A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.

Fried noodles

Posted date:  March 15, 2012
1 Comment


It being a predominately Chinese town, noodles are just about everywhere in Georgetown. In particular, I fell for the city’s fried noodles — a dish I don’t eat too often in Thailand — and two types stand out in my mind.

Char koay teow gets my vote for Malaysia’s — if not Asia’s — tastiest fried noodle dish. It combines koay teow, flat rice noodles, with thin slices of Chinese sausage, cockles, prawns, egg and bean sprouts:


The dish is seasoned with soy sauce and a paste made from dried chili — no sugar here. Some fry the noodles with vegetable oil, although many still fry with lard; one famous vendor’s mise en place includes a huge bucket of the stuff:


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Allegedly she’ll throw a few chunks of crispy pork fat into the mix upon request.

The dish is rich, oily, a bit spicy and if, like the vendor pictured at the top of this post, fried over charcoal, smoky. Char koay teow is available all over Georgetown and although there are a few ‘famous’ vendors, it’s pretty much tasty wherever you eat it.


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Penang Heritage Food and Rasa Malaysia both include recipes for char koay teow.

The other Malaysian fried noodle dish that I couldn’t get enough of is mee goreng. It’s an interesting dish, in that it employs Chinese-style ingredients (noodles, beansprouts, tofu), but is predominately made by Muslims of Indian heritage. These ingredients are fried with potatoes, deep-fried bits and egg. It’s generally quite rich and heavy, though despite the dark red colour of the dressing, relatively mild in flavour. This streetside vendor’s version bordered on bland:


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while this vendor’s version, sold near the Pulau Tikus Market, was just a bit spicy, and included lots of crispy deep-fried shallots:


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EatingAsia led me to yet another vendor’s version, which is topped with slices of squid cooked in a slightly spicy sambal:


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Recipes for the mee goreng can also be found in Penang Heritage Food and at Rasa Malaysia.

Comment for Fried noodles

Hey Austin, I’ve already missed eating with you in Penang!

Wanna say something?