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Spicy Fried Noodles with Tomatoes and Cabbage

This popular Indonesian fried noodle dish, called mee goreng, reflects the cross-cultural influences prevalent throughout Southeast Asia. Thick egg noodles are fried with tomato ketchup and tomatoes, potatoes and cabbageWestern vegetables adopted by Indonesians. Kecap manis is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce sold in Southeast Asian markets.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. Hokkien noodles or thick Chinese-style
      egg noodles
  • 3 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 6 oz. large shrimp, peeled, deveined and
      halved lengthwise
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1/4 lb. red cabbage, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3 green onions, including tender green portions,
      cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 small firm tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 boiled potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch
      cubes
  • 3 Tbs. tomato ketchup or tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs. chili sauce
  • 1 Tbs. kecap manis
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 green chili, sliced
  • 1 small English (hothouse) cucumber, sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges

Directions:

If using Hokkien noodles, rinse with warm water; set aside. If using Chinese-style egg noodles, bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles, stir to loosen the strands, return to a boil and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Drain, rinse thoroughly with cold running water and drain again; set aside.

In a nonstick wok over high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the oil. Add the garlic and yellow onion, and toss and stir until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and toss and stir until bright orange, about 1 minute. Add the carrot, cabbage and green onions, and toss and stir until the vegetables begin to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and potato, and toss and stir, being careful not to break up the cubes, until heated, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Return the wok to high heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the noodles and toss to lightly coat with the oil. Add the ketchup, chili sauce, kecap manis, soy sauce and sugar and toss to thoroughly coat the noodles, about 2 minutes.

Push the noodles up the side of the wok to make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well and lightly beat. Cook, without stirring, until set, about 1 minute. Gently fold the eggs into the noodles. Add the reserved shrimp and vegetables and stir to combine.

Divide among individual bowls. Top with the green chili and cucumber slices and accompany with the lemon wedges.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Asian Flavors, by Joyce Jue (Time-Life Books, 1999).