RECIPE OF THE WEEK | Fried noodles with caramelised cabbage (Mie goreng khol)

This is a super-simple dish that we often eat at home. It’s a snack food for us, but you can jazz it up and serve it topped with Pork belly and Balinese spices or throw in some additional ingredients such as tofu, scallops, roast duck or prawns. Personally, I like it simple, and when I feel like a bowl of soft noodles with the subtle bite of chilli, this is what I make. You can use egg noodles or even ‘mie instan’ as there’s no need to be snobbish about this one. The intention is that you can sit back, relax and indulge. Finish the noodles with a drop of sesame oil, sprinkle with your favourite chopped herbs, or add a teaspoon or two of Fried Sambal for extra kick.

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  • 150 g fresh noodles
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 5 red shallots, finely sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 3 long red chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 small chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 small leeks or 1/2 large leek, finely sliced 500 g white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kecap manis
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • splash of chicken stock or water, if necessary 2 tablespoons fried shallots

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and fry the shallots and garlic for 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chillies and leek and toss for another 20 seconds. Add the cabbage, sauces and pepper and cook until the cabbage is wilted and soft. If it becomes dry, add some stock or water.

Add the noodles and toss until they are thoroughly mixed with the cabbage. You may prefer to take the wok off the heat while you do this if you are not able to work quickly. Tongs make tossing easier too. Then toss in half the fried shallots and stir-fry

Cook the noodles for another minute or two. Taste for seasonings and add salt or more sauces if needed. Serve garnished with the remaining fried shallots.

Serves 4

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RECIPE OF THE WEEK | Green fried rice – Nasi goreng hijau

Perhaps Indonesia’s national dish, nasi goreng is enjoying a curious renaissance, appearing in all shapes and sizes across the archipelago in oh-so creative combinations of meats, herbs and garnishes. If you wander through the food courts of Indonesia’s glam shopping malls, you will see modern reinterpretations of it wherever you look. I recently found this particularly delicious nasi goreng on my travels in Jakarta. However, in the spirit of nasi goreng, feel free to add what you like (providing it tastes good!) as nasi goreng is all about experimentation.

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SPICE PASTE

  • 2 red shallots or 1⁄2 onion, finely chopped 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large green chilli, sliced
  • 2 small green chillies, sliced (optional) 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped leek
  • 120 g shelled raw prawns, finely chopped
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, rolled into a bundle and finely shredded 11/2 cups chopped choy sum or bok choy
  • 1/4 cup snow peas, blanched
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1 teaspoon kecap manis
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 3 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped lemon basil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fried shallots to serve
  • 1 grilled extra-large prawn to serve
  • large krupuk to serve

Put the spice paste ingredients in a mortar and pound to a smooth paste, or blitz in a blender.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and fry the spice paste for about 30 seconds.

Add the leek and prawns, lime leaves and toss for about 30 seconds, then add the vegetables and sauces. Toss until the vegetables are barely cooked. Add the rice and mix thoroughly. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon basil. Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper and more sauces if needed. Serve topped with fried shallots, the grilled prawn and krupuk.

Serves 1

Discover more amazing Indonesian recipes from my cookbook Bali: Food of My Island Home