Penang Char Kway Teow In 5 Minutes!

Penang char kway teow. Everybody loves it but not many people know how to make it. You’ll be surprised how easy and how quickly it can be done at home.

Unlike Singapore’s char kway teow, the Penang version doesn’t contain dark soy sauce. The seasoning comprises oyster sauce, light soy sauce, white pepper and chilli powder. Most of the stalls I went to in Penang served their char kway teow red and fiery. Prawns were always used but cockles were only found in a few of the stalls. Since I’m cooking for kids here, I won’t be using so much chilli powder. Neither am I using as much oil as most of the hawkers out there.

Finally, I like to add my bean spouts last because I like them crunchy. You may of course make it softer if that suits your taste. Go ahead. Try this at home. Your family will love it.

© Chan Joon Yee

Spaghetti Ala Cartoccio

Ladies and gentlemen. My first and most ambitious attempt at spaghetti ala cartoccio. Actually, the dish is not as complicated as I thought. Let’s go through some of the ingredients.

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First, heat up a pot of water, add some salt and boil one packet of spaghetti until it’s a little bit harder than al dente. Drain the water and set it aside. Next, fry some garlic and onion in olive oil until they’re cooked and giving out a stinging aroma.

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Next, we put the tomatoes in a blender and turn them into pulp.

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Add in the fried onions, garlic and blend that with the tomato pulp.

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Pour the mixture into a skillet, add a couple of teaspoons full of salt, heat up and mix well. I’ve added a dash of rosemary for good measure. Once the mixture is bubbling, you can turn off the heat and set it aside.

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In a pot, add some water, port wine, bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add seafood – shrimp, cuttlefish, mussels and bring to a boil. Once the liquid starts boiling, turn off the heat. Don’t overcook.

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Put all your ingredients into a baking tray. Remember to pour your sauce as well as some of the liquid from boiling the seafood into the tray. Fold the foil to cover the entire tray. Bake for 25 mins at 220 deg C.

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This is what it looks after after baking. The aroma from the garlic and port wine was mouth-watering.

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My kid says that it’s almost indistinguishable from what he had at the restaurant. He was probably just flattering. I thought it could do with a bit more tomatoes. Anyway, it’s my first attempt. Will definitely be doing more of this in future.

Pickled Clams

This was my favourite dish to go with white porridge when I was in Taiwan. From Taipei to Tainan, I had it for breakfast almost every day. I thought of making this myself, but I have no idea how it is done. From the picture, I see soy sauce, chilli, lime, garlic. Does anyone know the strength of the soy sauce? Full strength? For how long?

This is a picture from another blog showing Taiwanese street food. I can spot a few familiar ingredients but the method is still a mystery. Since answers are not forthcoming, there’s only one thing to do – experiment.

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First, I lined the bottom of my container with slightly crushed garlic, pieces of squeezed lime and chilli padi.

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On top of that goes my live clams. Then in goes the light soy sauce – undiluted.

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I then shut the container tight with its lid and placed the whole thing in the refrigerator. I presume the clams are ready to eat when they open up slightly. That’s the way I found them when I ate them in Taiwan. Can anybody spot me doing anything wrong? Pray tell.