Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Char Kway Teow

I love pasar malam food. The Pasar Malam is a common street market in Malaysia and also here in Brunei which usually opens during the evening and you can actually buy everything under the sun from kitchenware, clothes, fruits, toys, pirated stuff and of course lots of food. A road will be closed off and there will be a long stretch of vendors trying to sell you stuff and once you arrive there, you will not leave empty-handed.

One of my favourite pasar malam delicacies is the Char Kway Teow. It’s flat rice noodles fried in chilli paste and soy sauce mixed with bean sprouts, prawns, cockles and eggs. The ingredients are not much but the taste is mind-blowing. Topped with pickled chillies and you’re on your way to food heaven.

Here’s my version of the recipe. I adapted it to my taste though my cooking endeavour is not always successful. Sometimes it’s too salty or overcooked. I must tell you that this recipe really depends on timing and individual taste.

Char Kway Teow
Recipe scaled to serves 1

Printable Recipe Here

You need to make chilli paste and pickled chillies first.

Pickled Chillies
(to be made the night before)


Green Chillies
1 part sugar
2 parts vinegar
2 parts water


1. Cut the chillies and leave them on the counter to dry.

2. Mix sugar, vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and let simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
Bring it to a boil. Set aside and leave it to cool completely.

3. Once vinegar mixture is cool, in a plastic container pour the mixture onto the chillies.

4. The pickled chillies will be ready overnight.

Chilli Paste:

Note: You can keep the extra paste in the fridge for 1 month. Although, my family loves sambal tumis, so usually the chilli paste will be used up in a few days.


100g dried chillies
10 shallots
1/2 tsp salt
5-6 tbsp oil


1. Dehydrate the dried chillies in hot water for a few minutes.

2. Blend shallots and the dried chillies.

3. Heat oil in wok and fry the chilli paste over slow fire, stirring constantly until fragrant and the oil separate from the chilli paste.

4. Once cool, store in a container until ready for use.

Char Kway Teow Main Ingredients:

About 100g or a handful of kway teow (flat rice noodles) (if you like, rinsed in hot water for a few seconds to get rid the excess oil)
4 prawns (shelled)
1 small bowl cockles (removed from shell and boiled)
1 handful bean sprouts
1 handful of chives (cut into about 3cm lengths)
1 egg
2 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tbsp chilli paste
A little bit of water

1 tbps light soya sauce
1 tbps dark soya sauce
Salt for taste

The wok is hot and you must cook everything fast. So you must prepare all the ingredients beforehand and place them on the counter nearest to your stove so that you can just throw in everything. It is preferable to cook the noodles individually but as seen from the photos, I was getting a bit lazy, I cooked 3 servings all at once..haha.


1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for sauce. Prepare all the ingredients. Heat oil in a wok, throw in the chopped garlic and chili paste. Stir 30 seconds.

3. Add prawns and cockles and stir until half cooked.

4. Then, throw in the noodles, sauce and a little bit of water and stir another minute.

5. Set aside the noodles to make a well in the middle. Crack the egg and stir in the free space created in the wok. Slowly flip the noodles over the quickly cooking egg. Then, stir gently.

6. Finally, add the bean sprouts and chives and stir-fry for 20 seconds. (The bean sprouts should be crunchy when the noodles is served)

7. Especially Delicious when eaten immediately. Topped with pickled chillies.

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