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Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow (translated literally as "fried flat noodles" ), is a popular noodle dish in Singapore and Malaysia. The original version is stir-fried with pork fats and crisp croûtons of pork lard which gives its characteristic taste together with ingredients like cockles, egg, bean sprouts, slices of Chinese sausage and fish cake. Because of its high animal fat content, Char Kway Teow has a reputation of being an unhealthy dish. It began as a poor man's meal, but over time many more ingredients were added, making it one of the most loved dishes in Singapore.

This is my entry for Ruth's Presto Pasta Night. My recipe does away with the pork fat and is easier on the arteries.;-)

Char Kway Teow
  • 1 kg thick rice stick noodle or flat rice noodle
  • 4 tbsp garlic (chopped)
  • 350 g bean sprouts
  • 6 stalks spring onions or scallions (cut in big chunks)
  • 300 g Chinese mustard greens (chye sim)
  • 2 Chinese sausages (thinly sliced) - optional
  • 18 medium sized prawns (peeled & cooked)
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 to 6 tbsp sweet dark soya sauce
  • 3 red chili (seeded and sliced) - optional
  • 300 g squid (cooked and sliced into 1/2 cm rings)
  • 8 oz vegetable oil
Char Kway Teow Ingredients
  1. Soak the noodles in warm water for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the wok until very hot, then add 3/4 of the oil. Lower the heat slightly, fry garlic and chili until garlic is fragrant and golden brown.
  3. Add the thick rice stick noodle and Chinese mustard greens (chye sim), stirring constantly with 2 wooden spatulas for about two minutes.
  4. Push the ingredients to the side of the wok, forming a well in the centre. Add the rest of the oil and heat it. Add the beaten egg and fry it together with the noodles.
  5. Pour the fish sauce and sweet dark soya sauce over the noodles and fry all ingredients together for another one to two minutes before adding the Chinese sausages, cooked prawns, cooked squid, bean sprouts, and spring onions. Add a bit of water, toss to combine.
  6. Taste to see if the seasoning is to your liking. If not, add a bit more fish sauce and dark soya sauce.
  7. Serve hot.

This is the 2nd time I'm cooking this dish. The results this time around is better because I didn't overcooked my noodles. I just realized yesterday night that this dish is so simple and quick to fix. (why? once done, I only had two dishes to wash in the kitchen:-) )

We usually eat this as main course by itself. On the taste side, it is a sweet and salty dish at the same time, and is very typical of the colorful south-east Asian cuisine that is prevalent around Singapore.


The above quantities serve about 10 people.

If you find that your noodles are a bit under-cooked at the end, add a bit of water and stir the mixture. Let it cook for a minute or two and check the noodles again. If it is still not cooked to your liking, add a bit more water to it and stir it. However do not overcook the noodle or else it will break into small pieces when you stir it.

In preparation of this dish, I omitted the Chinese sausages and squid but added some pork slices and more prawns. You can add beef slices in place of pork if you wish. Or totally leave out the seafood if you are allergic to seafood. And if you find it troublesome or difficult to do the egg part, you can skip it too. The dish will still hold the wonderful flavour.

In some other recipe, fish sauce is replaced by oyster sauce and light soya sauce.

Char Kway Teow Fried flat rice noodle
#1, by Lydia (08/09/2007)

This is one of my favorite Malaysian dishes. I like your version -- I'd leave out the sausage, but definitely wouldn't leave out the chilies!

#2, by Kelly Mahoney (08/09/2007)

I've had these noodles before and they're so interesting in terms of texture and taste. I've never had them with prawns, though, but I must try it after seeing this.

#3, by tigerfish (08/09/2007)

Lunch time! And I'm hungry. How I yearn for a plate of char kway teow.

#4, by Anh (08/09/2007)

This must be one of the most delicious noodle dish on Earth!:-D I love it, and thanks for the recipe.

#5, by Tummythoz (08/10/2007)

Chye sim? No lap-cheong? And without lard? That's not char koay teow. It's too healthy!

#6, by Carol (08/10/2007)

My favourite Japanese Assassin,
This dish serves 10? more like one ravenous Lady, her husband and her two growing girls! You've gone and made me crave Char kway teow, now, Ninja! I love the crunchy fried pork fat though, and lots of chilli paste!

#7, by eastmeetswestkitchen (08/10/2007)

Your dish of chr kway teow looks yummy! I like this healthy version!:-)

#8, by Truffle (08/10/2007)

I absolutely love this dish! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe:-)

#9, by Ruth (08/10/2007)

Great looking dish. So glad you shared with Presto Pasta Nights. Hope to see you here often.

#10, by Orchidea (08/10/2007)

I love those noodles... I had them so many times in S'pore and the dish was exactly like your... very good!

#11, by Mandy (08/10/2007)

I love char kway teow, but can't find the type of noodle here:-( Yours look like the one I usually eat at my favorite eating place, in Singapore.

#12, by Sara (08/10/2007)

This looks so delicious! I can't wait to try this.

#13, by Little Corner of Mine (08/10/2007)

Yum! I love char kway teow! I like mine spicy with edded sambal oelek.

#14, by joy (08/10/2007)

There is nothing better than Southeast Asian food - apart from Italian!

The Goddess In You

#15, by lynn (08/11/2007)

It looks fabulous! All your dishes make me so hungry for prawns and noodles.

#16, by Nora (08/11/2007)

That looks so delicious & authentic! I love char kway teow but since I don't eat pork & any pork stuff, I get the "seafood" version. I know that it doesn't taste the same, but it's still very good. And addictive!

#17, by Wandering Chopsticks (08/11/2007)

I didn't know Malaysians cooked with fish sauce! I use oyster sauce for noodles b/c it clings to noodles better.

#18, by Khunying (08/11/2007)

I am hungry now. I like this dish. In Thailand, we have similar dish. yum:0)

#19, by The Cooking Ninja (08/11/2007)

@Lydia: I like it with or without chili:-) Usually it is stir-fried with chili paste but I didn't have any so I use normal cut chili.:-)

@Kelly: You can add other seafood to this dish if you wish like clams or mussels.

@tigerfish: I know what you mean. I used to yearn for Char Kway Teow like crazy.:-) Now whenever I crave for it, I just have to whip it up myself.:-)

@Anh: My pleasure to share.

@Tummythoz: what to do? Has to adapt to modern times;-) Have you ever tried the healthy version of Chicken rice?

@Carol: How I know it's for 10? Well, I cooked 400 g Flat noodle and it is enough for 4 people without extra helping. hehehe I totally agree with you on the lard thing. The old fashion way of cooking Char Kway Teow tastes the best.:-)

@eastmeetswestkitchen: thanks:-)

@Truffle: Glad to share it with you.

@Ruth: I'll try my best:-)

@Orchidea: I agree with you - there are lots of delicious noodle dishes in Singapore.

@Mandy: aw...it must be hard for you. If you like, I can send you a packet or two from here.:-)

@Sara: Thanks for dropping by. Hope you will like it as much as we do.:-)

@Little corner of mine: I like mine with sambal balachan.

@Joy: And French too;-)

@lynn: If you ever go to Singapore or Malaysia, you will be in food heaven.:-)

@Nora: Yes it is as addictive as chicken rice:-)

@Wandering Chopsticks: This is Singaporean version. I think the Malaysian version is cooked with oyster sauce and light soya sauce.

@Khunying: Whenever I eat Phad Thai, it reminds me of char kway teow.:-)

#20, by Rasa Malaysia (08/11/2007)

OMG, your CKT looks so delicious...I want a plate now, extra shrimp, LOL.

I make CKT at home sometimes but never posted it on my blog because I finish them as soon as it's done (before I have time to take pictures!).;-)

#21, by Judy (08/12/2007)

Wow, look at all the ingredients you have there?
Your finished product has put me off my breakfast. I want CKT, I don't want my toast now!:-(

#22, by Amy (08/13/2007)

I love big fat rice noodles. This looks sooo delicious! I'm drooling here.

#23, by Caley (08/14/2007)

That looks so delicious! I will have to track down those noodles in NYC, and soon, Dublin.

#24, by ming the merciless (08/21/2007)

You have the biggest shrimps in all your recipes!! Yummy!

#25, by The Cooking Ninja (08/23/2007)

@Rasa Malaysia: Thanks for dropping by.:-) I know what you mean. I had to stop myself from digging it straight away.:-p

@Judy: hehehe...come over lah, I cook for you any time.;-)

@Amy: It is very delicious:-)

@Caley: Thanks for dropping by. Hope you get to find them in NYC or Dublin.

@Ming the merciless: hehehe...not all the time. Only when we can get them on sale.;-)

#26, by Pauline (11/13/2007)

Alright, i'm hungry now! =.= It really looks delicious!

#27, by HN (06/14/2008)

Thanks dear for this recipe!I would definitely try it out with fish sauce again ... Thanks for dropping by my site again : )

#28, by beachloverkitchen (11/08/2008)

wow! this is the 3rd site I visit feature CKT!! your look good with shrimp and fish sauce.that my favourite!!.May I have a plate pls....:)

#29, by ange (11/08/2008)

i love char kway tiao too, with lots of preserved radish for that extra crunch and loads of sambal balacan! oui, je dois le cuisiner tres bientot et je vais utiliser ta recette.

et fried carrot cake aussi, j'aime bien mais il y a trop de travail pour faire cela!

#30, by nice (02/23/2009)


#31, by v (02/24/2009)

Thanks so much for the recipe!! Had been trying to figure out what sauces went into CKT can't believe it's just fish sauce and sweet dark soy sauce! Tried it and it was AMAZING!

#32 (03/11/2009)

I was looking for this recipe, have to try it when my headache is gone. I now can buy fresh Ho Fan in the Asian shop here but may be more difficult to fry though.

#33 (06/20/2011)

have been looking for a well explained recipe like this. thanks! will try asap! cant wait