Char Kway Teow Recipe

Char Kway Teow


  • Thick, flat, white rice noodles
  • Prawns/Meat/Squid/Fishcake... whatever you like really.
  • Spring onions
  • Asian leafy green vegetables
  • Bean sprouts
  • Chicken or vegetable stock
  • Chilli powder
  • Garlic
  • Egg
  • Vegetable oil
  • Light soy sauce
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Coriander
  • Fresh lemon
  • Chilli oil, or chilli sauce to serve

How to make Char Kway Teow

If you have a barbeque with a gas burner, there's nothing better on a summer night sitting out in the backyard with some beers and whipping up some kway teow with some friends.

Before I left Australia I was in the process of building a Kway Teow barbeque (just an enclosure with a gas bottle and a wok ring that I could stick a big wok on), but alas, here in Japan I don't even have a backyard, let alone a barbeque. Still, a hot wok indoors works just fine.

This is a fairly dry noodle dish so I don't like to overload the wok. Just making one or two servings at a time is best, and it's so quick that it doesn't really matter if you do one at a time. This is especially good if you're eating with vegetarians or people with different tastes. One person might want meat, one might want seafood and another might just want vegetables. For this I've just used prawn and squid.

  1. Prep everything. Wash and slice the vegetables, chop the garlic and slice the spring onions into one inch lengths. Peel and butterfly the prawns and cut the squid into rectangles. Break up the noodles, using a little cold water if necessary. Cut the lemon into wedges. Once everthing is prepped, clean up and make sure everything is on hand. Once we start cooking it all happens pretty fast.

  2. Heat the oil in the wok until smoking and add in the seafood. Toss until almost cooked and then add in the garlic and then the vegetables (not the beansprouts) and spring onion.

  3. Move everything to one side of the wok and crack in an egg. Break up the egg with your wok tool and mix everything together.

  4. Add in a handful of noodles and then pour in a little chicken stock, some light soy, a teaspoon or so of chilli powder (to taste), a little salt and white pepper and then the dark soy sauce. Don't add too much chicken stock, as this is supposed to be a dry dish and you really want the dry fried taste to it. It shouldn't be too wet. Fry it all together and then throw in another handful of beansprouts. They only take a few seconds to cook and when they're done, so are you.

  5. Transfer it out to a bowl, add a wedge of lemon, some fresh coriander and some chilli oil or chilli sauce if using.

  6. If it's just for one then sit down and enjoy it. Otherwise, take the next order and keep going until everyone is stuffed to the brim.

  • yongfook
    yongfook says

    got your mail - can't believe you got kway tiao in Tokyo. Will have to check out that supermarket.

  • theory
    theory says

    Actually, I have to confess that I after I sent you that mail I realised they were kishimen - the Japanese flat, white, WHEAT noodle. Not quite fresh kway teow but a pretty good substitute. That's them in the pic above. Better anyway than the dried kway teow you can get here.

  • JaiLovesCake
    JaiLovesCake says

    i love kishimen. my ex's mom used to send me boxes of the stuff from nagoya. cant find it in NY.

  • serenac
    serenac says

    char kway teow was going to be my next contribution to osf, but i have to say yours looks much better than mine! i love this, & would add that char kway teow has to be made on a high fire, only one or two servings at once (like yours), lots & lots of garlic & chilli sauce. yums.

  • schuzants
    schuzants says

    thought kway teow is nicer with fish sauce? I haven't b een able to keep my rice noodle long and not sticking to each other when frying... any tips? do i need to use lots of oil?

  • theory
    theory says

    A lot of it has to do with the quality of your rice noodle - and that can depend on where you live. In some western countries they freeze and import the fresh rice noodles, which I find makes them break up and stick together. Like pasta, you're probably better off going for dried noodles that you can boil if frozen is the alternative. If you can get fresh (unfrozen) ones, just loosen them in a big pot of cold water and just pull out a handful when you want to fry. It shouldn't break or stick together. I don't use fish sauce with Kway Teow. It's not really a chinese ingredient - but of course it's totally up to you.

  • doivberg
    doivberg says

    Love kway teow! used to eat it all the time in Penang.

  • meiteoh
    meiteoh says

    Urm...the key is to having Chinese sausages and frying the egg till it's fragrant, by Penang standards that is. :) You can also find the same style used on glass noodles and it tastes just as great. :)

  • marianne49
    marianne49 says

    Penang is famous for its char kway teow cooked with cockles and prawns. Now you can even get dried flat rice noodle in supermarket where you dont get fresh one.

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