Kway teow

Malaysia…truly Asia,is how the tourism ad goes and it is true in every sense. It is truly the whole of Asia ensconced in 1 country ! A melting pot of traditions, cultures ,languages and of course cuisines. Here,without having to even look for it,one does come across an array of restaurants serving authentic Malay ,Thai , Chinese,Indian and Japanese food…truly Asia indeed.It’s funny how as an Indian,one does feel right away at home but still experience the exotic flavour of a foreign land .The Malays on the whole are huge foodies,why else would one find such a staggering number of eateries everywhere,an absolute foodie paradise. Even if you are pressed for time and visit the country on work,the local food finds a way of charming itself into your stomach and have you craving for more.

While I did hope to treat myself to a Laksa at some point,thanks to many wonderful foodie friends,I was introduced to another very popular dish…the KWAY TEOW…a local speciality,it has different versions in Indonesia and Singapore,this one I was told was a Penang version.It also comes under the category of fast food or street food. No matter the setting,the dish is nevertheless delicious and I’m sure will appeal to most palates. The name itself means flat rice noodles.While this dish ,originally was considered very unhealthy when cooked in pork fat,it’s now cooked mainly in oil and a lot of vegetables and sprouts are being added to the recent variations ! .

Traditionally served on a banana leaf it comes with an accompaniment of soy sauce and red chillies…very tempting despite the intense heat ! Though this dish does contain chicken ,egg and prawn they do offer vegetarian versions of the same and are also quite scrummy !

The streets and alleys leading to eateries have a festive air about them as if in preparation for an impending celebration…the sounds of large groups of families and friends in loud laughter and conversation,enjoying a meal indoors as well as outdoors ,despite the warm evenings, will always be a part of my memories of the short but enjoyable time spent in soaking up the ‘warm ways of Malaysia’ !.


Recipe for Kway Teow (shared by a friend)

Stir frying is a quick method of cooking using a wide shallow dish called a wok where the heat is spread and allows for space in tossing and stirring…very fast and also quite dramatic.


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  • 1. Heat oil in wok and saute' the pounded chillies and garlic until fragrant.
  • 2. Add chicken and stir fry on high heat for 5-8minutes.
  • 3. Add shrimp and quickly stir fry for another 3 minutes .
  • 4. Add the beaten eggs, making sure to stir quickly so that it does not turn into a dry scramble.
  • 5. Add the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and beansprouts.
  • 6. Add the noodles and toss well.
  • 7. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste,if required.
  • 8. Stir fry for another 5 minutes and add the chives before turning off the heat.
  • 9. you can see the flavours of this dish offer a huge possibility for variations,both vegetarian or otherwise ! I look forward to introducing you to many more sights and smells of Malaysia.

About Chef

Shanthini Rajkumar