Char kuey teow

Char kuey teow

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

This is a noodle dish I can eat all day long, for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper. Char kuey teow, commonly known as CKT, is a hawker food institution loved by many Malaysians. The secret to a mouth-watering CKT is to make sure the wok is smoking hot when stir-frying the noodles. The high heat will prevent the ingredients from sticking to the wok and inevitably burning, but it also gives the dish a nice charred flavour, often referred to as the ‘breath of the wok’.


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
2-3 strips salted radish, rinsed and patted dry, finely chopped
1 lap cheong, thinly sliced
6 raw prawns, peeled and deveined
250g fresh flat rice noodles, (see note)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy caramel
pinch ground white pepper
1 egg
handful bean sprouts
handful garlic chives, cut into 5 cm lengths
sriracha chilli sauce, to serve


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a non-stick wok over high heat, then add the garlic and salted radish and fry until fragrant. Add the lap cheong and prawns and stir-fry for 2 minutes until cooked.
  2. Add the rice noodles, then toss to mix everything together. Add the light soy sauce, dark soy caramel and white pepper, and give it a quick stir-fry to make sure all the noodles are now charred and well coated in the sauce.
  3. Push the rice noodles aside and make a clear space in the wok, then add the remaining tablespoon of oil and crack the egg into the oil. Stir to break up the egg with the spatula, then quickly cover it up with noodles and let it cook for 10–15 seconds before you start stir-frying again. Add the bean sprouts and garlic chives, turn the heat off, then give everything in the wok a toss to combine. Tip out onto a serving plate and serve with sriracha chilli sauce.


  • Fresh flat rice noodles are available in the refrigerated section in Asian grocers or major supermarkets. They are usually sold as a block of noodles in a packet. To loosen the noodles, take them out of the packet and heat them in the microwave for 60 seconds, then dip the noodles in a bowl of lukewarm water. The noodles should now be pliable enough to separate into individual strands. Drain the noodles and let them dry in a colander before cooking.
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