Monday, June 17, 2013

Char Koay Kak

Have you heard of Char Koay Kak? If you haven't, it's likely you are not of hokkien dialect or from Malaysia. In Singapore, it's counterpart is chai tow kway aka fried carrot cake. For most of us here, we love our chai tow kway with an overload of dark sweet sauce - the blacker, the better. Hahaha obviously there will be some who are simply not into that because they claim to be able to taste the flavour of the chai tow kway better.

Anyhow, today I'm making the version that I had eaten in Penang. I had not seen this in other parts of Malaysia but if you have seen this exact version, please do correct me.

In short, I made this char koay kak from scratch which includes making the steamed chai koay. I didn't manage to find this recipe from any books on Penang food and I'm not sure why. I believe the last I ate this was in Bukit Mertajam, off Penang island. It was delicious to me although I'm already accustomed to the sweetened version in Singapore.

The recipe is from Penang Street Food and my modifications to the recipe are in blue.

Ingredients for the Chai Koay:
  • 320g rice flour
  • 3 tbsp tapioca flour
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 medium sized radish (peeled,  grated and drained of juice)
  • 3 cloves garlic (I used 3 tbsp chopped garlic)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix rice flour, tapioca flour, baking soda and water together with a whisk until there are no more lumps in the mixture. Set aside.

Heat your wok and pour the sesame oil when it's hot enough. Stir fry the garlic until it starts to turn slightly brown.

This is how 'dry' your grated radish should be before you start to fry it.

Add the grated radish to stir fry until it turns soft.

Add the flour mixture and fry until the liquid in the mixture is reduced.

Pour the cooked mixture to a pan and steam the mixture for about 60 minutes or until the whole mixture is set.

Let cool and refrigerate overnight.

Ingredients for the Char Koay Kak:
  • 500g chai koay, cut and cubed roughly
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste
  • 1 tbsp preserved turnip (chai poh)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g beansprouts, washed and drained
  • pepper to taste
  • chicken stock powder or MSG to taste
  • 2-3 small bunch of chives, cut into about 3 or 4cm lengthwise

Cut and cube about 500g chai koay that you made earlier.

Place wok over high heat until smoking hot.  Add 1 tbsp lard/oil and stir-fry half the chopped garlic quickly until golden brown.

Add 500 grams of Kway Kak.  Stir-fry over high heat until golden brown. 

Remove from wok, set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp lard/oil.  Add remaining chopped garlic.  Stir-fry until golden brown and fragrant.

Add chilli paste. Continue stir-frying.

Add preserved turnip and sugar, sauté well.

Return the earlier stir-fried KwayKak into wok. Add light, dark soy sauce and chicken stock granules or MSG, stir-fry until well mixed.

Create an empty space at centre of the wok, crack in eggs.  Cover the eggs with all the ingredients and stir-fry evenly.

Mix in bean sprouts and chives. Do not overcook.

This is approximately the length you should cut your chives
Dish out and serve with a dash of pepper.

The verdict: Mr G says this is a very close replica of what he has eaten in Penang and he had already whacked more than just this plate of char koay kak you see here. He gave a big thumbs up and a 9 out of 10. I'm overjoyed with this verdict. As this is my first time making fried carrot cake of any kind from scratch and also my first time making Penang char koay kak, I'm definitely very satisfied already!

If the picture above tempts you, try making it! It is yummilicious!!

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Penang Month hosted byAlan of Travellingfoodies.

1 comment:

Elsie Khoo said...

first time see a recipe with baking soda...what is the different in term of taste and texture?tqvm