Sunday, 9 September 2012

Mi goreng with spices

I was lucky enough to be given Yotam Ottolenghi's vegetarian cookbook Plenty for my birthday recently. Lots of amazing-looking recipes, many with ingredients I don't typically have on hand (such as creme fraiche, sorrel, sherry vinegar, roquefort and tarragon, to pick a few at random). Mi goreng* had a more familiar ingredient list, and since I had a tub of tofu in the fridge I thought I'd try it for Saturday night dinner.

A quick trip to our local, fantastic Asian grocery...

Then a bit of preparation (good thing I did it well in advance, because the evening was taken up dealing with a sick child and it was 10pm before we had dinner!)...

The result: a rather delicious meal. Although to be honest, by 10pm I didn't much care what I ate. 

For anyone wanting to make this, it is seriously easy. And I don't even have a proper wok (shocking, I know). Here's my adaptation (with slight changes) of Ottolenghi's recipe, which serves 2:

Prepare: a 500g pack of 'fresh' egg noodles; a bunch of choi sum, chopped into pieces; 200g firm tofu, cut into 1cm thick strips; half an onion, diced; a handful of beanshoots; large handful of green beans, chopped in half.

In a small bowl mix: 3 tablespoons kecap manis/thick caramel sauce, 3 tablespoons light soy, a generous tablespoon of water, 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, 1.5 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin. 

Put aside for garnish: some shredded iceberg lettuce, lemon wedges and a heaped tablespoon of crisp-fried shallots (buy them in a little plastic jar at an Asian grocery).

Method: On a high heat fry the onion for a minute in 2 tablespoons oil (I used olive; the recipe called for groundnut), then add the tofu and beans and cook another few minutes, stirring gently now and then, til the tofu is browned a little. Add the choy sum. When wilted, add the noodles and spread them out around the wok so they can get plenty of heat. Cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the spice mixture and a good handful of beansprouts. Toss gently while cooking for a minute or two. 

To serve: Put noodles into two bowls, arrange lettuce on the side, sprinkle a teaspoon of shallots on each and serve with wedges of lemon. 

Mi want more goreng: Keep another pack of noodles handy in case your partner is still hungry. Cook them with more kecap manis, light soy sauce and whatever's at hand (in our case this was some tofu, a bit of zucchini, some beansprouts and an egg). Keep any uneaten noodles in the hope that a child will enjoy them the next day. 

Drink: Large glass of wine. Go to bed, praying for an uninterrupted night's sleep.  

*Ottolenghi calls it mee goreng (as opposed to mi, or mie). But I'll just be pedantic and change it to the spelling I prefer. 

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