Was never a biggg fan of char kway teow until I once ate a really good plate of char kway teow at a hotel buffet a few years back. Didn’t expect the char kway teow at a buffet to be that good, but it was full of pork lard flavour and wok hei! There are dry and wet versions of char kway teow, as well as Penang style (no sweet sauce) and Singapore style (with sweet sauce) char kway teow. I personally prefer the wet version of Singapore style char kway teow! Pork lard is not a must for char kway teow, but I’d strongly recommend using it if you want more aroma and better flavour!
Got a huge slab of pork lard free (yay!) from the butcher my mum always frequents, cut it up into small cubes and rendered them until they became crispy and all the oil was released. I know it looks gross at this point, but it’s going to taste beautiful later!
Look at the golden brown pork lard cubes, yum! At the stage, your kitchen is going to be filled with a wonderful aroma.
Stored the pork lard oil and the pork lard cubes in separate bottles.
Soak lup cheong in hot water for 10-15 minutes then peel off the plastic casing and slice the sausage diagonally.
Here are the ingredients needed for char kway teow: kway teow (I don’t like yellow noodles, but you can use a mix of kway teow and yellow noodles if you prefer), prawns (soak in ice water for crunchier prawns), beansprouts, chye sim, eggs, pork lard oil (and pork lard if you like), lup cheong, fish cake, spring onion/chives, garlic, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and finally, sweet sauce.
I know that’s a really long list of ingredients, but some of them are optional. If you don’t have certain ingredients you can leave them out.
First, add 1 tbsp of oil into a wok and fry lap cheong for 1-2 minutes to release its flavour. Remove from wok and set aside.
Fry prawns till no longer grey. Remove and set aside.
Add 3 tbsp of pork lard oil (and 3 tbsp of pork lard if you want better flavour), then add chopped garlic and fry till brown and fragrant. If your wok is quite small, you can fry the kway teow in 2 batches so that there will be more wok hei. Also, I know 3 tbsp of oil sounds like a lot, but I felt the pork lard flavour wasn’t strong enough.
Add beaten eggs into wok and scramble.
Add kway teow and dark soy sauce. Stir fry until well-combined.
Add beansprouts and chye sim and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
Add lap cheong, fishcake, prawns and spring onion/chives and combine well. Finally, add light soy sauce and sweet sauce and fry until the sauce chars and caramelizes. I feel that there’s a much deeper flavour when the sweet sauce caramelizes. Also, if you prefer the char kway teow to be slightly wetter, add some hot water towards the end.
SOME IMPORTANT TIPS AND NOTES:
Use fresh kway teow noodles and not those from supermarkets. The ones from supermarkets tend to stick together and is not as ideal for frying.
Don’t wash the kway teow noodles. Once you wash away the oil, the kway teow will tend to clump together when frying. If you really have to wash the kway teow, make sure to apply oil to them before frying.
Don’t put the kway teow in the chiller. The kway teow will harden and break into smaller pieces easily when frying.
You can mix kway teow with yellow noodles if you like.
For best results, use a wok that doesn’t have a non-stick coating so that there will be more wok hei.
If you don’t have or don’t like pork lard oil, simply replace with the same amount of oil.
Different brands of dark soy sauce have different levels of saltiness, so do adjust the amount accordingly! I have 2 different brands at home, and one is very salty while the other one is actually slightly sweet. So depending on which dark soy sauce I use, I adjust the amount of light soy sauce and sweet sauce accordingly.
Some dark soy sauces (especially the superior ones) are very thick and will make your kway teow really dark. If you are using superior dark soy sauce, dilute with some water.
If you prefer Penang style char kway teow, you can leave out the dark soy sauce and sweet sauce.
Add cockles if you like! I left them out because I don’t like them.
A sinful plate of sweet yet savoury char kway teow, redolent of fragrant pork lard oil, charred over high heat to release enough wok hei. Not my ultimate favourite local fare but definitely tasty!
Just a reminder to read the above tips and notes so that you can get the best results!
Char Kway Teow (Singapore style)
- 600 g kway teow
- 3 tbsp pork lard oil/regular oil
- 3 tbsp pork lard optional
- 9 prawns shelled & deveined
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- 75 g beansprouts
- 120 g chye sim
- 1-2 lap cheong sliced diagonally
- 75 g fishcake sliced
- 3 stalks spring onion/chives short lengths
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp sweet sauce
- cockles optional
- sambal chilli optional
- Soak lap cheong in hot water for 10-15 minutes then peel off plastic casing and slice lap cheong diagonally. Remove prawn shells and veins, then soak in ice water for 10-15 minutes before frying in order to get crunchier prawns.
- Heat a wok over high heat, then add 1 tbsp of oil into wok. Fry lap cheong for 1-2 minutes to release its flavour. Remove from wok and set aside. Fry prawns till no longer grey. Remove and set aside.
- Add 3 tbsp of pork lard oil and 3 tbsp of pork lard (optional), then add chopped garlic and fry till brown and fragrant. If your wok is quite small, you can fry the kway teow in 2 batches so that there will be more wok hei.
- Add beaten eggs into wok and scramble.
- Add kway teow and dark soy sauce. Stir fry until well-combined.
- Add beansprouts and chye sim, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add lap cheong, fishcake, prawns, spring onion/chives and cockles (optional) combine well.
- Finally, add light soy sauce and sweet sauce and fry until the sauce chars and caramelizes. You need to char the kway teow and sauce in order to get more wok hei. If you prefer the char kway teow to be slightly wetter, add some hot water towards the end. Serve with sambal chilli if preferred.