I love spicy food, and I also love noodles. I’ve never been to Asia, but I can only imagine the amazing street food one can find there. Bali has long been on my travel wish list, and I hope to make it there soon. But in the meantime I’ll have to settle for a taste of their food that’s a little bit less authentic.
Indonesians eat nasi goreng (fried rice) for breakfast, or any time of day I think really. And they also eat the fried noodle variety called mee goreng. Both have their merits, but I think if I had to pick one I’d probably go with the nasi goreng. The problem is that to make it you have to have cold rice on hand. Don’t ever try making fried rice with freshly cooked stuff or you’ll end up with a gummy mess.
Last night, I didn’t have leftover rice, but I really wanted something spicy and Indo tasting. So inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for Mee Goreng from Plenty, I set off on a culinary adventure. It didn’t turn out quite like I had expected, but it was still really tasty, and everyone in my office thought it smelled amazing as leftovers. My co-worker tried it and proclaimed that it was f*$#&$%^ delicious.
Also, keep in mind that I’m a white girl who is afraid to enter an Asian grocery store (another post to explain that one), so this came together with what I could scrounge up at my local North American style IGA.
Here’s mee goreng, my way:
- 1 package Asian style egg noodles (or thin pasta would also work), cooked and drained
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 lb. french green beans, trimmed and halved
- 1 package extra firm tofu, cut in half length wise, and then sliced width wise into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 large handfuls of shredded iceberg lettuce
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp oyster sauce, or thick soy sauce (more depending on how ‘saucy’ you like things)
- 2 spoon fulls of savoury chilli garlic sauce (the stuff you make your chilli chicken with is no good here)
- Lemon wedges
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro loosely chopped
- 2 cups bean sprouts
Get out your wok and put some oil in it (anything but olive works here due to high heat required for wok cooking). Fry up your onion a bit, and then add the green beans and tofu, add a bit of water, cover with a lid and let it steam for a few minutes. Mind the heat so that things don’t burn. You want a bit of marking on your tofu, but you don’t want it glued to the bottom of the wok. Add the noodles, soy, oyster and chili sauces and combine it all together. This may be challenging if your wok is small. I ended up using about 3/4 of a pack of noodles because I had too many and spilling things over the sides as I mixed.
Once everything is cooked to your liking, add the lettuce, bean sprouts, and cilantro and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over it. Heap it into a bowl and dollop a bit more chili sauce on top if you like and enjoy. This one is cheap and easy and it will make your house smell like you’re on vacation in Bali. Enjoy!