I attended a MasterClass where Chef Adolf Tan shared the recipes and some secrets of why these dishes taste better than other places which serve similar in Singapore.
Of course, the reference is still the dishes in the native city. I discussed this with Chef Adolf and he told me that his aim is to achieve about 80% of what can be tasted in Penang or KL. The reason is because some of the ingredients are not available in Singapore, even on special order, as some have a very short shelf life, and others have been restricted by the authorities (like fresh duck eggs which packs a wallop in Penang for their CKT)
The recipe is rather simple...and as usual, simple dishes are the best...in Penang the dish is spelled Char Koay Teow, here is the recipe:
Ingredients: serves 1
200g Koay Teow
35g Bean Sprouts
5g local chives, cut
5g chopped garlic
Chillli paste to taste
35g fresh prawns
15g Chinese sausage
30ml pork oil
20ml premium soya sauce, or as an option a dash of fish sauce and pepper
1, Heat up pork oil in wok until hot...you can see the oil smoking on the wok. Add chopped garlic and prawns.
2. Stir fry till fragrant, and add koay teow and beansprouts. Fry for about 1 minute.
3. add chilli paste, soya sauce and stir fry untill well coated, then add Chnese sausage and chives.
4. Add egg, cook till the egg is done.
5. Garnish and serve.
The Masterclass CKT was cooked on a portable stove, but the regular CKT in MFS is cooked on a super powerful high pressure gas stove...the one which sounds like a jet engine taking off. This will provide the requisite wok hei to the dish, which is so treasured. Traditionally in Penang, the dish is also cooked in a charcoal fire, where a fan is used to stoke the ambers to very high heat. And the charcoal adds an additional depth to the dish, infusing it with smoky flavours for an even more powerful wok hei.
The next dish demonstrated was the Dai Lok Mee...or KL Black Hokkien Mee.
The special ingredient used when you eat at MFS is the noodle. I often lament that local renditions o this very special dish lacks authenticity as most use either udon or regular mee. But in KL, the mee is yellow noodle, but thick and has a special flavour. MFS went to the trouble to get the local Singapore noodle manufacture to make the mee in Singapore to be as close to what is obtainable in KL as possible. Chef Adolf shared with me that the manufacture of this mee is only for MFS and the manufacturer is under contract only to supply to them.
The recipe is as follows:
Ingredients: serves 1
200g Dai Lok Mee
25g Choy Sum, cut
50g Round cabbage, cut
5g chopped garlic'
30g pork oil
25g pork loin, sliced
35g fresh prawn meat
20g brown cuttlefish, cut
10g Premium soya sauce
30g Premium Dark Soya sauce
150ml chicken stock made from 250g of chicken bones and 500ml water boiled and reduced to 250ml.
1. Heat up wok with pork oil and add both cut vegetables, pork slices, cuttlefish, prawn and chopped garlic
2. Fry till fragrant, add chicken stock and mee
3. Add soya sauce and dark soya sauce and simmer till sauce coats the noodles
4. Stir well and serve.
Visually, the noodles look very similar to the ones I have eaten in KL. And the fragrance is absolutely captivating. Tastewise, this is probably the closest to KL I have sampled in Singapore, big thanks to the special noodles used.
Malaysian Food Street
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