Wednesday 22 August 2007

Inexplicable cravings

Its been about 7 months since I left home and moved to the UK. Not so long considering the fact that when I first left to go to college, I ended up staying away from home for 10 years. So I find it very strange that this time, I'm developing cravings for foods that remind me of home so soon - even ones that I don't usually eat!

Just this weekend, I had baked pineapple tarts - my favourite sweet treats from back home. Yesterday, I had an inexplicable craving for char kway teow (fried rice noodles), one of the most popular hawker dishes in Singapore. What's inexplicable about this particular craving is the fact that in all my life, whether in Singapore or out, I have never ever ever ordered a plate of char kway teow. Its just not something I've ever really enjoyed. Part of it probably has to do with its reputation as one of the more unhealthy hawker foods you can eat (Not so hard to understand when you realize that the dish was traditionally cooked with lard). Despite all this, when planning what to cook for dinner last night, it was all I could think about. So, I gave in to my cravings and whipped up a batch and for a momentary 15 minutes, I felt like I was home.

Char Kway Teow
Adapted from Shiok!

4 tbsp vegetable oil
1½ tbsp crushed garlic
1 Chinese sausage, very thinly sliced
250g fresh prawns, peeled
350g kway teow (fresh rice noodles)
75g choy sum
3 eggs
3 tbsp ketjap manis or thick dark sweet soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1-2 tbsp chili sauce
3 tbsp water

Heat oil in a wok over high heat and fry garlic for 1 minute, until golden and fragrant. Add Chinese sausage and prawns and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Create a well in the center of the wok and crack in the eggs. Stir well - they should set pretty quickly.

Add choy sum, kway teow, soy sauces, chili sauce and water and stir vigorously for 3 to 4 minutes until well mixed. Noodles should be moist and aromatic. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and serve hot.

Serves 4