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Homestyle Char Koay Teow (Fried Rice Noodles)

Char Koay Teow, one of our beloved hawker food back in Malaysia. Flat rice noodles fried in a hot wok with shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts and Chinese chives. It’s oily but so delicious! It could be eaten for breakfast (like in the picture below), lunch or dinner!

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Anyway, back to reality here in Canada, we could only find this dish in restaurants that sell Malaysian food. The taste could be pretty authentic if you’re lucky but it’s expensive. I might as well make it at home and fortunately, it’s quite easy. Ready the ingredients as shown below and have a wok on hand.

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Have the oil in the wok hot and put in a generous amount of chopped garlic. That’s the secret ingredient to char koay teow – the garlic. And the chives. Add in the shrimps and fish cake and stir-fry quickly till the shrimps are opaque. Put in the bean sprouts, and a sprinkling of water if the wok is too dry, and give them a quick toss to cook. You want the bean sprouts to be still crunchy. Push all the ingredients to the side of the wok and put in the noodles. Pour a tablespoon of light soy sauce, a teaspoon of thick (dark) soy sauce, some salt and pepper, and another sprinkle of water. Quickly toss the noodles to combine. Push everything to the sides again. Now the fun part – crack the egg into the middle of the wok. Cover the egg with the noodles and leave it! Stand back from the wok and just let the egg cook under the noodles. How long to leave the egg depends on the heat of the wok. You want to let the egg cook enough so that when you toss the noodles, you’ll see big pieces of eggs, not tiny bits clinging to the noodles. You don’t want hard pieces of eggs either. After about 30 seconds, or when the yolk is almost cooked, break up the egg and toss the noodles. Throw in the chives and toss to combine all the ingredients. Do not overcook the noodles or they’ll be too soft. Turn off the heat. Scoop up the noodles and deposit into a plate. You should have something like this:

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I still can’t get the exact taste as the char koay teow in Malaysia and it’s mainly because of the seasoning – the soy sauces I use here are different. I couldn’t get the same noodles too, the rice noodles here are thinner. And I don’t have the traditional wok that contains heat so well that the food cooks faster and better. Oh well, it’s good enough. ;-)

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Cooking, Food

 

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French Fridays with Dorie: Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

This is this week’s French Fridays with Dorie pick – Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. It’s Vietnamese chicken noodle soup with coconut milk.  I was relaxed with this recipe as I’m on familiar grounds because I’ve made Chinese chicken noodle soup (gai see hor fun) before and I eat Vietnamese pho noodles quite often too, heh!

This recipe is a Dorie original. There is pho ga (clear chicken soup) and there is la sa ga (curried coconut-milk chicken soup) but Dorie mixed them together and created this … pho la sa ga? The soup starts with a base of chicken broth to which you flavor with cilantro stems, star anise, coriander seeds and peppercorns. Dorie said to tie the spices in a bundle with cheesecloth but I used filter bags for loose tea leaves instead. Quite ingenious, huh? ;-)

The kids ate their noodle soup ‘straight’ but hubby and I boost the flavors with fresh basil leaves, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, extra fish sauce and chili sauce. Slurp!

(By the time this photo was taken, the noodles had absorb much of the soup!)

I tried the bonne idee and added curry powder the second time I made the soup. I looked up Vietnamese curry powder and read that it’s Indian-influenced yellow curry powder. I have a bottle of Waugh’s Curry Powder and used that. The result is not to my liking, it’s a neither-here-nor-there kind of soup.

The best thing about making this recipe is learning about Vietnamese soup. I hadn’t known earlier that they use spices like star anise and coriander seeds to flavor the soup. Cinnamon and cardamon seeds are used too and today in the Chinese supermarket I saw there are convenient packets of pho spices complete with mesh bags in them.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2010 in Cooking, Food, French Fridays with Dorie

 

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Last minute dinner switch-up

Up till 5pm I was planning on cooking chicken for dinner. I had a package of half a chicken, cut into pieces, sitting on the counter. It had been thawing in the refrigerator since the night. I still didn’t know what I was going to do with the chicken but chicken it was. However, when I checked on the chicken, it still felt half frozen. Drats. I lost my mood to cook then. But we still need dinner. Drats. At least I didn’t have to rush. We were planning on visiting a couple who just had a baby after dinner but Kip had to work late so it was called off. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2010 in Food

 

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