Friday, July 15, 2011

Getting streetwise with Mee Goreng

Noodles were the first thing I'd ever learnt to make.  Needless to say, it was a disaster and had to be scraped off the pan because I had overboiled everything in sight. The second time I tried, it wasn't so bad if you don't count the fact that I had emptied nearly half a bottle of vinegar into it. It took me quite a number of trial and error methods to earn it an 'edible' status. Of course, there is one little thing I still wish to learn, for which I could give my left arm and right leg for.

Now if you ask me, there’s nothing in the world more exciting than watching noodles tossing on a wok. Better still, if it’s happening in a food cart on the road.  Call it the man’s expert wielding of the wok or the soya tinged noodles flying in the air and neatly falling in a pile below, it never ceases to amaze me how he possibly does it. What if the noodles flew out of control to land on an unsuspecting customer’s head?  Or even worse, his own.  My cook Hori does a neat noodle toss in my very humble non stick pan, something he claims to have learnt from a Chinese restaurant in Mumbai. Of course he does grumble about not getting a wok big enough to ‘make the noodles dance’. (That reminds me to blackmail the husband into buying me one of those babies)
Last evening it was pouring like mad and I had this sudden craving for some spicy noodles. While I had some daal, fish curry and a dead looking soya bean curry lying in the fridge, I decided to give it a miss and dig out a Malaysian stir fried noodle recipe that was lying unattended for long.
Now, Mee Goreng is a very popular spicy noodle dish sold along the streets of Singapore and Malaysia by street-hawkers to high end restaurants.  You can add as many vegetables and meat of your choice. The original recipe included squid, barbecued pork and chinese sausages. You can also add mushroom, baby corn and bean sprouts for veggies. I skipped those since I didn’t have any. The red chilli paste gives this dish a unique flavor and the much needed zest. You need to cook it on a high flame to retain all the wonderful flavors.

Mee Goreng (Malaysian Stir Fried Noodles)
1 packet egg noodles (serves 2)
100 gms boneless chicken cut into thin strips
100 gms shrimps
2 eggs
1 carrot cut into thin strips
1 capsicum/belle pepper cut into thin long strips
½ cup finely shredded cabbage
1 medium onion cut into thin slices
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp green chilli sauce
2 tablespoon crushed peanuts
1 sprig spring onions
1 tsp pepper
1 and ½ teaspoon red chilli paste
Groundnut or Sesame oil
A slice of lemon
Salt to taste

To make the red chilli paste:

Soak 5 dry red chillies in hot water for some time. Then grind the red chillies, 2-3 cloves garlic and shallots to a fine paste. Heat oil in a pan and sauté paste till the oil separates. Keep aside.

Mix in a bowl:
1 tbsp soya sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, ½ tbsp chilli sauce and a pinch of sugar and keep aside. 

Here's how:
Boil the noodles with ¼ tsp salt. Once they are cooked al dente, drain them in a colander. Run the colander through cold water and drain well. Once cooled, spread them on a plate and toss them well with a little oil. This way your noodles won’t stick to each other. Heat oil in a wok or any non stick pan. Add the finely sliced onions and sauté on high. Add the carrots, let it cook for some time before you add the capsicum. Then add the shredded cabbage and toss well on a high flame. Next, add the prawns and chicken and fry well till they lose color and are a little browned on the edges. Add the red chilli paste to this, and toss.  Add the sauces and mix well. Add the boiled noodles, salt (you need to be careful with this, since you’re adding soya sauce) and pepper and toss well on a high flame. Add the spring onions, the crushed peanuts and mix. Squirt some lemon juice on top and serve hot off the pan!
Make an omlette and cut into long thin strips. Put them atop your noodles and serve. Since I was running out of patience, I scrambled the eggs and did the needful. Enjoy! J


Anonymous said...

Darun....keep it up .

PreeOccupied said...

I am going to give this a try soon. Get that wok. Pretty useful for these Oriental stir fries. What kind of chili paste did you use? Sambal?

Aar Bee said...

Sambal actually works great for this. Unfortunately I was out of stock, so I made a paste of ground red chillies and some garlic and shallots. Gives it a different flavour altogether. Let me know how you liked it. :)

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