Warning: Very UNHALAL post ahead, photos may be unappetizing for some. View at your own risk.
One of the popular food in Bukit Mertajam‘s is Koay Chap – 粿汁 / 粿什, a Teochew (some say Swatow) dish combining koay teow like noodles and stewed pork and duck. It can be considered a rather rare food in Penang because of limited availability. Only certain places offer Koay Chap so good ones are quite difficult to find.
The Koay Chap stall I am about to show has been selling for decades and is very popular among BM people. Even so, it was only my first time trying it, paiseh. By the way, did I already mention this post contains very UNHALAL and not-so-appetizing photos? lol just a reminder.
Although the Koay Chap noodles look like a thicker version of koay teow, the preparation method is totally different. While koay teow is made by steaming rice starch and cut into flat sheets, Koay Chap noodles is prepared by searing the rice noodles on a flat pan (like how apong is prepared).
After that it is left to dry on a bamboo pole, cut into small triangle pieces and finally boiled in a pot of broth. Because of the searing process the noodles would appear curvy and tend to roll up.
If you do not take any kind of intestines or spare parts, do remember to remind the cook to give you duck meat only. In Hokkien – ‘gan na ak bak’. But if you are willing to try, no harm asking for some because they were pretty clean from what I have tasted.
And actually this stall is opened by my grandaunt with her husband and daughter so I didn’t have any doubt on the cleanliness. A small bowl costs RM3, big ones (shown here) RM3.50. The portion may look small but it was definitely filling due to the rice noodles.
The major difference in this Koay Chap compared to the others would be none other than the gravy. In KL, Sarawak or even Penang island itself the Koay Chap has a very dark and salty gravy, which I suspect is taken from the duck or pork stew gravy alone.
Here, the noodles is firstly scooped into an empty bowl with some broth (whitish appearance and pretty much tasteless). Only when pork and duck meat are added into it along with the gravies, the noodles would have the desired flavor. To get the best out of the dish, enjoy it while it’s still warm!
Because the seats are placed around the stall, you would be able to see the entire process of your Koay Chap being prepared.
Some other ingredients used are like hard boiled egg, stewed pork skin (very tender and slightly crunchy) and coriander. The tasty gravy that made the Koay Chap delicious is taken from the yellow pot in the middle.
If you are an adventurous eater and want to try something out of the ordinary, do give our Koay Chap a try. The stall is located along the street in a market next to Pek Kong Cheng Temple on the right, between the fruits and pork butcher stall. GPS Coordinates: N5 21.905 E100 26.698
Other popular food here include Hokkien Mee, White Wantan Mee and Bee Tai Mak with special chili sauce.