A few years ago when I was still cheerleading, I headed over to my friend Steph’s, who’s of Indonesian descent. Obviously, after cheer practice, we would be starving. Luckily, her mom came home recently and stocked her kitchen up with these Indonesian instant noodles: mi goreng. Hoe. Lee. Shit. This was one of those life-changing moments. I became extremely hooked. Dry instant noodles, sweet, thickened soy sauce, a spicy red sauce packet, and onion powder. Mind blowing instant noodles. And to my surprise, I was happy to find that I wasn’t the only one with this addiction. But I had to try the real thing.
For my birthday last year, I went to Penang Delight as it was recommended to me by a friend of mine. I had to order it — and it was very different then what I was expecting. It was a seriously dressed up plate of noodles. Thin, round egg noodles, bean sprouts, chicken, shrimp, tomato, lettuce — so different than the plain, MSG-laden packet of noodles of mi goreng. Still good though. I had to make this on my own one day.
And today was the day. Today I made mee goreng from scratch!
I’ve been dying to dish out a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty which I received from my cousin, Ro, for my birthday last year. For those of you don’t know about either Ottolenghi or his book, Plenty, you must have seriously been living under a rock for the past couple of years. Google him/it.
Anyways. Back to my story. It’s such a shame, but I haven’t made anything from the book since receiving it back in October. Until now. When I spotted the vegetarian mee goreng, I knew it’d be one of the first dishes I’d recreate out of the book.
But to be totally honest with you, I can’t even remember what the real thing tasted like. Oh well. Still turned out to be successful. Just think of it as pad thai’s Indonesian cousin but replace the tangy sourness with sweet/saltiness and the rice noodles with egg noodles. If you can imagine what that tastes like…
Mee goreng (adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty)
What you’ll need:
– 1 pkg (500g) egg noodles
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil
– 1 small onion, diced
– 1/8 head of cabbage, sliced
– 4 cups choi sum leaves, sliced
– 1/3 cup kecap manis (thick sweetened soy; I made my own by simmering 1/4 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup soy sauce)
– 2 tbsp sambal oelek
– 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
– 1 cup of frozen shrimp
– 1 pkg of deep-fried or extra firm tofu
– 2 cups French green beans, halved
– 6 cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
– 2 tomatoes, chopped
– 1/4 head of lettuce, sliced thinly
– Fresh cilantro (optional)
What you’ll need to do:
1. Cook your noodles according to packaged directions, drain, rinse. Set aside.
2. In a large wok, heat your oil over medium-high heat.
3. Add your onions and saute until the colour darkens on the garlic, about 1 minute.
4. Add your cabbage and choi sum and saute until the leaves begin to wilt.
5. Add your egg noodles to the wok and toss until it is fully coated with oil.
6. Add the kecap manis, sambal oelek, chili garlic sauce, shrimip and tofu to the wok.
7. Lastly, add your green beans and bean sprouts and toss vigorously to ensure that everything is coated evenly.
8. Spoon the noodles into serving bowls. Serve with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, and cilantro. Makes 8-10 servings.