Mrs P loves her some noodles. Unfortunately, I’m rarely happy with the way our noodles turn out when we make them at home. Happy as we are to acquire them from our favourite takeaway joints, I’ve always felt a little disappointed that I couldn’t provide the same noodle satisfaction at home.
Enter Sam Han’s fantastic website The Bonding Tool. Browsing through the website provides a veritable treasure trove of authentic recipes from various lands, one of them being a Penang Char Kway Teow. Mrs P usually opts for Pad See Ew or Beef Hor Fun in the noodle department, so this was a chance to widen the temptation spectrum.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get our hands on all the essential ingredients. There wasn’t any shrimp paste handy, or those little Chinese waxed sausages, or Ku Chye. We used beef instead of prawns, and garlic sprouts in place of the Ku Chye. Oh yeah, and we didn’t manage to get a hold of any Kway Teow, so we just used some rice stick ones.
That’s the beauty of these sorts of recipes I guess, they do stand up well to variation. Between the soy solution and the chilli sauce we had the base for some great flavours (I’m a personal fan of adding Kecap Manis towards the end to bring a sticky sweet dimension to all the husky dark soy saltiness and the brazen keep the winter home fires burning chilli action going on). Be forewarned when you make the chilli sauce, the process is not for those with faint constitutions. If your dried chillies are as potent as ours are, the sight of 30g worth staring you from the bowl will be quite intimidating. Don’t expect that sense of trepidation to ease once you’ve soaked them and removed the seeds either. As the sauce cooks it will exhaust all sorts of spicy gases that won’t just get up your nose, they’ll get up your stairs and through a good portion of your home. It’s all worth it though.
We went to a Malaysian Restaurant yesterday and ordered Char Kway Teow, it wasn’t nearly as good as this recipe (full story is a matter for another post). If you like noodles, I can thoroughly recommend Sam Han’s recipe, we’ll be giving a vegetarian version another go tonight so that we can use up more of that chilli sauce. Mmmm…