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Singapore - Fried Koay Teow and other Hokkien hawker favourites at Jackson (古早炒虾面)

klyeoh | Sep 6, 201305:11 PM

Jackson's array of Hokkien hawker food offerings make this one of the most popular stalls at the Old Airport Road Food Centre, often touted as the best food centre in Singapore. Jackson's fried Hokkien prawn noodles and fried koay teow are often top-rated in their respective categories in local surveys of popular food stalls in Singapore. Jackson's oyster omelette and fried carrot cake also have their loyal fans.

What I tried today:

- Fried carrot cake. The name's a misnomer for this very popular Singapore hawker dish - as the starchy cubes of steamed cake are made of radish (daikon) rather than carrot. However, the Chinese name for radish roughly translates to "white carrot", hence the "carrot cake" moniker. Jackson's rendition tasted blander than others (my fave is in Tanglin Halt) - there're just too much eggs in fried carrot cake in Singapore these days! I rather miss the traditional version where the carrot cake cubes themselves were the centrepiece, flavoured with fish sauce, soy sauce and chopped preserved radish ("chye poh").

- Fried koay teow: not to be confused with its lighter-flavoured Penang cousin - this is the "heavy" dark Singapore version: a mix of "koay teow" (flat rice noodles) and yellow Hokkien noodles, stir-fried in lard and liberally flavoured with sweet dark soysauce. Water is often added in towards the end of the frying process, to give the noodle dish its trademark wet, gluggy appearance.

Jackson's fried koay teow was superb - aromatic, with lardons on the side. The Singapore version is usually pretty spartan, garnished only with cockles, fishcake strips and eggs - unlike the Penang version with its large prawns, Chinese sausages and sometimes crabmeat.

Note: Despite the fact that fried koay teow is often sold by Hokkien hawkers in Singapore these days, it's actually Teochew in origin - as also evidenced from its use of cockles to go with the flat rice "koay teow" noodles: both Teochew staples.
In Penang, all the top Penang "char koay teow" hawkers are Teochew (Lorong Selamat, Siam Road, Two Sisters @ MacAlister Road, etc.). But one can see the Hokkien influence in its Singapore counterpart by the addition of yellow Hokkien noodles to the "koay teow".

Address details
Jackson (古早炒虾面)
Old Airport Road Food Centre - Stall #01-131
51 Old Airport Road
Singapore 390051

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