Mie Goreng was the first dish I tasted when I landed in Bali over 10 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. Soft noodles and crunchy vegetables in a rich sauce that was spicy and sweet at the same time. Let’s just say I’ve been hooked ever since.
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Mie Goreng, which directly translates to “noodle fried”, is available everywhere in Indonesia. From the $2 bowls, thrown together in roadside warungs to the $15 carefully plated works of art in fancy restaurants. It’s an incredibly flavorful and versatile dish, yet so quick and easy to make.
Luckily you don’t have to travel all the way to Indonesia to get that same experience. This recipe has been tried and tested over the last decade and now I’m finally super happy with it. In fact, I can’t wait for you to make it and let me know what you think!
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How to cook vegetarian Mie Goreng
What I love most about Mie Goreng is that it’s so versatile. As long as you have cabbage, kecap manis and noodles, you can add just about any protein and or vegetable. It’s all about the ingredients you have available. I always make it when I have leftovers from other dishes or when some of the vegetables in my fridge are on the verge of going bad.
What really makes this dish so special is the rich sauce. Kecap manis is a sweetened Indonesian soy sauce that has a darker color, a syrupy consistency and a molasses-like flavor due to large amounts of palm sugar. It is one of my favorite sauces and always have at least one big bottle in my pantry.
I highly recommend using a really good sweet soy sauce as it is such an important part of the recipe. I have tried several different brands but ABC Kecap Manis has always been my favorite. It was also the one we used during one of the cooking classes I attended in Bali. So if it’s good enough for the Balinese it’s good enough for me.
Choosing the right noodles are, of course, also very important when making the perfect Mie Goreng. I like using the thicker egg noodles that come in large packages rather than the thin super curly ones. Here I have used Long Life instant egg noodles.
It’s always a good idea to prepare your seasoning mix for any stir-fry ahead of time. Once everything hits the wok, it cooks quickly so you won’t have the time to measure the ingredients individually. If you don’t feel like making your own seasoning mix there are many pre-made options out there. I have used one for Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and several different for Mie Goreng before. All have worked fine.
Every time I eat Mie Goreng in Indonesia it’s a little different than the last. Sometimes it’s a bit sweeter and sometimes it’s spicy. Sometimes everything is chopped finely and sometimes there are huge pieces of cabbage and other greens. So it’s up to you how you choose to cut and chop all the vegetables. I try to mix it up so that some of the cabbage and carrots stay a bit crunchy and some turn soft.
Crispy shallots are a popular condiment in many Asian cuisines. You’ll find them in just about any type of dish; soups, salads, rice dishes and of course, stir-fries. And I love it. But I have to admit that I’m often too lazy to fry them myself. So I usually buy a big box from my local Asian grocer. Just make sure to buy a brand that is not made with palm oil!
As you can see below, Mie Goreng is also traditionally served with a fried egg on top. I do, however, prefer it without the egg. But of course, it’s totally up to you how you decide to serve it!
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Easy Indonesian Mie Goreng (vegetarian fried noodles)
- 1 pack egg noodles around 400g
- 1/3 medium cabbage roughly chopped
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 2 carrots sliced
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 3 spring onion chopped save the top 1/3 green part for garnish
- 8 tbsp kecap manis or enough to coat the noodles
- 2 ts sambal olek or 1 red chili finely chopped
- 3 tbsp oil of your choice
- 2 tbsp crispy shallots garnish
- 2 ts sea salt
- 1 ts ground black pepper
- 2 ts chili powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 ts onion powder
- Prepare the seasoning mix by combining all the spices. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.
- Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a wok over high heat, then add the cabbage and carrots.
- When the smaller bits starts to soften, stir in the yellow onion. Don't worry if some of the edges turn brown, just make sure it doesn't burn. Add more oil if needed.
- After about 8 minutes add 1 more tbsp of oil and stir in the garlic, 2/3 lower parts of the spring onion and sambal olek (or chopped red chili). Cook for another few minutes.
- Stir in the spice mix and about one cup / 2dl water. Then add the noodles and the kecap manis.
- Stir to make sure everything is coated with the sauce, then transfer the everything to a serving dish.
- Top with crispy shallots and the top 1/3 of the spring onions.