Char Kway Teow, the fishermen’s meal

There are many stories behind each plate of food, from the dish’s origins to the story of the chef who’s preparing it for our table.

Char Kway Teow, literally meaning ‘stir-fried ricecake strips’, was originally sold by fishermen and farmers throughout South-East Asia. At the end of a day’s work, they would fry up any leftover seafood and meat with pork lard and rice noodles and peddle the dish to other workers to supplement their income. It’s still a favourite street food dish throughout Asia, with each country and region having its own version.

It’s ironic that our recipe for this dish comes to us from a fisherman’s daughter, Black Sheep Bistro’s owner/chef Sian Bressoles.

With a diverse career bearing many milestones, including being the first female Executive Chef in Brisbane, part of the start up crew at Versace and the first Chef de Cuisine at Vie, she still carries the real ‘back to basics’ humility of New Zealand chefs who are renowned for their simple, clean dishes using great produce.

Black Sheep Bistro’s menu takes us on a world tour via our tastebuds.

“A taste journey takes people to different places,” Sian tells us. “From New Zealand porterhouse to Pad Thai, popular dishes should taste the way they do in their country of origin – no fusion of flavours; I prefer retaining the purity of the dish.”

“I’ve worked with so many international chefs and gained experience in quite diverse cuisines, but above all, I want freshness. I also want to keep that wholefood feel. Everything should be on the plate for a reason. The ideal dish carries the unique taste of the dish above everything else.”

Black Sheep Bistro’s Char Kway Teow (serves four)

400gm peeled raw prawns

600gm cooked diced pork belly

4 eggs

800gm rice noodles

100gm bean sprouts

1/2 bunch coriander for finishing

Sauce

20gm ginger, peeled and chopped

20gm garlic, chopped

1 x red chilli, deseeded and chopped

10gm balachan (shrimp paste, roasted)

80ml soy sauce

25ml nam pla (fish sauce)

1 tsp turmeric

50ml vegetable oil

Method

Blend all sauce ingredients until smooth.

Wok fry the eggs until they form a firm scramble.

Add pork, prawns, noodles, 200ml water, and simmer for 2 minutes.

Add the sauce, the sprouts and lastly the coriander.

Toss a few times then plate up.

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2/108 Old Pacific Highway, Oxenford Ph: 07 5556 0909 Fully licensed. BYO wine only.

Open: Mon – Fri 6.30am – 11.30pm; Sat – Sun 7am – 11.30am. Open for dinner Thurs – Sat at 5.30pm from 11 October 2018.

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NOTE: This article was published in The Sun community newspaper on 17 October 2018.

Read our review of Black Sheep Bistro and an earlier interview with chef Sian Bressolles.

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