I think our entire team fell in love with char kuey teow in Penang.
Whether it has chicken or shrimp or sausage, it’s just an amazing mix of flavors and textures, and it’s just so delicious! I’m sure I’ve tried something similar in Manila, but maybe it’s called something else. The closest thing I can think of in terms of texture and flavor is hofan, but I’m sure that’s different.
I was so thrilled to find char kuey teow sauce in Penang. I didn’t find kuey teow noodles, but I bought something similar and my tummy was quite happy with the result!
- Char kuey teow sauce: I was so thankful for this! I should have bought two, haha. One pack is good for 6 to 8 servings, though! So the first time I made this, I only used half the pack. I need to try and find this or something similar locally!
- Noodles: Two people have told me it’s best to buy the noodles fresh, but alas I don’t know where to find them near my home. Perhaps I can try Greenhills sometime soon.
- Shrimp: I don’t cook with shrimp often, because they’re expensive and I get so lazy about peeling them. Also, I’m the only one in our household who is really fond of them. To make my life easier, I used frozen, peeled and de-veined shrimp.
- Garlic: I don’t understand Western recipes that call for two or three cloves of garlic. Use the whole thing if you can!
- Bean sprouts: My problem with bean sprouts is that they’re always sold in such a big bag, and I only need a small amount. Fortunately I love them, and it’s not a problem to cook the rest of it after using a portion for a particular recipe.
- Chinese sausage: Also called Chinese chorizo in the Philippines, this lends a sweetness to the dish. Slice into small coins.
- Egg: I love egg! Some people might want only one egg, cooked as an omelet and sliced up as garnish. Not me! I think I cooked two or three eggs, and mixed them up with the rest of the dish.
- Optional: Peanuts, spring onion, onion chives, coriander leaves. I don’t know how essential these are to the original recipe, and if we even have the same variety of these ingredients in the country. I almost always have peanuts at home though, because we like snacking on them, and I like putting them on salads and pasta. So when I cooked the noodles, I just added these on my bowl. I had coriander leaves and I added them on a whim, because they smelled lovely, and to be honest I just plain forgot to buy spring onions or onion chives.
- Saute garlic in a hot pan until it’s fragrant.
- Add shrimp. Saute until it starts to turn pink.
- Add chorizo. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
- In a separate pot, cook noodles. This depends on the kind of noodles you have. The bean mee I bought in Penang were just cooked for a few minutes in boiling water, then I drained them and rinsed them quickly under cold water.
- Add the sauce to the pot, then add the noodles. Mix well.
- Add the bean sprouts. If using, add chopped coriander leaves too. Mix well.
- I don’t know how Malaysians add the egg, so what I did was I cooked it like a regular omelet, then chopped it up and added it to the noodles.
I LOVE IT. Yes, I’m biased.
I loved the contrasting textures of the shrimp and the chorizo, the crunch of the bean sprouts and the soft eggs. I added peanuts and bawang goreng while I was eating, and it worked nicely!
Since there was a lot of sauce, I was able to make a second attempt at char kuey teow. I didn’t have shrimp, so I just used chorizo. I didn’t have bean mee either, so I just used some glass noodles that I already had lying around. Let me tell you, it was still delicious!
Now I need to find more of that sauce.