Kway chap is a Teochew dish of flat rice noodles in a dark soup of meat braised in spices and herbs. The name literally means batter with gravy and is a street food that is common in Penang, Sarawak, Johor and the neighbouring Singapore.
While it is usually served with sliced pork, offals, braised tofu and egg, it is more common that you get braised duck with kway chap In Penang. Although braised duck has a strong Teochew influence, our localized recipe features the addition of galangal and lemongrass.
Some stalls would make their own curl noodles, but many serve them with large sheets of uncut koay teow noodles.
This recipe for kway chap results in thicker than store-bought ones and is not as springy, but it is homemade and doesn’t use any chemical enhancers to alter its texture. You may substitute with uncut koay teow sheets or chee cheong fun noodles if you don’t want to make your own curl noodles.
I like to eat this with a huge dollop of my wife’s calamansi chili sauce, which gives the kick of tanginess to counter the fatty duck. Her chili sauce uses the whole calamansi lime, including its zesty skin, but you may remove the seeds to reduce the bitterness.
We are used to eating eggs that have a dark ring around the yolk. But this is an indication that the egg has been overcooked and sulphur is extracted from the yolks. A chef had taught me to lower the egg into simmering water for exactly 10 minutes and plunge it into cold water immediately to stop the cooking. You will get a perfectly cooked egg with a fluffy yolk without a dark ring. If you want an onsen egg with firm whites and runny yolk, simmer for 7-8 minutes.
If you are able to prepare this dish ahead of time, then you can marinate the hard-boiled eggs in the soup longer to allow the flavour and colour to penetrate deeper into the whites of the egg. You will need at least one hour for some colour to appear, but overnight is recommended.
This recipe first appeared in The Star Online > Food
- 1 duck, about 2.5kg
- 5 pods star anise
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 4 dried chilies
- 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tbsp white peppercorns
- 10 bulbs shallots
- 1 whole bulb garlic
- 1 knob ginger
- 1 knob galangal
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 120ml light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 30g rock sugar
- 2 tsp five spice powder
- 1 tbsp bean paste
- 2 litres cold water
- Curl noodles:
- 240g rice flour
- 120g tang mien flour, or wheat starch
- 25g green bean flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- 600ml cold water
- Calamansi chili sauce:
- 10 red chilies, stems removed
- 6 calamansi limes, seeded
- 1/2 bulb garlic, peeled
- 1 knob ginger, sliced
- 1 tsp salt to taste
- 1 tsp sugar to taste
- 5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- Fried shallots
- Chinese parsley, chopped
- Clean duck of all innards and feather bristles. Remove and discard the rump end.
- Cut off the head, neck, legs and the entire spine and place them in the bottom 6of a stock pot. Cut the remaining duck into two or four pieces to fit into the pot.
- Add all the spice ingredients and top with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 1 hour.
- Turn off the heat when the duck is tender, remove from soup and allow to cool completely before slicing.
- In a separate bowl or glass jar, pour soup over hard boiled eggs until completely submerged.
- Marinate in soup for at least one hour before cutting into halves for serving.
- To make the curl noodles, combine all ingredients into a batter. Heat a frying pan with a little oil, pour in a ladleful of batter and cook on only one side into a very thin round sheet.
- Lift up from pan to cool before cutting into triangular pieces. When ready to serve, skim off excess oil from the soup and bring to a boil.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the noodles briefly in boiling water until they curl up. Dish up immediately into a serving bowl and pour in hot soup.
- Arrange sliced duck meat and egg half on top of noodles. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and fried shallots and serve immediately with calamansi chili sauce.
- To make the chili sauce, blend all ingredients in an electric mill into a fine paste. Store in a glass jar until needed.