Sunday, August 29, 2010
Of all the noodles, kuay tiaw is probably my least favourite...i think it's a textural thing. Yet whenever I'm away from home, char kuay tiaw is the one dish I never fail to crave for. And it makes sense if you think about it...it's one of those dishes that appears in most coffeeshops, each trying to make their mark by dishing up their own take on these incredibly versatile rice noodles. In my hometown alone, there is a stall that does gorgeously smoky sambal fried kuay tiaw, another that has perfected the dry version of tomato kuay tiaw... one of my family's favourite restaurants does a pretty impressive plate of 'gon chau ngau hor' [beef kuay tiaw]..and I'm still wondering what happened to this one stall that did the most amazing kuay tiaw mee with char siew..so savoury..yet balanced with just the right amount of sweetness..oh and that wok hei...mmm..
Char Kuay Tiaw~ because that last packet of kuay tiaw in Chinatown was just begging to be taken home. Nevermind the fact that I'd never cooked kuay tiaw before..
Half a packet kuay tiaw/hor fun
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, smashed and minced
1 stalk spring onions sliced thinly
Some lap cheong, sliced thinly [ this is optional, but it does give a really subtle sweetness]
Chinese leaves, julienned
1 large tbsp spice paste [ see curry laksa~ I had quite a lot leftover, and it's such a beautiful addition to this dish]
Fish sauce to taste
1. To prep the kuay tiaw, I like to peel them apart to make sure there're no clumps or thick pasty strands. Also handy to put some water on to boil.
2. Heat up some oil, chuck in the garlic, shallots, spring onions and lap cheong
3. Add the spice paste and some boiling water to loosen everything up
4. While that's bubbling gently, put your noodles in a colander, pour boiling water over it, drain and add to your pan/wok. The only reason I did it is because the noodles I got were quite brittle and I could just see them falling to pieces if I didn't soften them up somehow.
5. Turn the heat all the way up, stir quickly to make sure the noodles don't clump.
6. Add the vege and fishballs, giving the pan a good shake every now and then
7. Generous splash of kicap manis...or 3..and fish sauce to taste
8. When everything is nicely coated, make a little well in the middle, crack in an egg, break the yolk with your spatula, let it set ever so slightly, and give everything a quick toss. The residual heat from the noodles will cook the eggs to creamy perfection.
9. Plate, drizzle some chilli sauce over it..and tuck in while it's piping hot.....
The only things missing are some plump, briny cockles and a bottle of ice cold Tsing Tao...