Saturday, August 21, 2010

Duck egg char koay teow

I first stumbled upon duck egg char koay teow several months ago in a coffee shop in Subang Jaya. But I did not think very much about it. Until I saw it in another shop in PJ. Then my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give it a try.

The shop where I first saw the duck eggs was New Apollos coffee shop in USJ 4. It is a corner shop on Jalan USJ 4/6B, off Persiaran Tujuan.

It is an ordinary looking CKT stall. Apparently it started as such.

Then the guy started to offer duck eggs in his CKT. It got popular and he made a specialty out of that. The signboard above his stall has an added-on poster promoting his duck eggs. And a cutting of a newspaper article which he said was done without him even knowing about it.

I do not have much experience on duck eggs, so I really do not know how they compared to chicken eggs when fried or boiled.

But in CKT, duck eggs provide a distinct aroma that is very pleasant and I liked it. The guy at New Apollos made a creditable plate of CKT. The texture of the noodle, as stated in the newspaper cutting, was creamy. It was unmistakably different from chicken egg. However, I think he added "choy poh" (菜宝) - a preserved vegetable) into his CKT and I didn't quite like the flavor of that. Still overall, I enjoyed my first experience of this duck egg CKT.

Away from Subang Jaya, the other place that I had duck egg CKT was in Kelana Jaya, PJ. It was in Lin coffee shop on Jalan SS7/13B, off Jalan SS7/13. This is also a corner shop in the location where the demolished Kampung-ku seafood restaurant used to be, just outside the Kelana Jaya waterfront.

The stall is owned by a guy named Jasmi. I don't know what his ethnic origin is. I forgot to ask him. He looked like Chinese, but when I talked to him in Cantonese, he couldn't understand a word I said. We ended up communicating in English. From his slang, I think he is from East Malaysia.

He told me that his duck egg CKT is very popular among his regular customers. I asked him where he got the idea to put duck eggs into his CKT, he said his customers asked for it. When I told him that there was another place in Subang Jaya serving the same, he looked rather surprised. He thought he was the only one around selling CKT with duck eggs. He believed duck egg CKT originated from Penang. Penang folks - any idea? I personally have not encountered duck egg CKT in Penang on my many trips there.

Jasmi's CKT had the same distinct duck egg aroma and creamy texture as the stall in New Apollos. But I liked Jasmi's better. It was somehow more fragrant. It did not have the taste of choy poh (菜宝). Also, Jasmi served his CKT with a small plate of sambal belacan. It was a great complement. 

The duck egg CKT did not come cheap. Both places charged RM 5.00 for their plate. Normal chicken egg CKT is only RM 4.00. The duck egg is RM 1.00 more. Quite a price to pay for just a duck egg.

So far, these are the only 2 places I know that serve this deviant popular Malaysian culinary icon. Is duck egg CKT set to stay? Will the popularity spread? Why not? It tasted very good. I like it and I believe it so will a lot of other Malaysians.

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