There are many types of mie goreng, or fried noodles, across Asia. The Chinese are, of course, known for fried noodles. The Japanese have their own versions, usually known as fried ramen or soba. Even in India, a land not known for noodles, there are Chinese-inspired noodles such as hakka noodles.
Fried noodles are as popular in Indonesia as they are in the rest of Southeast and East Asia. Like the rest of the Malay Archipelago, noodles in Indonesia are named differently based on what they’re made of, or their shape and texture. For example, kue tiao refers to flat rice noodles, while bihun refers to skinny rice noodles. When fried, bihun is known as bihun goreng.
Mie, on the other hand, refers to yellow noodles made of corn flour rather than rice flour. These noodles are thicker than bihun, and not as flat as kue tiao. They’re usually sold fresh and not dried, and are therefore sometimes called mie basah (wet noodles). This is to differentiate them from other yellow noodles such as dried yellow ramen.
While there are many types of mie goreng, this recipe is for a simple, village-style dish that’s tasty and not too troublesome to make. In this version, beansprouts and mustard leaves have been added. Feel free to replace them with any other vegetable of your choice. Often, Indonesians add egg and some meat – usually chicken or readymade beef balls – but I’ve made a vegan version here.
The trick to cooking fresh yellow noodles is timing. Undercook it, and the noodles are too chewy to eat. Overcook it, and they become soggy and paste-like; they’re much more sensitive than bihun or ramen noodles. When cooking, you might want to test the noodles at regular intervals to see if the texture is to your taste.Print
A recipe for simple, village-style fried yellow noodles that’s delicious and takes less than 30 minutes in total. No meat, no eggs, no dairy, and full of vegetables.
- 300g fresh yellow noodles
- 4 shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 bird’s eye chillies
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 30 ml water
- 50g beansprouts
- 100g mustard leaves
- Soak the noodles in room-temperature water for 10 minutes, to soften them and remove some of the starch. Strain and set aside.
- Blend or pound coarsely the: shallots, garlic, and bird’s eye chillies.
- Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the pounded/blended paste and saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the pepper and salt. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add the light soy sauce, water and beansprouts. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Add the mustard leaves. Mix well.
- Add the noodles. Mix everything well, to make sure the noodles are coated with the remaining liquid. Fry until there’s no liquid in the pan. This should take 2-3 minutes.
- Serve and eat immediately!
- If you can’t find yellow noodles, replace them with dried ramen noodles.
- Adjust the number of chillies according to your taste. If you can’t tolerate spicy food, I suggest using 1 bird’s eye chill instead of 2.
- I’ve put ½ tsp salt as a guide, but you can modify it according to your taste. As the light soy sauce already contains salt, you might want to half the amount of salt you normally use.
Keywords: Vegan, Quick & Easy, Spicy