All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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Crispy shallots are a popular condiment on many Asian dishes. I guess you can buy them packaged but I have yet to see any around. I find them outrageously delicious but kinda tricky to pull off when cooking them myself. I’ve attempted them maybe half a dozen times – succeeding completely once or twice, burning them once or twice & under-cooking them once or twice. This time was an under-cooking time.
They may have crisped up more as they dried but I was impatient. So – for the record – I used THIS recipe ( I used less than half of the 1 cup of oil they suggested and I used olive oil). So – if you are feeling ambitious – give it a go. They really are yummy, when they come out right. Or – go ghetto & used canned fried onions!
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 large shallots, peeled and sliced lengthwise about 1/8-inch thick
- Put oil in a small saucepan. Add shallots and place pot over medium heat. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes (turn down heat if they seem to be coloring too quickly), until they gradually become brown.
- Place a fine-meshed sieve over a bowl. Transfer shallots to sieve and let drain well. (Save oil for another purpose.) Blot shallots on paper towels. They will become crisp as they cool. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Mie Goreng is called a fried noodle dish but they are really stir-fried – so never fear! This is not difficult to make and the ingredients should be available in most large grocery stores. I used the fresh (non-vegan) egg noodles you see above because I could not resist FRESH noodles for $1.49 a pound (at Bangluck in the refrigerated section) – but any noodles will work: ramen noodles, lo mien noodles, soba noodles, even packaged spaghetti in boxes. Whatever you decide will be fine.
I used Beyond Meat’s amazing vegan chicken but real chicken could be used (or shrimp or pork). To encourage you to TRY the vegan version – I am including a coupon here.
The vegetable selection here simply reflects what I had around. Feel free to lose things are maybe add edamame, grean beans, snow or sugar snap peas, cauliflower, carrots, bean sprouts, green or Napa or Savoy cabbage – whatever suits your fancy. Some folks even float a fried egg on top of this stuff.
I like my food spicy but, if you do not, cut back on the spicy ingredients.
Spicy Indonesian Street Cart Noodles – Mie Goreng – with Vegan Chicken
1/2 pound noodles of your choice
3 TBS chili sauce (Sambal Oelek) or Sriracha
1 tsp dark soy sauce (or regular soy sauce or tamari)
3 TBS of vegetarian hoisin sauce (or 2 TBS ketchup plus 1 TBS molasses plus 1 tsp sugar) or sweet bean sauce
2 TBS Chinese cooking wine (or dry sherry)
3 TBS vegetarian oyster sauce (they make one made of mushrooms rather than oyster extracts) – or more soy sauce
2 serrano peppers – seeded & diced
4 garlic cloves – chopped
1/2 cup purple (or other) cabbage – chopped or shredded
1 small head broccoli – cut into bite-size florets
3 heads bok choy – sliced lengthwise
9 oz vegan chicken – cubed
Garnish: Crispy shallots, green leaf lettuce (as cups), sliced scallions, shredded carrot, more chopped cabbage, cilantro, cucumber slices, lime wedges, more hot sauces.
Prep all the vegetables & spices. Let the chicken thaw & cut into cubes (or cut it frozen – I did).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Whisk the chili sauce, dark soy sauce, cooking wine, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce and diced serranos together in a bowl & set aside.
Cook the noodles about a minute less than the instructions suggest (in the case of fresh noodles – only heat them a total of 30 seconds so blanch any vegetables you want blanched at the same time). In the last 30 seconds – you can add all the vegetables to blanch them (I only blanched the bok choy). Drain immediately & run under COLD water to stop the cooking process.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan (large enough to hold all the ingredients) – over med-high heat. If you are using real meat, cook it in the oil at this point until it is cooked through – and then add the vegetables (except shrimp – which can just cook along with the vegetables). Or add the vegan chicken & any vegetables you have not blanched (broccoli & purple cabbage, in my case). Stir for a minute or so & then add the garlic. In one minute – add the sauce you whisked together & bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer a few minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender (not soggy!). Add the noodles & anything else you cooked with them. Stir to combine. This should be looking pretty good now (Sauce too thin – cook a bit more. Sauce to thick? Add 1/8 cup water.) Don’t overcook this stuff or it will become mush.
Serve immediately & garnish as you desire!