Quai Teow is a common Hawker street food in Penang and most of Malaysia and Singapore! When I was in Penang for my family reunion a few year’s ago, we had Quai Teow pretty often, it was so cheap and GOOD. The trick is they fry only one portion at a time, so it took forever when we decided to order to go for 7 people!
Traditional Quai Teow uses flat rice noodles, Chinese chives, bean sprouts, Chinese sausage and fishcake, egg, shrimp, cockles and dark sweet soy sauce. For my Quai Teow, I’m swapping out Chinese sausage with BBQ Pork Jerky and substituting flat rice noodles with whole wheat linguine and no egg! Purists including my own sisters will squeal. I don’t listen, I’m a Wok Star and this is what we do! So, go ahead and put your spin on this dish, it’s so much FUN! See tips and substitutions below.
One of the things I enjoy about cooking is using ingredients in non conventional ways. How a dish comes together is because I have a few ingredients handy. And if I don’t, well no one is going to notice cause if it tastes good, that’s what counts! But below you’ll see the ingredients I had on hand so that’s what I used.
The BBQ Pork Jerky comes from Little Red Dot Kitchen. You must order some to try! No MSG or preservatives, so worth waiting for fresh piping hot Bak Kwa to ship! Let Ching know Wok Star sent you. You can subscribe to my free newsletter in right side bar for their current special offer!
Check out their very nifty snack ideas. I’ll be posting more dishes where I’ve used Bak Kwa. I love this article, Eating Healthily which gives a list of 5 common additives in processed meat! No wonder I’ve never liked deli meats, so salty to cover up those additives.
Because BBQ Pork Jerky is packed with protein, I love it as a pick-me-up energy kicker! I’ve had to request for more because I keep ending up eating it as a snack before I’ve had time to experiment, oops!
This is obviously not a dish you’d make during weeknights. It’s quite involved with several batches of frying. But it’s so yummy, you end up eating the whole caboodle in one sitting and want more!
Some tips and substitutions:
• You can make this dish with one protein so it’s less work.
• Vegetarians can use tofu and eggs for a satisfying dish.
• You can even use leftover meat cut up small.
• Use scallions if you can’t find chives.
• I leave out bean sprouts for 3 reasons: they give out a lot of water and can make your dish soupy, it’s very bulky to fry and this may sound ridiculous but my mom always made us take the tails off cause they look untidy. Now, I can’t use bean sprouts with tails on and they’re a pain to take off! In Asia, you can buy them without tails which cost more but since there were 3 sisters, we ended up with this chore. It’s one of those frugal things my mom did to save money, bless her.
• I substitute flat rice noodles because my local Asian market only has them certain days and you have to separate each strand which is time consuming. You also need a lot of oil to fry these noodles so they don’t stick. Hence, the whole wheat linguine.
Here’s what I used:
ready cooked al dente whole wheat linguine
raw shrimp, marinaded with TSPC
firm tofu cubed and marinaded with TSPC
BBQ Pork Jerky, cut small and warmed in wok on low heat
chives cut into bite size lengths
orange bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
leftover choy sum and bell peppers
cilantro for garnish
fresh minced red chilies (if you have a coffee grinder, think that will work but clean well afterwards and don’t touch your eyes and wash your hands immediately.) I ended up using my mortar & pestle because my small processor didn’t do anything.
Sherry (medium drinking kind)
Cornstarch (or arrow root if you can’t use cornstarch)
Tea Seed Oil or grape seed, or canola oil for frying (not olive oil or sesame oil)
Here’s the process…
1. Start with grinding chillies, mincing garlic and ginger, set aside.
2. Fry in a little oil with minced garlic & ginger the chives and orange bell peppers, set aside.
3. Next fry in a little oil with minced garlic & ginger the cubed tofu.
4. Next, warm up BBQ Pork Jerky on low heat for just a second, set aside.
5. Next fry in a little oil with minced garlic & ginger the shrimp, but don’t overcook, as soon as they turn pink, set aside.
6. Lastly, fry the chilies, minced garlic and ginger together in a little oil, add the linguine and leftover choy sum and bell peppers, add a dash of tamari. Once these get warmed, add everything you’ve fried together and viola!
Amazing, I surfed for Quai Teow and not many good ones came up.
Char Kuey Teow at rasamalaysia looks stunning served on a banana leaf.