I have this habit of thawing or defrosting things from the freezer a couple of days before I actually cook it. That’s because I don’t like the water-soaking technique on frozen stuff. I also detest room temperature defrosting so I usually defrost it inside the refrigerator.
Today, after my early self-inflicting pain (scheduled myself for my annual flu shot), I went home and rummaged the kitchen for something to whip for lunch. Lo and behold, I found 1 chicken breast, 2 small slices of liver and a small square piece of pork prolly from the previous dishes I cooked. The good kind-heart-ed alien inside me said “there are many unfortunate people in this world who cannot afford to eat a decent meal, don’t throw your food away”. And I was like, “Hoowkey?! So what will I do with all these pieces of different meat?
Make a noodle!
Lads and Gents, before anything else, I would like to say sorry to my Malaysian/Singaporeans/Chinese readers because I almost ruined your famous Char Kway Teow. This post should be with that title but I’m too ashamed to even call this dish CKT! (face palm!).
A few days ago, after following Spicytones food blog, I decided to make Char Kway Teow. I found the flat rice noodles in the supermarket but couldn’t find Tofu. The noodle craving had been set aside until I could find Tofu in this so provincial place called Petah Tikva. And today, with all due respect to this amazing dish, I decided to make it with my raw meat leftovers. No, I didn’t include the liver because I thought it will be too much and too mushy (and too shameful).
So, a bit nervous and at the same time hungry, I soaked my rice noodles in a deep bowl of water and waited for it to get softer. 20 minutes after, my rice noodles were still hard rice noodles (again, face palm). There are so many stressful things in this world!!. Anyhooo, I decided to cook the rice noodles in boiling water and cold rinse it. It turned out fine and I was able to make my fake CKT.
- 250 grams dry flat rice noodles; should be soaked overnight or you can soak it in lukewarm water for I guess, 1 hour or until soft.
- 50 grams of bean sprouts
- 50 grams cabbage; supposed to be Chinese cabbage; thinly sliced
- a handful of celery; chopped
- 4 cloves garlic; chopped
- about a 1 and 1/2 cup of cubed chicken breast and pork meat
- 4 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp. spring onion; chopped
- 1 tbsp. chili paste
- salt and pepper
- a bit of hot water
- a tsp. of sesame oil
1. Cook your flat rice noodles in a pot of boiling water until soft. Drain and cold-rinse with tap water. Drain well and set aside.
2. Prepare your big deep wok by heating a bit of olive oil. Throw in your cubed chicken and pork tidbits. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and cook on high heat for about 7-10 minutes or until pork meat is tender enough. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Using the same wok, on high heat, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Throw in your garlic when your oil is steaming hot and saute (or shake the wok) until golden brown. Add chili paste and mix but take a bit of precaution because your wok is too hot. Add your soft rice noodles and stir fry it until well coated with garlic, chili and oil.
4. Add soy sauce and mix well by shaking your wok continuously. Add the cabbage, celery, bean sprout and cooked meat. Mix well with 2 wooden spoons and shake your wok from time to time until everything is fully incorporated. Add a little hot water if it’s too dry.
5. Drizzle with sesame oil and mix. Make a small well in the middle and crack in the eggs. Wait for the eggs to be slightly cooked before mixing it with the noodles.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You have to be careful with your salt because the soy sauce is salty enough but you can be generous with your pepper. I love noodles with lots of ground pepper.
7. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with spring onions and serve with lemon wedges.
I know there are jaws that dropped way too low because of what I did to this recipe but, believe it or not, it’s EFFIN’ DELICIOUS!!! If you are looking for authentic Char Kway Teow, then this recipe is not for you. Authentic Penang CKT main ingredient is shrimps and not chicken or pork meat. It can be with Tofu too if you want a pure vegan noodle. But nevertheless, my experiment turned out delicious and I enjoyed it very much. The only consolation I could give to our dear Malaysian friends is … I ate this with chopsticks … for about 3 minutes … Well yeah of course, I ate the rest with the super convenient fork because I noticed that I could not pick a single noodle thread with my chopsticks.
I hope you’ll give this a try or make your own because this dish is to versatile that you can throw in almost everything. Thanks Panyang for bolstering me that I didn’t mess up this dish at all. *whispers “She finished a big bowl of it and asked for more, shhhh”.