Live and Learn, Any Day Given

Being Chinese

I’ve been blogging for quite sometime now and I do realise that I’ve not contributed anything of substance. So today I’m going to school all you readers about a particular Chinese dish. Okay lah not to sound like such a snob but this is based on my very Chinese knowledge about the dish.

If it wasn’t obvious before,  I am pure Cina. With maybe 8.68% traces of Gila. See? I even used the Chineses’ favourite number. Although, I’ve had my ethnicity questioned a couple of times. I’ve been mistaken as a Thai (…some days I wonder if I look like a tranny or what). One time in a public toilet this Thai lady spoke to me in Thai and she was rambling on like a machine gun and I stood there thanking my lucky stars that the toilet didn’t reek of urine and then she realised I was blanking and it dawned upon her, “you’re not Thai, are you?”. My uni classmate, after an entire semester, told me she thought I was Korean the whole time. I’ve also had Malaysians thinking I’m Malay Chinese which is totally wacky but then….it was too good a chance so I made up a story that I am mixed and said that my Dad is Chinese hence the surname etc. It was delightful. Anyway, I’m only mentioning this because I hope it would lend some credibility to what I am about to say.

So. I am going to talk about the difference between Char Kuay Teow and Wat Tan Hor.

Char Kuay Teow 

Char kuay teow is derived from the Hokkien/Teochew dialect. If you disagree, please look for my mother because that’s what she told me because I don’t speak any dialects.

To break it down, char means goreng, and kuay teow is those yummy flat rice noodles sliding down your throat. So basically, char kuay teow directly translates into goreng kuay teow. And, like most dishes, anything goreng is dry. So by the name itself, a char kuay teow is, well, dry. So …. I’m almost afraid to say this.. going to a Chinese hawker and asking for wet char kuay teow is akin to going to a Malay gerai asking for crispy rendang.

Wat Tan Hor

Wat tan hor is Cantonese. Again, breaking it down, wat mean silky, tan means egg, and hor is hor fun (Cantonese) which is kuay teow (Hokkien/Teochew) which is flat rice noodles (which is a badly assigned English term because hello colonisers do you know how many types of flat rice noodles there are !#@$%^&*).  Honestly the English just butcher any food that isn’t Western with their over simplistic terms like bij please our food is an explosion of tastes and spices in the mouth unlike their bland ass food. Sorry I spent 5 years living in a residential college where food is catered and I sincerely do not miss the food one bit. But I yearned for my sambal pau and keropok lekor like one longs for the rain during a drought.

Sorry got sidetracked.

So, wat tan hor means silky flat noodles in egg gravy. So when one says wet kuay teow, this should be what they’re looking for. Not the dry one that may or may not come with cockles.

I hope this comes in handy. If you don’t trust me, have a look at this. After I typed out my this long ass essay I found that on buzzfeed. Damn. So I’m not the only one who got riled up by this.

So… if you thought the dumbass who asked for crispy rendang was moronic yet you insist on saying wet char kuay teow…….

Anyway this post is not to incite any hatred whatsoever since I know in the Malay community there’s such a thing called wet char kuay teow. This is just the ramblings of a madwoman so feel free to ignore or if you’re feeling kind then patronise this psycho a bit k thanks.

And that’s it. Class dismissed.

ps: sorry to the owners of the photos, I don’t remember where I got them from.

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