is used much in Malaysia, but I could be wrong. I'm sure some of our Malaysian members will clarify.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Sorry to be pedantic here. You could say that a Char Kuay Teow is like a Gorn Chow Ngau Hor in that they're both dry fried, with no gravy but taste-wise they differ quite a bit. Think Char Kuay Teow more similar to a Pad Thai in taste than a Gorn Chow Ngau Hor.

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Probably due to the fact that "char koay teow" is in itself a generic name for "fried flat rice noodles". Hence the various local versions with or without curry powder etc. But the version I love and can eat for breakfast/lunch/tea/dinner/supper is without curry powder! Just rice noodles, bean sprouts, chives, prawns, cockles, garlic, chilli, and fried in lard!

Yum yum.

Maukitten

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Sorry, I am being nitpicking today - too much time on my hands now that I am on vacation, and the full moon? :laugh:

hzrt, be careful with your terms: deep fried is not "gone chow". Gone chow = dry stir-fry (no sauce), deep fried=jow or jah

What hzrt described is what we listed on the menu as Singapore rice noodles. What Tepee is talking about, I would order as "gone chow gnau ho". That's a favourite in our family.

My Malaysian Chinese friend Edah (from Pang?) uses curry powder in her cooking, but not like in stir-fries, but done more as a suace. She uses an old family recipe, and every Jan. when she goes home, she brings back a supply. I have tasted it, and it is very good - with a predominant pepper flavour tho'. I need to go and see her!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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hzrt8w - the style you've referred to is known as Sing Chow Mai (Singapore-style fried rice vermicelli) here which was apparently concocted in Hong Kong it seems  :biggrin:.

Well. I know the distinction between Sing Chow Mai (using rice vermicelli) and Char Quay Teow (which use thick rice noodles). I think perhaps most chefs in Hong Kong interpret the Char Quay Teow the same way as they do Singapore style rice vermicelli. They do use yellow curry powder and salt to make Char Quay Teow instead of soy sauce.

If it's got curry powder in it, it isn't char kway teow, at least according to all the Singaporean and Malaysian eaters/cooks I know! And I don't know what S'poreans you're hanging out with Tepee, but they don't sound like the ones I know.... We make char kway teow for birthday celebrations, right down to the jue yau char, in all its pungent oily goodness. (Oh, and we use dark soya too).

As for curry powder, Pan, it does get used for some things by the S'porean and M'sian cooks I know. For example, the partner gets Nonya style curry powder back home that he uses, in addition to a rempah (shallots, garlic, fresh tumeric, red chillies, candlenuts and belecan), to make curry chicken and stuff like that. He uses a different version for fish curry, etc. etc. My friend's mum uses a curry powders too, but she uses ones that she buys when she is in KL. None of it is the bright yellow, heavy on the tumeric and fenugreek stuff that gets sold as Malaysian curry powder here in the US. We only use that for Cantonese dishes. I've never seen the curry powder used by S'poreans or M'sians the way HK/Cantonese cooks use it, by itself as a major seasoning, like in the so-called Singaporean style noodles (which don't exist in Singapore). It's always used along with other major seasonings.

I grew up eating "sing cho mai fun" and can't give it up, so in our house we just call it trillium mee and so avoid the tender subject. And, it's my job to make it, not the S'porean's, so that way he keeps his hands clean...hee hee.

regards,

trillium

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hzrt, be careful with your terms: deep fried is not "gone chow". Gone chow = dry stir-fry (no sauce), deep fried=jow or jah

This Lo Wah Kueh now thinks that I have trouble with my Chinese! :laugh::laugh: Take a look at my original post. I said "Dry-Fried" for "gone chow", not "Deep-Fried", for the lack of better translations. I accept that Dry Stir-Fried may be closer. I know Deep and Dry look very close.

Time to put on your glasses that you have stored away, Dejah... :laugh::laugh::laugh:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Kuay teow is Hokkien / Fujianese for the Cantonese hor fun. Char is Hokkien / Fujianese for the Cantonese chow.

Is the term "Char Kuay Teow" specific to the Hokkien Malaysian way of stir-frying rice noodles? If I go to visit Fujian (may be Fuzhou), does anybody know if I will be able to find "Char Kuay Teow" over there (and made in a similar way?).

(For example, the term "chop suey" is mostly understood by the Americans and is associated with Chinese food. If you go to China/Hong Kong and try to order "chop suey", you will draw some blank faces!)

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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hzrt, be careful with your terms: deep fried is not "gone chow". Gone chow = dry stir-fry (no sauce), deep fried=jow or jah

This Lo Wah Kueh now thinks that I have trouble with my Chinese! :laugh::laugh: Take a look at my original post. I said "Dry-Fried" for "gone chow", not "Deep-Fried", for the lack of better translations. I accept that Dry Stir-Fried may be closer. I know Deep and Dry look very close.

Time to put on your glasses that you have stored away, Dejah... :laugh::laugh::laugh:

I stand to be corrected, and I accept your apology. :wink::raz::laugh:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Kuay teow is Hokkien / Fujianese for the Cantonese hor fun. Char is Hokkien / Fujianese for the Cantonese chow.

Is the term "Char Kuay Teow" specific to the Hokkien Malaysian way of stir-frying rice noodles? If I go to visit Fujian (may be Fuzhou), does anybody know if I will be able to find "Char Kuay Teow" over there (and made in a similar way?).

I hereby nominate hzrt8w to travel to Fujian on our behalf and report on his findings. It'll also be interesting to find out if referring to flat rice noodles as kway teow (馃条) is uniquely SE Asian.

BTW, the (Foochow) Sarawakians have their own ideas of what constitutes Char Kway Teow. It's rare to encounter the Penang-style over there. If you've tasted both versions like I have, you'll probably agree that a discussion of Foochow CKT will be a waste of everyone's time. :smile:

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BTW, the (Foochow) Sarawakians have their own ideas of what constitutes Char Kway Teow.  It's rare to encounter the Penang-style over there.  If you've tasted both versions like I have, you'll probably agree that a discussion of Foochow CKT will be a waste of everyone's time.  :smile:

Why? Does it have raisins in it? (re: Foochow version of oh-nee)

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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If I could be so bold as to attempt to crystallise the issue for the collective clarification of the myriad of issues raised in this thread:

- CKT is a uniquely Malaysian/Singaporean dish

- It was concocted by some really cool mystical dude who harnessed the flavours of lard and cockles and chillies and other goodies into a starch-based staple beloved of all decent Overseas Chinese and subsequently other races, who inhabit the Malay archipelago, resulting in regional variations and adaptations, including the halal versions.

- you won't find this in China

- the ones claiming to be CKT in Hong Kong simply do not match up to the stringent requirements of the real deal

- the ones claming to be CKT in the US/Australia/UK sometimes come close if cooked by 'natives' but the local ingredients invariably fail to match up, especially in the cockles department and MASSIVE BTU's required to fire the stove...

- good CKT come from the ONE STOVE, ONE WOK, imbued with mystical and esoteric qualities required to produce this delicacy.

- good CKT come from a hawker (independent stall by MASSIVE STORM WATER DRAIN, or affiliated to a Kopi Tiam) who sells NOTHING ELSE

... I have to abandon this post for now, anyone of you, Shiewie in particular, please feel free to add to the list above. It's not so much an explanation but a checklist of reasoning. CKT is like, wow, one of life's immutable essentials... I'm abandoning the post because I'm at work, and have suddenly become so emotional and homesick that I must go collect myself by the watercooler, or even head outside for a cigarette to clear my mind and fog up the nostalgia...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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I hereby nominate hzrt8w to travel to Fujian on our behalf and report on his findings.  It'll also be interesting to find out if referring to flat rice noodles as kway teow (馃条) is uniquely SE Asian.

Thanks for the suggestion, Laksa.

I would love to visit Fuzhou/Xiamen some time. But under my current circumstances it might be easier to make a trip to Penang than Fujian.

I will definitely have to taste the CKT in Penang to experience the "real" thing.

And, of course, I have to taste the famous "laksa" too! :wink:

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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- It was concocted by some really cool mystical dude who harnessed the flavours of lard and cockles and chillies and other goodies into a starch-based staple beloved of all decent Overseas Chinese and subsequently other races, who inhabit the Malay archipelago, resulting in regional variations and adaptations, including the halal versions.

- the ones claming to be CKT in the US/Australia/UK sometimes come close if cooked by 'natives' but the local ingredients invariably fail to match up, especially in the cockles department and MASSIVE BTU's required to fire the stove...

You know, I don't take cockles, but I never ask them to withhold the cockles. I just push it aside. You're so right, CKT without hum is like cendol without gula melaka. :smile:

Edited by Tepee (log)

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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...But under my current circumstances it might be easier to make a trip to Penang than Fujian.

I will definitely have to taste the CKT in Penang to experience the "real" thing. 

And, of course, I have to tast the famous "laksa" too!    :wink:

What's this I'm hearing? Hz, why don't you hook up with Ben? Sounds like an eating trip in the offing!

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Thanks for the Malaysian forum link Tepee! Much appreciated.

To echo the 'invitation' to eat in Malaysia/S'Pore... the CKT must be sampled in every city one gets to. Start up North I guess, in Penang, the spiritual home, and work southwards.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Why? Does it have raisins in it? (re: Foochow version of oh-nee)

No raisins, but something just as bad - ketchup.

I was going to spare you the unsavory details, but since you've twisted my arm.... :raz:

CKT served by Foochows in Sibu, Bintulu and points beyond -- wherever the Foochows have set up coffee shop stalls -- comes in two versions: wet and dry.

The closest relative to the wet CKT is whad dan hor, minus the egg. So it's a melange of shrimp, squid, pork and some leafy greens stir-fried in a soupy gravy, poured over dark-soy-fried kway teow noodles.

You can think of the dry version as Penang CKT's less sophisticated cousin. You won't find chillies, jue yau char, rarely ever any cockles or shrimp. You will ofen find some rubbery fish balls or slices of fish cake, and ketchup.

Like the country bumpkin relative we all have, the no-frills Foochow CKT has the best of intentions, doesn't aspire to become anything more than what it is, and is well accepted by those who grew up with it.

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