Malaysian-style Kway Teow

Malaysian-style Kway Teow

Kway teow are broad, flat rice noodles, served by street-hawkers all over Singapore and Malaysia. Chinese supermarkets sell these fresh but if, like most of us, you don't have one round the corner then thai dried noodles make an excellent substitute! They look like tagliatelli but more transparent.

Serves 2 (generously!)

  • 200g dried flat rice noodles (kway teow)
  • 5-6 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp oil, plus pork fat (optional - see Cook's Note 3 below)
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis (readily available in large supermarkets)
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp prawn paste (kapis)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 spring onions, cut into 1cm pieces, including the green stems
  • 300g bean sprouts (optional)
  • 4-5 small dried red chillies with their seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt & pepper
  • 1 large cooked chicken breast, roughly shredded using 2 forks
  • 200g small, shelled prawns
  • quarter of a chinese cabbage, thinly sliced
  1. Place the noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave until they can be separated with a fork (about 2-3 minutes but taste-test them). Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile beat the eggs and set aside.
  3. Combine the garlic, sugar, rice wine, sauces and prawn paste  to make a runny paste.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan, add the paste and heat until bubbling.
  5. Add the chicken, prawns and spring onions and cook for a couple of minutes to warm through. Add the chillies if using.
  6. Then add the noodles and stir in, followed almost immediately by the bean sprouts (if using) and chinese cabbage. Allow to cook briefly.
  7. Finally, add the eggs straight from the shell and stir continuously until cooked through (1-2 minutes).
  8. Serve straight away, with sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce on the side.

Cook's notes:

  1. We prefer to make an omelette from the eggs, which we chop roughly and add at the end of cooking, but it is more traditional to do as above and just stir the egg in to cook.
  2. Dried shrimp paste is also known as belachan, and  should be widely available, online if not in your supermarket.
  3. A Singapore Airlines flight attendant gave us a hot tip on how to get a truly authentic taste: fry a piece of pork fat in the wok before starting to cook. This really does add a certain something! We keep back fat from a Sunday joint - you can keep it in a cormer of the freezer for times like this!

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