We are on the tenth of the month, so time for the Muslim Food Bloggers Challenge of the month! The way days fly from one tenth to the other is unbelievable. Sometimes I feel we have enough time to handle things, but this time, it came to a point that I had to whip up something so quick so that I could at least be a part of the challenge. It doesn’t happen to me usually. I like to plan and be prepared in advance, but sometimes things just don’t work out in your favor and plans keep getting postponed, only for the deadline to be staring at you. Alhamdulillah, still I was ready a week ahead, not too late I suppose. 😉
This month, we explore Indonesian cuisine. Why, you may ask. Indonesia happens to be the largest Muslim country in the world, accounting for 20% of the world Muslim population. This fact is echoed during the Hajj season as well, since this country gets the highest number of people performing the sacred rights. This is when I thought, why not we explore this country’s cuisine, something we may not try otherwise. Not because the food is not delicious, but because it is not very well known. 🙂
The only Indonesian dish I knew of was Nasi Goreng. This was the first dish my umma cooked out of her normal cooking circle, thanks to an inspiration by Lakshmi Nair’s show. 😉 It featured on our tables at least once a month, when umma would get bored of making biriyani and ghee rice, though personally I was not a fan of this rice. 😉 I went searching on Google for options and among all, staying true to my name, my attention went to these super easy Pisang Goreng and this layered beauty of Dutch influence. But I decided to shed off my temptation since I was already making too much sweet stuff otherwise. I pinned up a few savory recipes, but this egg stew kept calling out my name and I decided I must make it, since we hadn’t had egg curry since long.
A couple of weekends before, determined to make it, I boiled four eggs at night and decided I would go grocery shopping for the ingredients. The stew needed keffir lime and when I checked out at the store, the pack was quite big for me to use up. I know me, I sometimes end up buying ingredients with big plans and then their end destination is the trash. 🙁 I checked for alternatives but I was sure using it wouldn’t give me the taste for the dish. I came back home, made some tea, and HD and I ate up the boiled eggs for breakfast. 😀
You see, my dilemma was not over. I had to cook something. One more search across Google and I came across the famous noodle dish in Indonesia called Bakmi Goreng or Mie Goreng. This dish is said to be a well sought out street food, found in every nook and corner of Indonesia. This dish is made in Singapore and Malaysia as well. This dish is a whole meal in itself, with meat, vegetables and carbs all going into the meal. Going through the plethora of recipes Google threw at me, one thing I found that it was easily adaptable to everyone’s taste. However, the basic ingredients were shallots, chicken, and sweet soy sauce, called “kecap manis”.
I did find it in the shelves here, but remembering my experience of the oyster sauce I bought to make the Hokkein fried rice, I backed myself out of buying it and instead used a substitute. Kecap manis is soy sauce thickened with sugar, so I took the easy way out of mixing normal soy sauce with brown sugar and using it for the recipe. Since I have a bunch who loves noodles, this didn’t take time to disappear off the plates. Rasha and I are not very big fans of noodles, but still we ate up what was ours. 😀 The ingredients required is minimal, and the recipe is adaptable to your taste. I have seen many adding prawns too, but I avoided it due to my allergy to shelf fish. I am so glad I am able to be a part of this challenge, despite the last minute running around. 😀 Off to the recipe…
- 450 gm egg noodles
- 5 tbsp oil, divided
- 3 eggs
- 6-8 pearl onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- A bunch spring onion
- 450 gm boneless chicken, chopped into small cubes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 1½ cup chopped cabbage
- 4 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soya sauce) *refer notes
- Cook the noodles in boiling water till el dente. Drain, wash well. Sprinkle a tbsp of oil and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Whisk the eggs, with some salt and pepper. Heat a tbsp of oil in a large frying pan. Make a big omelette. Roughly chop into pieces and set aside.
- Chop up the spring onion. Keep the onion side for the noodles and the greens for garnishing.
- In a large wok, heat the remaining oil. Add the sliced pearl onion and fry till browned. Drain and set aside.
- Into the same oil, add the red chilli flakes and let it sizzle. Add the garlic and fry briefly.
- Add the spring onion portion and saute till just wilted.
- Add the chicken, salt and pepper and cook till the chicken is almost done. The chicken will ooze some stock.
- Add the carrots and cabbage and cook till the chicken is all done.
- Add in the kecap manis and toss well. Pour in half a cup of water and allow it to boil. Adjust seasoning to be more than usual since we will add the noodles now.
- Add the noodles and using two spatulas, toss to coat well with all the sauce and the accompaniments. Cook for around 5 minutes till nicely done.
- Sprinkle in the omelette, spring onion and fried onions and toss well.
- Switch off and serve hot.