Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Char Kway Teow


Recommended Posts

No one's mentioned that CKT is quite similar to guaytiaow phad kee mao (Thailand) -- without the basil and with fewer chilies (I mean the Thai version is hotter).

And on Gurney Drive in Penang I had a guaytiaow dish very similar to Thailand's gauytiaow laad naa .... same rice noodles as CKT topped with a pork and greens "gravy" and served with chili vinegar.

Can someone tell me the name of this dish in Malaysia? (I have so much to learn....)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Say, I grew up with that ----- in my school canteen. :raz: I think I miss it. :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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one's mentioned that CKT is quite similar to guaytiaow phad kee mao (Thailand) -- without the basil and with fewer chilies (I mean the Thai version is hotter).

Have yet to try it :sad: ... hmm this needs to be corrected :biggrin:

And on Gurney Drive in Penang I had a guaytiaow dish very similar to Thailand's gauytiaow laad naa .... same rice noodles as CKT topped with a pork and greens "gravy" and served with chili vinegar.

Dark or light gravy? Any egg in the gravy? Red chilli vinegar like the one for chicken rice; fairly smooth red chilli vinegar; or pickled green chillies?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A CKT by any other name would taste so good. It's a noodle dish, for goodness sakes, nothing mythical nor mystical about it. Use whatever sauces and ingredients you have at hand and knock yourself out. :biggrin::blink:

FWIW, I think that it tastes best when eaten amid clouds of diesel fumes, noisy streetlife, little dust storms, etc., that you can duplicate only at a street hawker's or a dai pai dong. :laugh::laugh: It could be pad thai in Bangkok, CKT in KL or S'pore, or "Singapore" noodles in HK. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would you say the same about BBQ?

Tournedos Rossini?

Cassoulet?

I mean, accept variations of a regional sort by all means, but in terms of a CKT itself... CKT is CKT. It means something to those who eat it, make it, and there is an accepted method of recognising it. The fact that CONFUSION sometimes leads to MISUNDERSTANDINGS is something I feel this thread is trying to clear up.

Pad thai is pad thai. With a prescribed set of measures and ingredient base from which variations can stem. If there is a CKT/pad thai combo fusion thing going on, then let time be the judge.

For now, CKT to me is what a lot of us grew up with and has since been disseminated into the global kitchen by nature of the Overseas Chinese diaspora in particular those from Malaysia and Singapore.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would you say the same about BBQ?

Most definitely I would say that about BBQ. There are infinite variations of this genre and like the noodle dishes in question, they're all good. North and South Carolina have different styles, Western South Carolina bbq is different than that of East South Carolina, Kansas City bbq is definitely different than what you'd get in Texas or St. Louis or Georgia. Of course each region thinks that there is no true BBq but theirs. :hmmm::wacko::rolleyes: I haven't even mentioned Australia yet.

Bon apetit!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah my point exactly... it's all under the banner BBQ, and CKT isn't a banner or genre, 'fried noodles' is the genre if you like.

So it follows then in Cantonese, that chow-fun, or just friend noodles should be the banner under which CKT, pad thai, singapore noodles etc etc should come under.

CKT is just what it is, with a flavour base of it's own.

I mean, once you stick ketchup or fish sauce into it, it morphs into something else entirely different right?

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shiewie -- phad kee mao should have lots of basil and lots of fresh chili, so it's very spicy before you even add the condiments. Noodles are stir-fried with a bit of black soy, I think ... usually there is some baby corn and ridge-cut carrots (what's with ridge-cut veggies in Asia? Vietnamese love them too) ... can be chicken or pork but best is seafood version. Vying for my favorite Thai noodle dish. :rolleyes:

Laad naa -- gravy is light, basically a broth (obviously every vendor has their own recipe) thickened with tapioca starch. No egg. Plenty of greens. Usually pork. Any of the Thai condiments will do, but I like lots of chili vinegar, which is just white vinegar with sliced fresh chilies floating in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, I think that it tastes best when eaten amid clouds of diesel fumes, noisy streetlife, little dust storms, etc., that you can duplicate only at a street hawker's or a dai pai dong. :laugh:  :laugh: It could be pad thai in Bangkok, CKT in KL or S'pore, or "Singapore" noodles in HK. :wink:

Unfortunately in Hong Kong, the dai pai dong as you knew them in the 60s/70s have pretty much extincted. In their place are small shops (really inside a building, have gates) / restaurants to offer what's once "street food" (e.g. fish balls, chow mein with soy sauce, daikon cake, fried fish paste with green pepper, cold cut liver/intestines/chicken-feet, jook, cheung fun, wonton noodle, fried clams, fake shark-fin soup, pork blood, pork skin, etc., etc..)

In more recent years, food courts inside big shopping malls and fast food chains are in. Street hawkers no more. An era has passed.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one's mentioned that CKT is quite similar to guaytiaow phad kee mao (Thailand) -- without the basil and with fewer chilies (I mean the Thai version is hotter).

Really? I didn't find them very similiar at all, but I've only eaten in southern Thailand, and I've only had Singapore style CKT. The CKT I know is seasoned with a sambal made just for CKT, it has plenty of lard to fry the chillies, shallots, and a tiny bit of belecan and is kind of soupy. Then there is dark soya, yes, and bean sprouts, gau choy and sometimes a little choy of some sort, but never carrots! It should be a dark, smoky, reddish from the chilli sauce, pig fatty, eggy, heart attack on a plate with seafood and more crunchy pig fat bits.

This should probably be another thread, but nearly every fried noodle dish I ate in Thailand I found disappointing. I tried to pick places that were popular with the locals, for example I ate laad naa at a place in Songkla that had people lined up and waiting, sometimes for half an hour. I tried phad thai twice and decided I just didn't like it, but there was so much other delicious food (like kanom jiin) it didn't matter too much.

regards,

trillium

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In more recent years, food courts inside big shopping malls and fast food chains are in.  Street hawkers no more.  An era has passed.

Ah, more's the pity. in times past, eating at the dai pai dongs was both delicious and cheap, and, there was always a small element of danger, healthwise. (I always used to carry my own disposable chopsticks and a plastic spoon when I went slumming).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

trillium is right. Curry powder is definitely not one of the ingredients used to prepare CKT. Although Penang is one the best places to sample all kinds of Malaysian delicacies including CKT, I would also suggest excellent CKT in Taiping and Ipoh. Since I am from Ipoh ( or rather *Ipoh mali*), I highly recommed the one and only CKT stall at the Ipoh Garden stadium where a young Chinese couple man the stall. This simple but delicious flat-rice noodle dish is freshly prepared with cockles, prawns, eggs, chives, and bean sprouts and served with a wee bit of sambal belacan on the side - mmm just perfect. I always end up downing this dish with my favorite cup of hot kau kau or "strong" local Ipoh coffee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Patchouli, good to see another Malaysian posting here, and one based in the U.S. at that. I have many friends from Ipoh.

If nobody has said it yet... Welcome to eGullet!

I'm a little surprised that belacan hasn't been mentioned more often in the context of CKT. I'm fairly sure I tasted more than a hint of belacan in a lot of the CKT I sampled during my last trip to KL. As in stir-fried with the KT, not just served on the side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Belacan in CKT?! :shock: Which stalls in KL? Will have to go check out what that tastes like.

patchouli - I'm looking forward to more of your posts here. Would love to hear more of your Ipoh / Taiping recommendations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's too long since I last tasted Penang food. The last time I did was when I was almost 8 months pregnant with DD#2. I ate so much (seafood, laksa, CKT, more seafood, 3 cendol stalls within 2 hours) that there was no space left for baby. She came out 2 days after we returned home, one month early! Sniff, sniff, DH is not keen on taking the whole gang to Penang now, because he gets to go 2 or 3 times a month for work. When he does, he catches the earliest flight in time for breakfast meetings. On interrogation, he spills out that he eats more than 3 dishes of the various goodies for breakfast alone....and we all notice he comes home 5 lbs heavier! So, a note for those who plan to visit Penang....Ipoh...KL...Malaysia...bring clothing 2 sizes bigger! :raz:

At least my consolation is I do get to go to Ipoh, once or twice a year, solely for the food. The bean sprouts (taugeh) there is out of this world, with the right crunch.

Do not get me started on the local biscuits of these 2 towns.

Um...Shiewie. Does this make KL look bad, food-wise? I hope not. I suppose if you know the right watering holes, you can get hawker food of comparable standard. But, for variety, KL is THE place to go.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Belacan in CKT?!  :shock:  Which stalls in KL? Will have to go check out what that tastes like.

Ditto. I don't seem to detect belacan in CKT either. On another note, I like to order it half flat noodles and half yellow noodles, for texture.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto. I don't seem to detect belacan in CKT either. On another note, I like to order it half flat noodles and half yellow noodles, for texture.

Ar.... I found that... different.

There is a local noodle house in Sacramento called TK noodle. They offer one item that's exactly that: half flat rice noodles and half yellow egg wheat noodles. At first I found that unusual. (Because in China we you don't see this half and half mix. Rice noodle is rice noodle. Wheat noodle is wheat noodle. One or the other... ) Now that you mentioned it.

Is this common in Malaysia (to have a mix)?

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found this picture from a blog webpage. It is a close-up of Penang Style CKT. Does it look close to the CKT that you guys are talking about?

Close-up image of CKT:

http://umami.typepad.com/photos/street_foo...e_food_020.html

For the full blog:

http://umami.typepad.com/photos/street_food_around_bangsa/

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this common in Malaysia (to have a mix)?

Very. Actually, I just have to give my order as KTM (Kway Teow Meen) and I'll get the mix. Other noodle dishes like Cantonese and Hokkien Fries are also available in all the noodle combos, doesn't make the noodleman's job any easier, but their assistant/apprentice almost always get the order correct. :wink:

As for your pictures, they are correct. Penang CKT in all its glory.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This should probably be another thread, but nearly every fried noodle dish I ate in Thailand I found disappointing.  I tried to pick places that were popular with the locals, for example I ate laad naa at a place in Songkla that had people lined up and waiting, sometimes for half an hour.  I tried phad thai twice and decided I just didn't like it,  but there was so much other delicious food (like kanom jiin) it didn't matter too much.

regards,

trillium

What a coincidence. Seems like you're not the only one who thinks that. Clicky Personally, I haven't eaten enough Thai food to comment. Thai food is on my "Help! Call the fire brigade" heat quotient.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[...]Personally, I haven't eaten enough Thai food to comment. Thai food is on my "Help! Call the fire brigade" heat quotient.

Whatever happened to "Tak ada cili, tak ada rasa" [No chili, no taste]? :raz:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[...]Personally, I haven't eaten enough Thai food to comment. Thai food is on my "Help! Call the fire brigade" heat quotient.

Whatever happened to "Tak ada cili, tak ada rasa" [No chili, no taste]? :raz:

Michael! It's funny you know that comment. I've more or less given up on going to Malay eateries with my kids who can't tolerate the heat. I'll give my order as "Tak nak cili/pedas." They'll nod. But the food always come out spicy. :wink:

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found this picture from a blog webpage.  It is a close-up of Penang Style CKT.  Does it look close to the CKT that you guys are talking about?

Close-up image of CKT:

http://umami.typepad.com/photos/street_foo...e_food_020.html

For the full blog:

http://umami.typepad.com/photos/street_food_around_bangsa/

Ah...yes this is Char Kuay Teow - in fact the one featured in umami's blog is the CKT at the shops on Jalan Batai in Damansara Heights, KL (the middle shop as there are 2 local coffee shops in that row of shops) - my office used to be nearby and it was the closest CKT around :raz:. It's Penang-style, without the dark-soya sauce but this one is fried with vegetable oil, not lard and comes without jue yau char . That said, it's still pretty good CKT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....and it was the closest CKT around :raz:. It's Penang-style, without the dark-soya sauce but this one is fried with vegetable oil, not lard and comes without jue yau char . That said, it's still pretty good CKT.

i am sorry... I kept hearing you guys mentioned this term "jue yau char". What is it exactly?

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...