Cooking in the Time of COVID – Mie Goreng

Instagram Post 5/15/2020

👨‍🍳 Cooking in the Time of COVID 👨‍🍳

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I’ve been craving Indonesian food of late (I miss those weekend bazaars!), so when I remembered that there were fresh Chinese noodles in my freezer, I knew what I would make: mie goreng. My Indonesian friends might point out that this recipe traditionally calls for spaghetti-shaped egg noodles or even ramen rather than linguini-shaped wheat noodles, but today’s impulse came from a longing for that unique flavor profile and since I had almost everything on hand except for the proper noodz, the result was what you see here.

Chicken was the sidekick to the fried noodles. The non-noodle component consisted of shredded carrots, cabbage, red pepper, celery, baby bok choy, scallions, onions and garlic, a bit of reconstituted shiitake mushrooms and tiny dried shrimp, and the all-important ribbons of fried egg. The sauce combined ketjap manis (sweet), soy sauce (salty), oyster sauce (umami), sambal oelek (spicy), a bit of sesame oil (aromatic), and ground peanuts (yum). The garnish was a spicy coconut bumbu condiment that I had in the freezer, acquired at one of the aforementioned bazaars.

The marvelous white crisps on the right are shrimp flavored Indonesian krupuk (you might see kerupuk) and they’re positively addictive. In the package, they appear to be hard little chips, but they miraculously puff up almost instantly when subjected to hot oil; actually, they’re almost as much fun to prepare as they are to eat. Since I had already dragged out the deep fryer, I grabbed a few other examples of these crispy delights (yes, I have way too many in the pantry), some Indonesian and some Indian, in assorted colors and with varying flavors from garlic to potato to just plain salt. They come in so many varieties, I could do a post on those alone.

I still have a little of that sauce left and some terasi (shrimp paste) as well, so I see nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice) in my future. 😉
Stay safe, be well, and eat whatever it takes. ❤️

3 thoughts on “Cooking in the Time of COVID – Mie Goreng

  1. Rich,

    I may have asked you this question before, but your post on Indonesian food prompted me to ask again. Do you know a restaurant where we can get a “rice table”. Took the cowards way put and used the English name.

    • Hi Steve,

      Most of the Indonesian restaurants I’ve been to don’t offer rijsttafel and the ones that did (like Bali Nusah Indah) have closed up, so I can’t be of much help to you on this one.

      The best substitute I could suggest is getting a good sized group together (when social distancing is a thing of the past) and getting one order of a bunch of things, essentially rolling your own. Obviously, restaurants that offered it for a smaller group could do so because serving sizes would be proportional to the size of the group. I don’t know if a regular Indonesian restaurant would do one for you if you ordered it in advance – might be worth a try though when restrictions are lifted.

      Good luck!

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