In my hometown Kuching, Sarawak (in Malaysia) the "Tomato Kuay Teow" is a very common hawker styled food sold in almost every "kopitiam" aka coffee shops in town. Do not be fooled by the term "coffee shop" it is actually the term we use to describe local styled "simple" restaurants where you get freshly cooked food at the cheapest prices.
Tomato Kuay Teow is a very common late night supper takeaway dish for me back in my childhood days. Our culture was used to late night eating and the kopitiams are still very much active after 10pm. After all, it's hard NOT to get hungry again by 10pm when growing up, dinner was as early as 5pm back in those days!!
Inspired by Leona's blog post and recipe (and thanks to a friend who posted the link on Facebook) my craving for authentic food from my original home intensified so I decided to try this recipe myself. It looked fairly simple - and I made some slight changes to her recipe by using chicken instead of prawns - and by adding sugar to balance out the flavors in the sauce. The result? A true Kuching Tomato Kuay Teow tastes 90% like the real thing! I had the same challenge Leona had - I didn't know how to prevent the kuay teow from turning a bit soggy and retain its firmness and shape. Perhaps my wok needed to be the real Chinese wok and I needed a really hot heat when frying it. Despite the kuay teow looking like it's falling apart, it still retained it silky texture so as long as it tasted good I didn't really care! Enjoy :)
400g fresh kuay teow
2 tbsp kicap manis (sweet soy sauce)
Oil for frying
5 chicken drumsticks - meat stripped and chopped into pieces
4 stalks spring onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 small carrots, sliced thinly diagonally
1 tbsp chicken stock powder mixed with 1 cup of water
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 cup of water
Tomato sauce to taste
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp oyster sauce
White pepper to taste
Extra water as required
Prepare the kuay teow by separating them using cold water. Heat wok and fry kuay teow in hot oil. Add kicap manis for the brown color. When cooked, remove from wok and set aside.
In a separate clean pot add liquid chicken stock, liquid cornflour and tomato sauce to taste. Add white pepper, oyster sauce and sugar. Add extra water (or any of the sauce ingredients mentioned) as required according to taste. Bring sauce to boil.
Add chicken, cuttlefish, carrots and spring onions into sauce. Cook for another 6-8 minutes (chicken should cook very quickly in boiling sauce) if not slightly longer.
(Note: You may also use prawns and fish cakes instead of chicken)
Pour sauce over cooked kuay teow and serve.
|This is what Tomato Kuay Teow from a Kuching kopitiam looks like|