Char Kway Teow / Kwe Tiauw Goreng

There is a kind of noodle both here and in Indonesia called Kway Teow, or Kwe Tiauw in Indonesian.  It is big, soft, and flat, probably made out of rice, like an extra thick linguine.  In both places it forms the base for the most classic of Southeast Asian street foods, char kway teow (in Malaysia) or Kwe Tiauw Goreng (In Indonesia), which is simply “fried kway teow.”  There are probably as many variations on this dish as there are street vendors in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, but there are two primary kinds: the halal kind (no pork) and the non-halal kind (includes pork).  They also roughly break down between Indonesian and Malaysia…we are pretty confident that you could not find kwe tiauw with pork in it in Jakarta, but you certainly can here (although there are halal versions here too).  In what follows we do our very best to give you a basic recipe for each: Indonesian style and Malaysian Style.  Please do not be upset if this is not how your grandmother makes it!  A note on the noodles–it would be sacrilege, but if you absolutely could not find big flat soft rice noodles at your Asian market, you could use fresh linguine.  Just don’t tell anyone that we told you.

Char Kwey Teow

1/4 pound diced pork fatback
2 Tbsp. water
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 chilies, sliced
1/3 lb. sliced lean pork
2/3 lb. of some mixture of the following: shrimp, peeled and deveined; squid, sliced into rings; or cockles or cherrystone clams, steamed until just open
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
2  tsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. white pepper, ground
2 cups bean sprouts
2 lbs. kway teow noodles
fresh cilantro to garnish

(Note: divide everything in half and do this twice.  It’s easier that way.)
In a large wok, heat the fatback and water until the fat has rendered from the meat and the meat has turned crisp.  Reserve the meat and leave only 3 Tbsp. of oil in the pan.  Heat this oil, add garlic and chilies and stir until fragrant.  Add pork and stir-fry for two minutes.  Add seafood and stir-fry for two more minutes.  Add the wet ingredients, then add the bean sprouts and fry for two more minutes.  Add the noodles and fatback pieces and stir.  Garnish with cilantro

Kwe Tiauw Goreng

5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
8 red chilies
1 tsp. shrimp paste (optional)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. kecap manis
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into small strips
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup scallions, tender white and green parts only, sliced
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

(Again, divide this in half and do it twice.)
In a blender or with a mortal and pestle, mash the chilies, garlic, and shrimp paste until smooth.  Heat oil in wok, add chili paste, and fry for 2 minutes, until well-cooked.  Add the chicken and stirfry for 2 minutes.  Add the shrimp and stirfry for two minutes.  Add the soy sauces, water, and sugar and stir.  Add the noodles, scallions, and bean sprouts and mix well.  Crack in the eggs and stirfry until just cooked through, then serve.  Season with salt, pepper, and more kecap manis.