Traditionally, this South Chinese dish was served to the labourers as a cheap sauce of energy and nutrients. But the version here has evolved to include a sweet molasses-like soy sauce blended with fish sauce as a basic flavour profile. It is now a national favourite in Singapore. The flat rice noodles (kway teow) are stir- fried with eggs, Chinese sausages, bean sprouts, light and dark soy sauce, chives, blood cockles, crisp croutons of pork lard and chilli (optional).
Char Kway Teow
Ang Mo Kio Fried Kway Teow Blk 724 Ang Mo Kio Ave 6 #01-28, 724 AMK Central Food Ctr (Map) 11.30am – 4pm Mon
They sell just this one portion, no large or small nor can you add extra cockles (we asked). That $3.50 portion, as at November 2020, comes overflowing in a small plate and the cook does it consistently well. He makes only a few portions per wok as these are not easily mass-produced noodles. The sweetness from the caramel soy sauce is very well balanced with splashes of fish sauce and it comes very moist, redolent with wok hei (breath of a high heat wok) and very messy- the way we love it. The cockles these days are micro sized, due to regional supply issues but many have gone to love it sans the large see-hums (cockles).
Cuppage Fried Guo Tiao 34 Upper Cross St #01-170 Pearl’s Hill Coffeeshop (Map) 11.30am – 7pm
This old master operates under many foodies’ radar. He occupies half a stall that is slightly hidden behind a support wall (where he sticks his simple signboard) in this coffeeshop. But watch how he lords over the seasoned wok with ease and you'll have an idea just how good it is. It comes very moist and smooth, plus the sweetness is so well tempered by an umami accent he lends to that all important black soy sauce used. The wok hei roastiness is evident and the portions are very generous.
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