Remember those days a gazillian years ago, in college, when grocery money was scarce and with exams plus assignments crashing in there wasn’t just enough time (nor money) to lavish yourself with decent food items? Well, that probably only happened to me. Those were the days when ramen noodles had become the most filling and nutritious meal of the semester. So much that I had to sacrifice to get that black sexy cocktail dress.
Since those bleak (but wild) days, I wished I had a bit of creativity to cook ramen noodles the lifeline. The snazziest thing I did with my sad bowl of ramen was add some scrambled eggs and chopped scallion. That’s about it.
So last night, I felt some creativity sparks and sometime ago I read that Giada made omelette with her leftover spaghetti. We (my brother and I) were starving and there was nothing in the pantry except instant ramen noodles and some eggs. I mixed up the two and it was good – good enough to be blogged about.
Fyi, Indonesians are famous for their instant ramen noodles that go by the name of Indomie. There are many flavors available such as chicken, spicy chicken, curry, soto, and many more. Naturally, Indomie with chicken flavor is what we have in our pantry and that was what I used in my little ritzy experiment.
First I boiled the noodles till al dente and seasoned them with the powdered stock. Stir fry some onions and tomatoes, add the seasoned noodles and pour whisked eggs onto the pan. Voala! Served with spicy tomato sauce – that would hold up the hunger for another hour. Or much less.
How do you spice up your ramen noodles? Please do share.
A quick post for this yummy salsa dip, Indonesian style! Featuring the infamous Sweet Soy Sauce.
Indonesian dishes are often enriched by sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), which is basically soy sauce sweetened by palm sugar. The main ingredients are palm sugar, water, salt, soya bean, wheat, sodium benzoate (0.01%).
This soy sauce is used for marinades, condiment and substitute for any stir-frying dishes needs any sweet kick. Very dark in color and as thick as molasses, it gives dishes the caramelized color.
You can substitute it with equal parts of soy sauce and brown sugar stirred together till the sugar melts completely. Not as good, of course, but it will do!
For the dunking partner, try fried beancurd, cucumber and celery sticks, chips, or french fries! Go dip and dunk with this easy recipe for exotic condiment!
I have always thought clams are slightly too “fishy” so there is only one way that I can truly enjoy this funny type of shellfish. Stir fry them with rich spices and mask it up with ginger or galangal. The only thing I would like to retain from the original clams-related flavor is the giddying texture of the clam meat and the enjoyment of sucking the shell loudly, even after the meat is all gone. Ha.
Nik picked up a couple of kilos of clams from the wet market yesterday and showed me how to make this. The real twist is the fermented bean paste used. I think it will never be the same if it is prepared without our precious yet smelly taoco. As I always said, two stinkies equal one tasty dish.
Another safe favorite of Indonesian one-dish meal is stir-fried noodle. The noodles used are fresh round and thick egg noodles, which can easily be substituted with instant ramen noodles. This is stir-fried quickly with spice paste and green vegetables. The main difference with other type of fried noodles are the generous use of chili and thick sweet soy sauce.
When sold in traditional eateries, the take-away noodles will be wrapped in a couple of banana leaves and fastened by toothpick or rubber band. This cheaper version is sold with pickled shallots and onion and a couple of shrimp crackers. It can certainly satisfy your midnight cravings for oily food. In fancier spots, mi goreng is served with shredded omelette or fried eggs sunny side up, a piece of fried chicken and crackers.
The secret for nice mie goreng is that as soon as the vegetables are added into the hot wok, the egg noodles are added and seasoned with sweet soy sauce as fast as you can, and quickly mixed them well with one spatula in one hand and a big ladle / fork in the other. The noodles The faster you remove the noodles from the heat, the better it would turn out to be. Overcooked noodles is soggy and easily broken into short and lumpy.
Ever been to traditional market on a hot and humid day, trying to pick out some dried salted fish? I have. Not the most cherished moment of daily grocery shopping. Trays and trays of dried salted seafood perfectly displayed on the counter, with some strange looking fishes and other sea creatures dangling on over your head. Each one of these items give up different level of pungent smelt that peaks up during hot and humid summer days. The shopping trip would almost be a torture for those who is not familiar with it.
You may be put off by the idea of its intense saltines and pungent aroma, but once you acquired the taste for fish sauce and shrimp paste, you will develop the taste for dried seafood. Like western luxury food items such as truffle and caviar, dried seafood is often act as flavor booster. A bit will go a long way.
Chinese and South East Asian love salting and sun-drying their seafood. It has very concentrated flavor and the aromas are so overwhelming, even for us who grew up eating it. Plenty supply of fish has prompted this practice, and the inexpensive nature of this source of protein has made dried fish humble dish for any families.
Our grandmother had a signature dish that is well loved by all her grandchildren. She steamed the fish with pieces of pork belly with shallots and chili. One big pot can feed the whole family when served with steamed rice or porridge. Dried salted fish that is used should be from big fish, such as barramundi (ikan asin kakap), instead of smaller fish like sardines, mackerel or anchovies. This way it would not fall apart from long period of cooking time.
The fatty part of pork belly will infuse both the meat and the salted fish and create something less than extraordinary, again, which you can appreciate once you acquired the taste.