One of the lesser known dishes in Penang is “hokkein char“, or literally, Hokkien Fried noodle. It is a dish found on most hawker centers and probably most of the bigger kopitiam, but unlike the more glamorous Pennag dishes like char kuih teow, curry mee or prawn mee that is famous everywhere, I’ve yet to find a proper hokkien char stalls in Klang Valley.
Hokkien Char & Char Hor Fun, Anson Road wet market
This blog post is about a Hokkien Char stall located at Anson Road wet market in Penang. It is not a particularly well known stall, in fact, it is absolutely average. In fact, I ended up trying this only because I was waiting for the immensely popular kuih teow soup at the same place (a must-try for kuih teow soup fans)
It is presented as how Hokkien Char should be, and tasted how it should taste, just the way I like it.
Penang hokkein char, where can I get one in KL?
The anatomy of Hokkien Char is simple. There’s yellow noodle and mee hun, prawns, vegetable (choi sam usually), and pork slices fried with some sort of brown sauce, then topped with char siu and fried shallot. Most importantly, it is served with Penang style sambal balacan that’s positively spicy and foul smelling. Sometimes you get an odd fish ball or fish cakes thrown in as well.
The combination just works, and to me, a far superior rendition of fried noodle than KL’s “Hokkien Mee” with it’s overloaded dark soya sauce.
If you’re in Penang, give it a try!
muar chee, this one right outside Ayer Itam wet market
Oh, also, don’t forget to try some Muar Chee as well. They’re absolutely fantastic and usually don’t cost more than RM 2 or so. If you like Kampachi’s signature peanut mochi, you will absolutely enjoy this.
Whenever everyone mentioned Penang, char kuih teow is surely one of the topics of conversation, and inevitably the issue of where about to have the best char kuih teow will come up.
The answer varies depending on who you asks. Many will mention the two Lorong Selamat hawkers, some will mention Ah Leng CKT, while others will point to Siam Road char kuih teow, our topic of the day.
the stall is located at the corner of Siam Road
The char kuih teow stall is located at Siam Road by the intersection of Anson Road, just right opposite Hock Ban Hin kopitiam where you can consume your precious plate of char kuih teow.
The old uncle has been in this trade for decades, and business seems to be ever more popular. Wait time can be quite brutal if you are there on a Saturday afternoon (we waited for almost an hour), so don’t go there when you’re starving.
glorious char kuih teow that packs a punch
The char kuih teow (RM 5.50) here is rather old school, it’s plenty oily but with good “wok hei”. The prawns are of decent size but not of the giant “gourmet” variety found at Lorong Selamat, and there’s lap cheong (Chinese sausage), cockles, chives, bean sprouts, kuih teow, and more importantly, chunks of fried lard as well.
chunks of fried pork lard can be found in this dish
I also find the char kuih teow here a bit more spicy than other places, but well within most Penangite’s tolerance level (seeing that we love our curry mee, prawn mee etc).
If you’re a char kuih teow lover, this is one of the places that you’ll have to try at least once.
Address: Siam Road char kuih teow Jalan Siam, 10400 Penang GPS: 5.415456, 100.320352 Hours: 3pm-11pm, closed on Mondays
One of my favorite Penang hawker foods is Kuih Teow Soup, or commonly spelled as Kuih Teow Th’ng in Hokkien. It is one of the few comfort foods you can have at any time of the day, any stomach “health” level since it’s soupy and isn’t spicy.
Anson Road market kuih teow th’ng
I was first introduced to this Anson Road market kuih teow th’ng by my mom when she ‘tapao’ a packet for us for breakfast. It immediately became one of my favorites, so I made it a mission to have it at the market itself the following trip back.
On the Sunday morning that I went for this, the stall was predictably very busy. I had to wait for 20+ minutes before being served.
kuih teow, chicken, fish ball, and the all important coagulated blood
The kuih teow soup here is surprisingly simple, with strips of chicken meat & some skin, fish ball, choi sum (vegetable), silky soft kuih teow, fried garlic oil, and most importantly – coagulated chicken blood. While some places utilizes duck meat for a stronger taste, this stall somehow managed to come up with the chicken based soup that’s very sweet and savory in taste, I love it.
I’m a happy camper, definitely worth waking up for
If you don’t mind a bit of wait, this place is definitely worth checking out. Get there before 9+ in the morning though cos they usually sold out early.