The first food a typical Singaporean misses when he travels is this Char Kway Teow. That wok hei (burnt taste and smell) is no longer common even with some Singaporean hawkers.
For char kway teow, to achieve that smell and taste is probably the most important, besides the cockles toppings. To achieve that, the wok has to be really hot, and the noodles added to the hot wok with smoking oil. When the noodles looks brownish on some edges, the taste is achieved.
The best char kway teow should also have a slight wetness to it. It is not really dry and ‘fried’, neither should it be swimming in a gravy. Just a few drops of the sauce still visible.
Here’s my very simple version.
A handful of broad rice noodles (if using dried, prepare according to package), cut into finger lengths
A handful of yellow hokkien noodle
5 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Chili sauce (optional)
3 Tbsp Kechap Manis
2 Tbsp Soya Sauce
80 ml Stock (or water with 1/2 tsp Chicken Bullion)
1 Chicken Fillet, cut to thin slices
8 small Prawns, shelled
2 Tbsp Cockles, shelled
2 Chinese Sausages (Lapcheong – 腊肠)
A bunch of Green/Spring Onions