Mie goreng

Sometimes all you want is that delicious, filthy, umami-packed flavour that only a good takeaway usually provides. These fried noodles have it and are the ideal speedy one-dish supper for when the fridge is near bare. You only need a few odds and ends of vegetables, cut into ribbons, and store cupboard sauces and sprinkles for a mild salty-sweetness. Bolster with a protein of your choice: chicken, prawns, tofu or leftover meat, or add thin strips of omelette at the end instead.

Ingredients

  • 150 g ( oz) dried egg noodles
  • 50 g (2 oz) chicken (optional)
  • 2 small red Asian shallots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, seeded and sliced
  • 1 small carrot
  • 60 g (2 oz) Asian greens
  • 60 g (2 oz) cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • tablespooons kecap manis
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • crisp-fried shallots, to serve

Method

Get all the ingredients ready and laid out next to you before you begin to stir-fry.

Boil the noodles as instructed on the packet, keeping them chewy.

Slice the chicken into thin strips, then into tiny pieces. Slice the vegetables into separate piles on another chopping board. Cut the carrot into long slices, and then julienne them (i.e. cut into matchstick-like strips). Slice the greens and cabbage into similarly thin strips.

Set a wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Heat the oil, then add the chicken. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until cooked through. Push to the side of the wok (or remove if using a frying pan). Add the shallot and garlic and cook briefly to soften, then stir through the spring onions and chilli and cook for about 20 seconds or so longer. Shuffle the chicken back down and stir everything together. Add a splash of water to moisten the meat.

Add the vegetables and stir-fry to soften. Add the noodles and sauces and use tongs to mix everything together well. Toss through for a minute or two until heated through.

Check the seasonings - you can add salt or more soy sauce for saltiness and a generous grind of black pepper is good. Serve scattered liberally with the crisp-fried shallots.