Friday, October 12, 2007

Char Kuay Teow for stroke charity!!!

Last month, on September 9 to be exact, some family and friends got together to man a stall at a fundraising carnival for the National Stroke Association of Malaysia (Nasam). For the past few years now, the team has put together a food stall selling mainly char kuay teow (fried kuay teow noodles, for you non-Malaysians out there). The stall is almost always a hit – the aroma of one of Malaysia's favourite street foods being fried fresh to order draws a long queue.

This year, apart from char kuay teow, the team decided to add pasta to the menu. The two woks used for frying and the pots used for cooking the spaghetti and keeping the sauce warm, were all laid out in a line, oodles of noodles being conjured up under the tropical sun. (To help move the pasta, we recruited an American lady, from Wisconsin, to cajole passers-by. No, it wasn't Wisconsin cheese she was adding; just cheddar!)

But back to the char kuay teow. The set up was pretty basic - a cook and a helper manning a wok surrounded by ingredients, neatly laid out.

The star of any char kuay teow is of course the see hum (cockles, bottom right), freshly removed from their shells the night before by a team resembling Santa's elves in December. Apart from oil and soy sauce, other ingredients include sliced fish cake, peeled prawns, chili paste and garlic...

... not forgetting also the "green" ingredients, chives and tau geh (bean sprouts).

We had many helpers taking orders, preparing and replenishing the ingredients (like eggs), and taking shifts over the wok. All in all, we sold out the 200+ plates we aimed to fry, and the carnival in total raked in some MYR 100,000.

Now, some of you might find it a little ironical (or you might be just plain ol' horrified) at the idea of serving char kuay teow at an event aimed to raise funds for the rehabilitation of stroke victims. After all, char kuay teow is one of the most cholesterol-laden indulgences around (which makes it so yummmeee!).

However, we are in good company. When Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, our ex-Prime Minister, was able to take solid foods after his recent heart operation, he asked for his first meal, the equally artery-busting roti canai and subsequently char kuay teow. His daughter, Marina, had to explain rather sheepishly in her blog that the roti and char kuay teow her Dad was consuming were hospital-cooked version that passed the inspection of eagle-eyed nutritionists!

Certainly, the team at Nasam made sure we controlled the amount of the "bad stuff" in our char kuay teow (oil being the chief culprit), but I am sure it was far more delectable than any hospital food out there!

1 comment:

Jen L. said...

Mmmmmmmm, CKT.

So jealous.