I remember the time when I attended the Inaugural Teochew Festival at the Ngee Ann City in 2014. I was about three to four months pregnant then and was having morning sickness constantly throughout the day. It definitely wasn’t the best time and opportunity to go to a food haven like this one. Most people were there to devour all the Teochew goodies and all I could do was look at what people around me were gobbling up – oyster omelette, pork trotter jelly, green chives dumpling and Teochew kuehs etc. How I wish I could everything as well!
In the end, we settled for three dishes at the festival – a plate of oyster omelette, a box of pork trotter jelly (my favourite!) and a bowl of Ah Balling glutinous rice balls with gingko filling and sweet broth. I saw other patrons at the next table eating plates of stir-fry kailan with kway teow and they looked really delicious too. Especially because I’m Teochew but have never ever tried this dish before, I was all the more curious to know how this dish would have tasted like. That curiosity remained till today, and at long last I’ve decided to try making this dish at home based on other available recipes online. There aren’t many to start with though, so my attempt here is to the best of my knowledge!
As plain as it looks, I must say this dish is really deceivingly flavourful – not what it looks like at all! The pickled radish, stir-fried with oil, gives off a really great flavour and wok hei fragrance with the kway teow. With only a few ingredients required to whip up this dish, it is definitely worth the while preparing this dish at home, especially since it takes only a few minutes to prepare everything.
And yes, I will definitely give this dish a try the next time I visit the Teochew festival!
- Baby kailan: 200g, chopped into very small pieces
- Fresh kway teow (broad rice noodles): 400g
- Oil: 2 tbsp
- Pickled radish: 3 tbsp (mixture of sweet and salty radish), rinsed in water 2 – 3 times
- Garlic: 1 clove, finely chopped
- Fish sauce: 2 tbsp
- Salt: a pinch
- White pepper: a pinch
- Blanch kailan. Set aside.
- Blanch kway teow. Set aside.
- Heat oil in wok. Stir-fry radish and garlic till fragrant and slightly browned.
- Stir in kailan and noodles.
- Mix in fish sauce, salt and white pepper. Stir to combine well.
- Blanching the noodles in hot water first will help to untangle them from each other especially if you’ve bought them chilled from the supermarket. It also helps to wash away some of the oil from the noodles.
- I couldn’t find any sweetened pickled radish from the supermarket, so what I did was to add 1 tbsp sugar to the radish after they’ve been rinsed so that they aren’t too salty yet taste just right for the noodles. It works really well and the noodles tasted just right!