When the U.S. President visited
on a state visit in 2010, his dinner included nasi goring, that nation’s classic fried rice dish, which he praised as delicious. Indonesia
Nasi goreng evolved from Chinese fried rice. Chinese influences on Indonesian cookery are obvious. While
Europe was struggling through the dark ages, trade developed between the two nations, and by the fifteenth century many Chinese émigrés had made the archipelago their new home. The Chinese culture considers it unthinkable to waste cooked food. So, leftover rice was recycled into fried rice. The Indonesians learned the Chinese stir-fry technique and adapted it to their own cooking style which includes a sweet soy sauce and a degree more spiciness than the Chinese.
Not as well known but similar to fried rice, bahmi goreng replaces the Indonesian fried rice with stir fried noodles. Bahmi goreng is a delicious way to accommodate whatever leftovers you have on hand. This flexibility means you can offer tasty noodles as a side dish with meals while using up leftovers.
If you like Chinese fried rice, you most likely would enjoy bahmi goreng, the delectable Indonesian treatment of noodles.
Dutch traders did extensive trading throughout
. They adapted the rijsttafel (Ry sta fel), Dutch for rice table, from the Indonesian feast called nasi padan. Nasi padan is an Indonesian buffet featuring rice. A rice table can have dozens of different dishes in small portions, such as noodles, and egg rolls served with different rice preparations. Indonesian dishes are beloved in the Netherlands. Many Dutch children love bahmi goreng noodles for lunch, and consider it a local dish. Indonesia
Let’s make Indonesian stir-fried noodles. They’re simple to prepare, savoury and a good way to use leftovers in a delightful way.
Indonesian Fried Noodles (Bahmi Goreng) serves 4
· 1 pound of leftover cooked noodles or fresh cooked, drained and mixed with one tablespoon oil to coat the noodles.
· ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
· 2 cloves of garlic, minced
· 1 pound (455g) peeled and deveined shrimp, or diced meat or poultry, OR: 11/2 cups green beans plus ½ cup chopped red sweet bell pepper (capsicum). If you are making a meatless goreng, feel free to use other combinations of vegetables.
· 1 or 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (ketjap manis); or add 1 teaspoon brown sugar to regular soy sauce
· ½ cup celery leaves and stalk, chopped
· 3 scallions (green onions), chopped
· 3 cups bok choy, chopped or bean sprouts
· 1 teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon pepper
· 2 or 3 slices of gingerroot, chopped finely
· ½ teaspoon spiced chili paste (Sambal Oelek)
· Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
If you don’t already have cooked noodles, Boil Chinese egg noodles for 3 minutes, and then drain and put into ice-water. Drain again and rub 1 tablespoon oil into it. If you are using thin spaghetti, cook according to package directions and treat same as Chinese noodles.
In a blender, food processor or mortar and pestle – make a paste of two tablespoons of onion and the garlic.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add the paste and the remaining onion. Add the shrimp or whatever you are using and stir fry 2 minutes.
Add the soy sauce, celery, scallions, bok choy or bean sprouts, salt and pepper, ginger and chili paste and stir fry 2 minutes.
Add the noodles and stir fry another minute to combine and heat. Add the coriander and serve.
Some folks like to add a little lime juice at the end.