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Char Kway Teow


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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.

What a small world! No wonder it looks so familiar. :biggrin: I used to work there too. But that was 8 years ago. Do you frequent the popiah stall too and the pork noodles stall?

TPcal!

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

Cantonese should have a system of pronunciation like pinyin, no? Very hard to spell.

Jue Yau Char is lard cubes lor!

Jue = Pig

Yau = Oil

Char渣= dregs

Edited by Tepee (log)

TPcal!

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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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Cantonese should have a system of pronunciation like pinyin, no? Very hard to spell.

Jue Yau Char is lard cubes lor!

Jue = Pig

Yau = Oil

Char渣= dregs

Like bacon bits?

This sounds like a very "distorted" Cantonese pronounciation. :laugh:

Hmmmm... Char is in "Char Kway Teow"... that one is "Chow" (Stir-Fry)

Char is in "Jue Yau Char"... that one is "Ja" (dregs)...

The 2 words sound distinctly different in Cantonese. Maybe in Teochew they sound the same?

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Cantonese should have a system of pronunciation like pinyin, no? Very hard to spell.

Jue Yau Char is lard cubes lor!

Jue = Pig

Yau = Oil

Char渣= dregs

Like bacon bits?

This sounds like a very "distorted" Cantonese pronounciation. :laugh:

Hmmmm... Char is in "Char Kway Teow"... that one is "Chow" (Stir-Fry)

Char is in "Jue Yau Char"... that one is "Ja" (dregs)...

The 2 words sound distinctly different in Cantonese. Maybe in Teochew they sound the same?

Yes ja would be better. The char in CKT is in Hokkien whereas in jue yau char/ja it's Cantonese (bak you poke in Hokkien). Malaysians and Singaporeans of Chinese descent tend to switch and mix the various Southern Chinese dialects (especially Hokkien and Cantonese) along with a good healthy dose of Malay and a sprinkling of Tamil in our daily vocab ... well, at least where food terms are concerned :laugh:.

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.

What a small world! No wonder it looks so familiar. :biggrin: I used to work there too. But that was 8 years ago. Do you frequent the popiah stall too and the pork noodles stall?

Tepee - I most likely would've bumped into you there :laugh:.

Not so much the popiah stall - am spoilt by the home-made kind :biggrin:. The pork noodle stall - yes when it was the old one, not so much when the stall changed hands. Used to go to the pork noodle stall at the end shop too (he used to be at the middle shop many years ago) but he's no longer at that shop either.

On very greedy days, we'd order a CKT each with a sui gau soup (from the wan tan meen stall), pork soup and fruit rojak to share to make we've covered all bases :rolleyes:. Quite a struggle to trot up the hill back to the office under the blazing hot sun after stuffing our faces though. It's quite funny when one goes there with maukitten, she just sits there and a plate of CKT and glass of teh ping will be plonked in front of her without her having to say anything - her parents live up the road and she's been going there since she was knee-high.

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This sounds like a very "distorted" Cantonese pronounciation.  :laugh:

Hmmmm...  Char  is in "Char Kway Teow"...  that one is "Chow" (Stir-Fry)

Char  is in "Jue Yau Char"... that one is "Ja" (dregs)...

The 2 words sound distinctly different in Cantonese.  Maybe in Teochew they sound the same?

The distortion is in the spelling, not my pronunciation. My cantonese, although not as deep as someone from Hong Kong, is pretty correct in tone, due to the many years of following TVB serials. :raz: To be as correct as can be, the spelling should be zha.

Oh, by the way, I can only bluff my way through Teochew.... :rolleyes:

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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On very greedy days, we'd order a CKT each with a sui gau soup (from the wan tan meen stall), pork soup and fruit rojak to share to make we've covered all bases  :rolleyes:.

No comment. :rolleyes: Don't want to be the proverbial pot.

It's quite funny when one goes there with maukitten, she just sits there and a plate of CKT and glass of teh ping will be plonked in front of her without her having to say anything - her parents live up the road and she's been going there since she was knee-high.

How right you are! Those sifus are really amazing. They hardly lift up their heads because they are so busy filling orders for the lunch crowd but they really know their regulars. I was there 10 years; every time I go to give my order at the pork noodle stall, he takes the words out of my mouth, "gon lo mai fun jue yoke yeun". Try to figure that one out, hz! :raz:

Edited by Tepee (log)

TPcal!

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

I gotta admit, the belacan taste wasn't entirely obvious. I suspect belacan because I didn't think the mere presence of few prawns in the dish was enough to impart the depth of shrimpy flavor in the noodle itself. Of course, one should never rule out MSG either.

I really cannot remember which CKT stall it was now... let's see...I tried 3 different stalls along Jalan Alor, once in Puchong at a hawker center where they have a very big tv screen that showed the English premier league at night, and 3 times at the Royale Bintang coffee shop.

Can you tell that I like CKT? (I was in KL for less than a week).

Edited by Laksa (log)
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Hi Laksa :-)

Thank you for the "Welcome To eGullet" note.

Good to know that you have many Ipoh- mali friends too.

I am a little surprised to know that you tasted a hint of belacan in a lot of the CKT you sampled during your last trip to KL. Could it be due to fish sauce or something?

Shiewie...

Wish I could be more informative when it comes to food finds in Taiping. The last time I was there was many many moons ago. All I know is CKT is great anywhere and their seafood tom yams especially are excellent. Fresh seafood arrives from a nearby fishing village so you can imagine.

I moved to the US a number of years ago but I can share with you some info on where to find what food in Ipoh. Hopefully all these places that I'm about to mention here are still there.

Ipoh is a place you can never get enough of some of the tastiest foods.

The place I mentioned earlier for example, the Ipoh Garden stadium food court, has a wide array of reasonably priced, great-tasting food. Apart from CKT, try the chicken/lamb chops at Johnny Walker's. Lookout for fabulous konloh mee served with wanton soup, claypot mee, fried rice, and chicken satay (the latter at a Pak Cik's stall). Near Bank Bumiputra, there used to be a fantastic thosai stall (my favorite is the ghee paper thosai) with coconut chutney and spiced lentil curry.

Another hot spot in town is the gluton's square. It is located near Bank Simpanan Nasional. Yummy nyonya kuihs, stir-fried pepper crabs, lobak, and most of all, ikan panggang or grilled fish. The grilled skate or ikan pari is just out of this world!

Then there is Old Town for hearty breakfast foods and good coffee, and last but not the least, Greentown for some of the best chicken/char siu rice.

Hope this helps.

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Aiyah, all this reminiscing about the food in Ipoh! I can get good food in New York, but if only Ipoh were a little closer...

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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"gon lo mai fun jue yoke yeun". Try to figure that one out, hz!  :raz:

"dry stirred (chowed) rice noodles with pork meat balls". :raz::biggrin:

The word "lo" in Cantonese means stirred but not stir-fried. "Chow" on the other hand implies stir-fried over high heat. For example, Lo Mein is just wheat noodles (boiled and drained) with oyster sauce poured on top (no stir-frying). Chow Mein is wheat noodles stir-fried with meats and vegetables.

So back to your quote, it would be:

dry stirred (with oyster sauce?) rice vermicelli with port meat balls.

How is the "mai fun" prepared?

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Ben-sook-sook, you're so crever!  :raz:

Dejah: Does this term "crever" show up in your new generation dictionary? Is it a combination of "Crazy" and "Clever"? :laugh::laugh:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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All this CKT talk is too much. Hubby went out to ta bau (take out) some for me. This is KL's version, with dark soya sauce. Notice the kwai tieu meen. Thought it wouldn't do too much harm (I'm on a diet :rolleyes: ) since I haven't had it for a month. :biggrin: Just don't go talking about other high fats food, guys!

gallery_12248_1567_32254.jpg

Pls excuse the crappy pic...I must learn how to use my camera properly.

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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So back to your quote, it would be:

dry stirred (with oyster sauce?) rice vermicelli with port meat balls.

How is the "mai fun" prepared?

OK, OK, so you are crever too! :raz: Didn't know that clever and crazy went together. Don't chinese have difficulty with 'r's or is it only in western-produced films? But, honestly, I notice that those who are chinese-educated (at least here) tend to trip over some consonants.

The rice vermicelli is blanched, rinsed and stirred with a sauce of light and dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, pepper, the usual. On CKT-off days, I've quite simple tastes. :cool:

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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Pls excuse the crappy pic...I must learn how to use my camera properly.

The picture looks pretty good. This has been an educational experience for me. This looks more like the Gon Chow Ngau Ho in Hong Kong style cooking. I want to taste it in person at some point in my life. The Hong Kong style CKT is more like Singapore style Chow Mei Fun, with curry powder and no soy sauce. Now I am very unsure of the "Singapore style Chow Mei Fun" in Hong Kong really resemble anything like the stir-fried vermicelli in Singapore, with curry powder, shrimp, BBQ pork, onion slices, green onion and bell pepper.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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  • 2 years later...

This is the best char kway teow I've ever tasted.

gallery_56306_5176_33240.jpg

It wasn't too oily, which made it perfect for me. Probably doesn't use lard too, so if that makes it unauthentic, then unauthentic is how I like it ha!

I remember a distinctly chilli-garlic sauce taste to it. I'm sure they used it!

I'm dying to replicate it at home so any suggestions of making a good (probably Penang style) char kway teow would be much appreciated.

This one did not have any curry taste, and no sambal as well. From taste, the ingredients could well be entirely Chinese.

There was fish cakes, chicken pieces, fried tofu, bean sprouts amongst others...I can't really remember unfortunately :(

As you can see, the colour of the char kway teow is pretty light so I'm wondering...if they didn't use alot of sauce, where did they get so much flavour from?! Perhaps a healthy dosage of chicken powder or something? Would this improve the taste of the char kway?

I'm currently guessing they used soy sauce, chilli-garlic sauce and chicken powder...

Also, how do I get that nice char to it?

Edited by Ce'nedra (log)

Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

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Oh yeah, I forgot to ask what kind of fish cake is used?

I made a decent rendition back in my college days when I didn't care about smoking up my apartment. Classic char kway teow does not have many ingredient and here's basically all you need:

Chives

Lots of Bean Sprouts

Shrimp

Blood Cockles (I just love them)

Clove of Garlic

Sirarcha chili sauce seems to work well

Deep fried lard cubes (optional but makes a difference IMO)

egg

Fish Sauce

Small dash of soy sauce.

- Oil wok generously and heat wok at the highest setting until smoking point

- Toss in single serve portion of noodles (unless you have a large wok and 50k BTU burner!!)

- 2- 4 shakes of the fish sauce, break up noodles and cook until edges begin to char and remove noodles from wok. This whole process should not take much more than a 1 - 1.5mins, if your kitchen isn't engulfed in smoke at this point the wok probably isn't hot enough and you won't get that nice smoky char.

- Keep wok on the highest setting again toss in garlic, shrimp, lard and a few shakes of fish sauce. Heat the shrimp to about 3/4 cooked and then toss in noodles, squirt in chili sauce mix quickly and then throw in everything else. Stir eveything up in the wok quickly and this stage should be completed ~ 1.5 min. Again time is of the essence.

- Remove and serve

Few tips:

- Keep the portions small in your typical kitchen stove, otherwise you won't be able to maintain a consistent high temperature.

- Speed speed speed. Too slow and you'll start burning and overcooking everything. The shrimp should be just perfectly cooked, and the chives and beansprouts should not be limp and egg completely cooked through but not coating every other ingredient.

- Forget about using a non-stick wok, you won't be able to char the noodle without destroying the non-stick coating.

- Stick to the short list of classic ingredients, if you really really .... reallly really :angry: for whatever insane reason insist on adding more ingredients make sure they are sliced thin and can cook quickly. Hmmm come to think of it just cook separately and add them at the end to heat.

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I'm dying to replicate it at home so any suggestions of making a good (probably Penang style) char kway teow would be much appreciated.

This one did not have any curry taste, and no sambal as well.

To me, Char Kway Teow without belachan (dried shrimp paste) is not CKT. It's stir-fried hor fun.

I suppose using fish sauce like SG- suggests nudges you in the right direction, but if you live in any major metropolitan city (I take it you're not in Malaysia or Singapore), you should be able to find good belachan without much difficulty.

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I think the term "char kway teow" is the Hokkien Chinese's pronounciation.

char = stir-fry

kway teow = hor fun (Cantonese), or flat rice noodles

Can any stir-fried flat rice noodle be referred to as "char kway teow"? Or it has to be specifically cooked in a certain way (stir-fried with heavy soy sauce and zhee yau zha)?

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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I think the term "char kway teow" is the Hokkien Chinese's pronounciation.

char = stir-fry

kway teow = hor fun (Cantonese), or flat rice noodles

Can any stir-fried flat rice noodle be referred to as "char kway teow"?  Or it has to be specifically cooked in a certain way (stir-fried with heavy soy sauce and zhee yau zha)?

Yes that's correct in M'sia char kway teow typically refers to the specific style of preparation found at the hawker centers.

However the term is also used as you described "to stir fry rice noodles".

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Yes that's correct in M'sia char kway teow typically refers to the specific style of preparation found at the hawker centers.

There are several ways to prepare CKT -- Penang style, KL-style -- heck, even my home town has its own version of CKT. However, I believe Penang style is the one that has gained the greatest popularity outside of its birthplace.

When one orders CKT in Penang, one would naturally expect to be served a plate of the local version.

In KL twenty years ago, I'm guessing the same would've applied. Today, given the ubiquity of Penang-style CKT vendors at hawker centers and food courts throughout the city, you stand a better chance of getting the Penang version.

If it hasn't already happened, I think that the de facto CKT everywhere ought to be Penang style, such that if someone refers to it with no qualifiers, it should be understood that he or she is talking about the Penang version (the superior version, in my opinion ;-).

Incidentally, in every Malaysian restaurant I've been to outside of Malaysia, the only version of CKT available from the menus is Penang style.

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  • 1 month later...

In North Sumatra it is known as 'mie tiau goreng' (where mie is noodle and goreng is fried). The fresh mie tieau (which are the flat rice noodles, and ALWAYS fresh, never dried) are covered in sweet soy sauce (not swimming, but just adhering to the surface, given the stickiness of sweet sauce this happens easily) and then fried in a paste of fresh shallot, garlic, ginger and chili (the ginger is the key taste (along with the sweet soy sauce), the only spice beyond the obligatory chili/garlic/shallot triad).

It is served with kerupuk (prawn crackers) and sliced cucumber.

It often contains either chicken, egg, or prawns.

Never cockles or anything weird like that.....

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