Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 22, 2011: Char Koay Teow

Cindy and I wanted to cook something massive to give us lunch leftovers for the week ahead. After a bit of brainstorming, Cindy suggested CKT, which perfectly fitted both our moods. We had a nice recipe from our cooking class at LaZaT to base things on, but it turned into a bit of a freestyle exercise, with Cindy directing and me doing most of the manual labour. It was a fair bit of work- for optimal wokking, we did things in a couple of batches - but well worth the effort. We ended up with a massive pile of delicious noodles and veggies, which made many outstanding lunches through the week.

We found some fresh CKT noodles in the fridge at Mix Oriental Supermarket in Barkly Square, which were probably the key reason that this dish turned out so well - they were much better than the dry ones that we've used in the past. We also put some eggs in ours - they are truly excellent in CKT - I'd be interested to here whether there are good vegan substitutes, or if they just get left out.

Char Koay Teow
(adapted from a LaZaT recipe)

500g fresh CKT noodles (wide, flat rice noodles)
300g smoked tofu and 300g fresh tofu, cubed
1 carrot, sliced into fine sticks
1 big handful of beans, trimmed and halved
1 big handful of bean sprouts
1 bunch chives, sliced into 2-3cm pieces
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons sambal
4 eggs
4 tablespoons peanut oil

4 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons kecap manis
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt

Soak your noodles in hot water, making sure they all separate nicely, drain and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in your wok and stir fry all the tofu until it gets a nice crispiness going and starts to brown a little. Remove it all from the wok and set aside.

From here on in, we did everything in two batches - everything works better if you have space in your wok, so splitting things in half is a good move.

Add half the garlic and a splash of oil and to the wok and stir-fry, until the garlic turns a bit golden. Stir in half the sambal and fry for a few minutes.

Add half the carrots and beans, as well as half the noodles, and stir from for a couple of minutes.

Add half the tofu back in, pour in half the seasoning and cook on high heat for another minute or so.

Spread the noodles around the side of the wok so you've got a little gap in the middle. Pour in a tiny bit of peanut oil and then crack two of the eggs into the oil. Scrape the noodles back over the top of the eggs and let them cook for a couple of minutes, so that they set.

Once the eggs are set, stir everything thoroughly, add in the chives and sprouts, fry for another minute or so and then remove from the wok and repeat the whole process again.

I found this even better with a squirt of Sriracha hot sauce stirred through, but Cindy enjoyed hers without the need for extra heat.


  1. Oooh, fabulous! I desperately need to start cooking with the mentality of aiming to create leftovers. I've been having far too many lunches and dinners made of sunflower seed butter, chocolate, and peas lately...

    Interesting about the fresh noodles being so superior, too! I've always struggled with mine going to mushytown.

  2. At the point where you put in the eggs, I tend to throw in some soft tofu and mush it until it looks like eggies, and then mix it through. It's not quite the same but I'm usually happy with the addition.

  3. Wow, that looks really good! I really should get to creating more malaysian stuff in my kitchen.. it's on the to-do list but it never gets done! >_<

  4. Hey again, you have got to stop doing so many yummy looking recipes- my list will get too long!
    Do you reckon doing the eggs that way achieves something different to just doing some scrambled eggs at the start, taking them out of the wok while you do the rest and then adding them back?

  5. Yum, CKT is one of my favourite noodle dishes. I've never tried cooking it though - will have to give it a go sometime!

  6. Char Koay Teow!!! Need to eat my fill while I'm still in KL, but definitely bookmarking this recipe for when the cravings arise while I'm in melb :) totally agree that the egg makes a huge difference in CKT.

  7. Hannah, the leftover planning started years ago when I was faced with abysmal cafeteria options at uni. :-D

    Steph - thanks! I though some mushy tofu might do it. Will definitely try another time (and reduce/replace the rest of the tofu accordingly).

    Celeste, if we can manage this I know you can too. :-)

    Hi Nina! I reckon the effect is a bit different - the eggs turn into messy little fragments that cling unevenly to the noodles, instead of being neater omelette strips. Both work in their own way.

    bri - we'd certainly recommend it! It's fast becoming our favourite noodle dish.

    Welcome, Ka Mun! Enjoy the fab KL versions while you can. :-)