In Penang, char kuih kak is one of those hawker dishes that you could find in many places. There are available at food courts, kopitiam, and sometimes just random road side stalls. It is also one of my favorite hawker dishes to have when I was growing up on the island.
However, in Klang Valley, you’d usually find these in pasar malam and nowhere else. Not entirely too sure why.
For those who aren’t familiar with this dish, char kuih kak is basically fried rice cake, usually done in a fairly huge flat frying pan with plenty of dark soy sauce, preserved turnip, garlic, egg, chili if you want it spicy, and sometimes (preferably) with bean sprouts too.
There are also places that gets a little fancy by adding seafood such as squid or prawns.
The dish is fairly simple, and the key to how good they taste lies purely on the consistency of the rice cake on not being too hard or too soft, and of course, the all illusive “wok hei”.
Wok hei is usually accomplished by frying with very high heat to a point where exterior of the cake/noodle/kuih teow starts to get burnt, giving that slightly charred & caramelized taste, while leaving the interior done just right without being overcooked.
If you’ve never tried this char kuih kak dish before, give it a chance the next time you head to pasar malam, or whenever you’re in Penang. 🙂
Pasar Malam Meru
Jalan Kedah (Off Jalan Meru)
GPS: 3.065763, 101.450976
Hours: Thursdays 5 to 9pm