I still find myself being surprised time and again, and this time by a small stall which I never knew existed. My wife was told by her friend about a stall in Taman Uda that sells only Char Koay teow, and we were told not to go too late as the stall is fully sold out usually after 9pm.
Char Koay Teow, transliteration of "Fried Rice Noodle Strips" is one of the major contributions by the Chinese who immigrated to South East Asia. This dish is popular in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei; also available in Vietnam, Thailand and even in Australia.
There are various styles of Char Koay Teow being prepared. The traditional char koay teow is usually fried dry, usually spiced up by pepper and served with chili, fresh or pickled. The Malays adapted this dish and made their own version. Their contribution to this dish is ground chili paste. It is usually made from dried chilis, garlic and onion, ground into a paste. It is usually fried first before adding the koay teow. Times have really changed where now even the Malaysian and Chinese consume huge amounts of chilis. It is not surprising to find that there are a lot of Chinese customers frequenting Malay Char Koay Teow stalls for this reason. Even some Chinese stalls have adapted chili paste into their Char Koay teow as well.
While Penang is famous for their Char Koay teow, Kedah is more known for their Koay Teow Kerang (Koay Teow with Cockles), which is why I was surprised that there actually a good Char Koay Teow stall in Alor Setar. There might be Chinese Char Koay teow stalls in Alor Setar, but I do not know whether it is Halal or not.
Aznill's dish has a rich taste of prawns, while the basic flavors are perfectly balanced. Of course, one could request more chili if he or she prefers it hot. A garnish of pickled cili padi is also included. I guess he didn't pickle it that long because it set
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