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Feb 9, 2013 02:42 PM

Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow – Very Good Char Kway Teow At Old Airport Road Food Centre

**For full post and pics**:

So this was another place I ate at Old Airport Road Food Centre. This stall is pretty well known for its char kway teow. Char kway teow is one of the most famous hawker dishes in Singapore and Malaysia. It is made from flat rice noodles (he fen) stir-fried with soy sauce, chilli, shrimp, bean sprouts, chives, egg, Chinese sausage and sometimes cockles. The traditional places use pork fat to fry it and put in crispy bits of pork lard. However because of health concerns a decent amount of places in Singapore don’t use lard anymore or only use it on request (I generally prefer it with lard). If you’ve never had it before it is similar to beef chow fun, but a bit sweeter.

This stall is one of two well-known char kway teow stalls at Old Airport Road (Dong Ji being the other). It has a constant line, so be prepared to wait a bit. They have several sizes, but we got the smallest version because we were eating at so many places.

Char Kway Teow:
I described what char kway teow is made out of earlier, but the real key to good char kway teow is someone who really knows how to stir fry it well. In Chinese cooking wok hei is when you stir fry food at a very high temperature and effectively smoke the food. The flavor is amazing and it is definitely one of my favorite aspects of Chinese food done properly. Experience seems to be one of the key things to learning how to create good wok hei, so it’s really a matter of finding a talented and experienced chef to get wok hei correct. Anyhow, the version here was very good; it had good wok hei and nice flavor. It was a bit on the sweet side and I don’t think they used lard because there weren’t any crispy bits and it was on the lighter side for char kway teow. They did use cockles which I liked as the cockles were good and fresh tasting, not fishy at all. Overall, while it was probably not the best char kway teow I’ve ever had in Singapore, it was certainly a very good and certainly above average rendition. 8.75/10

If you’re at Old Airport Road Food Centre this is a place worth checking out.

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  1. In all its Singaporean-style deliciousness, eh, Lau?

    Singapore-style char koay teow, despite its Teochew origins (all major purveyors of char koay teow in Singapore are Teochews) bore little resemblance to the version one finds back in the Teochew homeland in China: Swatow (Shantou). There, the char koay teow is fried with bits of meat (pork or chicken), chives and flavored with fish sauce.

    When the early Teochews came to Nanyang (Malaysia, Singapore), they put together *everything* they missed from their homeland - koay teow, cockles, shrimps, sausages - to come up with the char koay teow we know in Singapore today. And dark, light and sweet soy sauce were added to the char koay teow, besides fish sauce, in the case of Singapore, plus a dollop of chilli paste :-D

    Kung Hei Fat Choi, btw, and happy chowing in the Snake Year.

    2 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh

      Gong Xi Fa Cai to all hounders!!

      1. re: swannee

        klyeoh - definitely and yah i always find that interesting about teochew food (and hokkien food) that they can be fairly different from the originals in china. i really want to make it swatow and xiamen one day to try the originals

        Swanee / klyeoh and everyone else - gong hay fat choi / gong xi fai cai as well!

    2. By "on the lighter side", do you mean "less filling" or "lighter in color"? I ask because LFZ offers heise and baise, with the difference I think just being the soy.

      I had the heise as part of an OAR feast, along with chap kway, rojak, wonton and fish ball. Like you, I'm glad they use cockles. And I did like the flat rice noodles here. But it wasn't the best I've ever had.

      Regarding the lack of lard, I'm not sure about LFZ, but there are signs all over the place these days declaring no lard or babi. It's partly a health thing for the youngins, but also I think to cater to the Malays? But stuff doesn't taste the same anymore *sigh* I want my CKT to give me a frikkin' heart attack!

      4 Replies
      1. re: stravaigint

        lighter as in "less filling", we def got hei se (black for those who don't speak chinese)

        that looks great! and yes i agree with your assessment, I thought it was quite good, but it's not the best I've ever had, but it was still very good

        I think the lard is bc of people are more health conscious these days although i find it kind of stupid with CKT. If you're eating CKT you're clearly not being healthy since its inherently an unhealthy dish, so you might as well just make it taste great when you do decide to eat it. If you eat CKT all the time then you probably have other health problems from a real crappy diet anyhow haha

          1. re: Lau

            Thanks for the link, great blog! I still have more stuff to post, so I might be bumping some of your other threads too :)

            1. re: stravaigint

              thanks! i posted all of them on chowhound

              glad you're posting on this board, i really want this board to be more active (its become much less active now that klyeoh cant post anymore bc he's on the makansutra private board)