Char kuey teow

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

By Sasha Gill

Published 2019

  • About

These stir-fried Penang-style noodles are incredibly popular in both Malaysia and Singapore. Char kuey teow may not be very handsome, but look beyond appearances and these glistening noodles are just heavenly – all languid and smoky. If you can’t find the wide kuey teow rice noodles traditionally used for this, just opt for the slightly thinner rice noodles that are often used for pad thai. Make sure all your ingredients are ready to go before you start to cook: once you start stir-frying, you can’t stop!

Use tamari instead of light and dark soy sauce, and make your own kecap manis from tamari as well. Leave out the vegetarian oyster sauce, or use the mushroom-cooking liquid in its place, as described oyster sauce.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 450 g fresh flat rice noodles or 200 g dried flat rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ block (150 g) extra-firm tofu, pressed and crumbled
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • ½ cup (60 g) sliced oyster mushrooms
  • 1 cup (90 g) shredded Chinese cabbage or savoy cabbage
  • 1 cup (50 g) shredded greens, such as choy sum, bok choy or Swiss chard, any coarse stems removed
  • ½ cup (20 g) sliced chives or spring onions (scallions)
  • cups (150 g) beansprouts
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons kecap manis
  • Sambal and lime wedges, to serve

Method

If using fresh noodles, blanch them in a saucepan of boiling water to loosen them – they will only need about 30 seconds or so. If using dried noodles, pour boiling water from the kettle into a heatproof bowl and soak the noodles for 4–7 minutes. Either way, the noodles should still be a little crunchy, as you will be cooking them further in the wok. Drain and rinse well under cold running water to get rid of any excess starch and stop them getting sticky, then set aside.

Pour about half the oil into a wok or large frying pan over high heat and fry the tofu for 5 minutes until it is starting to brown ever so slightly. Set aside. Pour in the rest of the oil, then stir-fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant and golden. Add the stock cube and break it up to dissolve. Add the mushrooms and fry for a minute before adding the cabbage, greens, chives and all except ½ cup (60 g) of the beansprouts and stir-fry until just wilted.

Make a well in the centre and add the soy sauces, oyster sauce and kecap manis. Stir in the fried tofu. Continue to mix and combine until everything is well coated. Add the rice noodles and stir to combine. Finally, for extra crunch, stir in the reserved beansprouts and cook for 1 minute.

Serve immediately with sambal and lime wedges. Enjoy it while it’s hot!