Friday, January 21, 2011

Test Kitchen

As you all know, not all recipes bring you the success that's evident in cookbook photos. I tested a recipe for Beef Rendang (an Indonesian/Malaysian beef curry), but while prepping the ingredients, I already had an inkling that the quantities and spices were wrong. I won't even bother posting the photo here, because it turned out to be one big yellow-green stew, and still gloppy after 3 hours of slow cooking. If you have a tried and tested recipe for Beef Rendang, I'd love to hear from you!

Thankfully, this next recipe for Char Kway Teow (Singaporean Fried Flat Rice Noodles), adapted from Food & Travel magazine, was a success! Make sure you have all the ingredients close at hand, as cooking is swift. If the noodles come compressed in a pack, loosen them up by hand for easier stir-frying. Char Kway Teow is best eaten immediately, to keep the noodles saucy but still springy (if you wait too long, rice noodles are like sponges, absorbing the sauce quickly, making the noodles limp). Serve with sambal chili paste and calamansi limes.

Char Kway Teow
Fried Flat Rice Noodles

500g kway teow (fresh flat rice noodles),
loosened and separated by hand for easier stir-frying
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons oil
250g fresh medium prawns, shelled and deveined
2 chinese sausages, sliced thinly on the diagonal
3 eggs, beaten
150g bean sprouts, tops and tails removed
100g baby bok choy greens, leaves cut into 2cm lengths,
stems sliced into strips
about 1/4 cup seafood stock or water

3 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons kecap manis or sweet dark soya sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce

Combine the seasoning ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Fry garlic until fragrant, then add prawns and cook until just pink, stirring continuously. Move prawns to the side of your wok, adding some oil if necessary, then pour in the beaten eggs and stir vigorously for a minute.

Lower the heat to medium. Add the kway teow noodles and seasoning. Mix thoroughly. Add the chinese sausages, bean sprouts and bok choy. Stir fry for another minute. You can add a bit of stock at this point if the noodles are still slightly hard, or if you want a saucier dish. Toss well and serve immediately.


  1. That looks amazing Annie - lovely flavours too!

  2. That looks so good! I can almost smell it. Love the Chinese sausage in it, my favourite.

  3. Aaahhh Char Kuay Teow a classic favorite. And we are all in our test kitchens.. thats why we love cooking so much and experimenting, because once we get it right, we reap the benefits of eating our most adored food!!