Sunday, July 09, 2006

Stir fry – a Mee Goreng variation

Every now and then when I eat Malaysian I will order a Mee Goreng, mostly out of nostalgia for my student days when this made a tasty but cheap treat. When it arrived it was always 1 part positive taste memory and another part disappointment at how strongly it tastes of ketchup.

The other night I wanted to capture some of the positive elements of a vegetarian (but with no added egg) mee goreng – keeping the noodles, potatoes and sweet chilli, but dropping the taste of tomato sauce.

This is what I came up with. We both pronounced it not just edible but down right yummy. It was filling, but next time I’d make more because it tasted so good we wanted seconds, just for the hell of it.

Malaysian stir fry – a relative of Mee Goreng

Light oil eg: peanut or raw sesame
Tofu, cubed
Potato, diced into small sized chunks
Chilli, a little fresh finely chopped
Garlic, as much as you can tolerate, crushed
Carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal or julienned
Broccoli shoots and any other greens that take your fancy, cut into bite size pieces
Spring onions
A dash of roasted sesame oil
Fresh egg noodles, or dried if you can’t get them fresh

Sweet chilli sauce
Tamari or soy sauce

Prepare the noodles according to the manufacturers instructions, so they are ready to use once the vegetables are done.

In a clean wok shallow fry the tofu (patted dry so it doesn’t splatter) until it is golden brown on all sides. Set aside and drain on kitchen paper. Now put the potato into the wok. You can either set the heat on low and cover with a lid to steam a little (like how you would cook spuds in a tortilla Espanol) or keep tossing them on a high heat. They take about 10-15 minutes to cook through. Reserve on kitchen paper. Add oil to the wok if needed and start cooking the carrot, add the next densest vegetables then garlic and chilli. Splash in a little dark sesame oil. Lastly add any leafy greens if you are using them (eg: bok choy) and spring onions. When these are cooked throw back in the tofu and potatoes. Add the well drained egg noodles. Stir through then add seasoning – a generous amount of your favourite sweet chilli sauce and a few splashes of tamari, to taste.

By no means would I claim this is an authentic dish, just one of those fortunate kitchen experiments. It is a great vegetarian meal which could be easily made vegan by substituting udon for egg noodled. Though this dish wouldn't suit the carb nazis!

Update: I've been playing with variations of this - brown onion for spring onion, different vegetables, smoked tofu, a handful of fresh corriander - yum!

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Blogger Chai said...

Sounds pretty good. From memory, I dont remember there being potato in the mee goreng I ate as a kid (I could be wrong) but I like the potato in mee goreng.

8:42 pm  
Blogger David said...

I would love to hear more about what you consider to be the proper balance of flavors in a good dish of mee goreng. I recently had some at a local Malaysian restaurant here in Vanacouver BC, and was really disappointed. I'm considering sending in their feedback card, but I want more knowledge first. What flavors should dominate?

11:51 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Hi David what a great question. I can only answer about Asian food as a Westerner and what I have learnt. It is largely a balance between sweet, salt, sour and heat. I often find food too salty or sweet - which is just food from a chef who isn't bringing in the other flavours.

I have a little about Asian cooking flavour balance care of classes in Bali in this post

My current favourite sour - or tang- is tamarind, which I really must blog about sometime soon.

2:46 pm  

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