Part of what I love about blogging is discovering incredibly talented bloggers from around the world. One of my favorite finds in 2010 was Indochine Kitchen, published by Jun, from her family's kitchen in Indonesia. Her photos are both inspiring and hunger-inducing and her stories and recipes keep you coming back for more. What impresses me most about Jun is the level of detail she goes into explaining ingredients and their preparation for those that might not be familiar with them. When you're done reading this head over to her blog and follow Jun on Twitter
This is my second guest post in my whole three years of food blogging. In the spirit of NoRecipes, I am sharing a basic Javanese noodle stir-fry recipe that is essentially the essence of most fried noodle recipes found. It can be tweaked as you wish and is very easy to make. Famously known as Mie Goreng Java, this noodle dish is versatile and can be served with many condiments such as sunny-side-up egg, chicken satay, fried chicken, freshly cut cucumber slices and tomatoes.
Indonesian cooking can be concluded into prep steps and cooking steps. The first prep step is the preparation of the main ingredients (be it noodles, seafood, rice, poultry). The second step is the grinding of spices (most commonly used is garlic, shallots, chilies, spices and seasonings). Cooking steps include the stir-frying of the spice paste and finally, the addition of the main ingredients. It is not that complicated, though it does taste slightly complicated and looks like a lot of work! Mie Goreng is not. I can assure you.
First thing first, get some noodles. Dried egg noodles or fresh noodles.
If dried noodles are used, boil the noodles half the time instructed in the package. The final cooking stage will be done later in the wok. If fresh noodles are used, rinse quickly in cold water and drain.
set the noodles aside for later use
Get some shrimp. Devein and skin
Cut chicken breast into cubes. Some people like to deep-fry the whole breast till brown and crusty and then shred them up.
Cut cabbage into thin shreds. This is a must in Javanese noodle stir fry.
Chop spring onions and Chinese celery.
Basic spice paste ingredients are garlic, toasted candlenuts and whole white pepper.
Grind these in a mortar and pestle.
Grind them as fine as possible
Heat cooking oil in a wok and stir-fry the paste over medium heat.
Once the paste turns slightly browned, add chicken pieces and shrimp.
Add chicken stock and lower heat. Let it boil and reduce by a third.
Toss in cabbage
When the liquid has reduced more than a third, add the noodles. If you like noodles that is less dry, add the noodles sooner. Mix well.
Add bean sprouts and work quickly to mix this up. If darker color noodles are preferred, add more sweet soy sauce now.
Toss chopped spring onions and celery. Remove from heat.
Serve the Mie Goreng with other condiments, such as fried shallot flakes, fried eggs, satay or sambal belacan.
More variation: for a spicier Mie Goreng, add a couple of teaspoons (or tablespoons) sambal oelek when frying spice paste. Or grind a couple of chilies together with the spices. Chicken and shrimp can be substituted with beef, lamb, fish, fish balls, prawn balls. For a vegetarian version, leave out all the meat and keep the vegetables.
- If using dried noodles, prepare noodles as direction but reduce the time called for by half. Grind garlic, candlenuts and pepper using mortar and pestle, or electric grinder, to smooth paste.
- Heat cooking oil in a wok. Stir-fry spice paste till fragrant over medium heat for 30 seconds or less.
- Toss in chicken and prawns. Cook quickly by stirring using a spatula. Add sweet soy sauce. Mix well.
- Pour chicken stock in the wok. Toss in cabbage. Reduce heat slightly and let boil, about 2-3 minutes.
- When the liquid slightly reduced, add the noodles. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the noodles and sauce until desired consistency. For dry noodles, cook longer. For wet noodles, cook briefly.
- Add bean sprouts and chopped greens. Mix well. Serve the Mie Goreng Java warm. Sprinkle some shallot flakes and chopped celery on top for garnish on individual plates.