What Makes a Good: Char Kway Teow
By Victoria Lim | Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016
Char Kway Teow is one of the Teochew dishes that has captured the hearts and bellies of several local and tourists. Case in point, there are plenty of listicles on char kway teow, such as “5 best char kway teow” and “Top 10 char kway teow places”, even an article attributed to the BBC, names it as one of the “ Top Ten Healthy Dishes” with a caveat- it was inked on 1st April. And things got a little heated when the Michelin Guide Singapore did not include Char Kway Teow in its 2016 Bib Gourmand selection. It sparked a nation outcry, almost a rebellion and love or hate it, you do not want to mess with the lure of Char Kway Teow. 

So bow down to this sin and note the lowdown on what makes a good Char Kway Teow. 

 1/ The noodles should not be clumpy 
When you received your noodles with the infamous side sweep presentation, it may look lumpy but it should not be. The best way to test it is to spread it out. If it comes out flat and evenly distributed, moist and smooth, that plate has passed the test. 

 2/ Lard and cockles’ water  
These are two most important yet unassuming ingredients that will separate the die-die-must-try Char Kway Teows from the so-so-only ones. Masters insist on using lard, which gives it a smoother and more fragrant finish and the cockles’ water (a bowl of thawed cockles in icy water- that water is used) adds a pleasant metallic seafood flavour. 

 3/ Moisture ratio has to be perfect 
It can’t be too dry or too wet – it has to be just nice when the noodles hit the plate, yes it is that precise. It is a skill that takes years of experience, the hawkers have to decide when is a good time to add water and fish sauce to wet the noodles and when to stop – too soon and the noodles get dried up, too much and it mushes up, too late and it becomes a soggy mess. 

 4/ Have it on a plate 
Ever notice why they offer chopsticks for this plate, not bowl, of fried noodles? It is because this is best enjoyed in small bites, as the chopsticks only allow you to. Close your eyes and savour it, bite by bite. You will notice the sweet, savoury, and ocean metallic aroma with the soft and roasty noodles with bits of Chinese sausages, fish cakes, cockles, crunch from the bean sprouts and the garden fresh flavour from chives.

Recent Culture And Heritage
What Makes a Good: Char Kway Teow
Be your own food inspector MORE
Forget Penang, head for Sungai Petani
It’s a one hour ride back to the old world charms of a little delicious town MORE
Hungry Ghost Month: What and Why they offer Real Food
How do you know who likes what and when. MORE
Chilli Sauce: Not just any will do in Singapore.
Here is the low down to the chilli crazy country MORE

Most Popular
Recipe: Char Siew
A simple recipe for the “world’s most delicious food”. MORE

Monday 14 October 2013
5 trusted and recommended durian dealer for this durian season MORE

Tuesday 07 July 2015
A Singapore Food Truck Star is born
For someone with no prior food experiences, coming in from star awards to food awards, Cheryl is a role model... MORE

Monday 10 November 2014
Shashlik Restaurant to re-open soon
It is now in the hands of the most appropriate new owners who are of the same culinary DNA MORE

Wednesday 17 February 2016

© 2013 Makansutra (S) Pte Ltd | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Disclaimer