Yesterday afternoon was pretty mediocre, and by the time I finally got home I was grumpy, exhausted, hungry and cold. At times like those, comfort food is the only real answer, and I knew exactly what sort of comfort food was required.
Kuey teow (or kueh teow) is a flat rice noodle that is ubiquitous in Malaysia. You might be familiar with it from Malaysian restaurants, where it is more commonly served as one of my very favourite foods, char kuey teow (which, incidentally, I cooked for lunch today and will blog about soon).
Although it is a rice noodle, kuey teow noodles are not suitable for people avoiding gluten, as they are softened by the addition of wheat. It's not a dry noodle, and it doesn't freeze at all well - the only solution is to buy it fresh, as needed. It will last a couple of weeks, though.
Kuey teow noodles really soak in the flavour of a dish. They need to be softened first, either with a minute or two on the stove in some water, or soaking in hot water for five or six minutes. Once they are prepared, though, they make a quick and easy food, so they are very popular noodles at hawker stalls. I prepared this noodle soup the hawker way (except the carrots), no more than blanching the ingredients, keeping them crisp and delicious.
kuey teow noodle soup
A full-flavoured homemade stock is best. If you don't have the time, bring the stock to a simmer, and add the base of the bok choy and the top of the carrot (ie, the bits you usually throw out) into the pot, and simmer for about half an hour. If you do this, you will need extra stock, but it is worth it for the flavour.
1 pack fresh kuey teow noodles
1 clove ginger (minced)
1 short stalk lemon grass
1 cup bean shoots, detailed
2 hot red chillis, sliced
dark and light soy sauce
7 - 8 cups vegetable stock
1 bulb bok choy (leaves detached, stalks in fingers)
one quarter carrot (julienned)
Bring the stock to a boil, add the lemongrass and garlic, and reduce to a simmer, lid off. After ten minutes, add the carrot, and continue simmering for another ten minutes, then add the bok choy stalks.
In the meantime, soak the kuey teow noodles in hot water, and then drain and separate. In a small bowl, mix the chillis with a little bit of dark soy sauce, but a few shakes of light soy sauce. Set aside.
After two or three minutes, the bok choy will have just started to soften. Add the kuey teow, bok choy leaves, and bean shoots. Stir through, and remove from heat.
Serve, and mix through a spoon or two of the chilli-soy sauce mix.
I am probably going to submit this to the It's a Vegan World: Malaysian blogging event, but I have one thing planned that I definitely want to share for that (PISANG GORENG) so I might not. We shall see! I always feel a bit awkward when I submit too many things for blog events.