- 2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 ½ fl oz light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 10 ½ oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1.5 cm cubes
- 14 oz fresh egg noodles
- 7 oz mustard greens, roughly chopped
- 3 ½ oz bean sprouts
- 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced, to garnish
- 2 tablespoons Fried Red Asian Shallots, to garnish
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 red Asian shallots, peeled
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 ¼ in piece of turmeric, peeled and sliced
- 1 ¼ in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 4 candlenuts
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¾ oz chicken skin (ask your local butcher), chopped into small pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- ½ in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 7 oz red Asian shallots, finely sliced
- 4 cups vegetable oil
To make the chicken skin oil, heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan to 170°C (325°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 20 seconds. Add the chicken skin to the pan and fry until crispy. Add the garlic, ginger, white pepper and ground coriander, reduce the heat to low and gently fry for 10–15 minutes, or until the garlic is lightly golden. Strain and set aside.
Combine the kecap manis, worcestershire sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl and mix together well. Set aside.
To make the fried red Asian shallots, wash the sliced shallots under cold water, then dry them with a cloth and set them aside on paper towels until completely dry. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds. Fry the shallots in small batches until they turn golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel. They are best eaten freshly fried, but will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container. Makes 7 oz.
To make the spice paste, blend the garlic, shallots, coriander, turmeric, ginger and candlenuts together into a fine paste in a food processor.
Make the Egg Noodles
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over a medium–high heat, add the spice paste and saute for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the cubed chicken and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked through.
Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Divide the egg noodles into four portions and blanch each separately in the boiling water for 20 seconds, then remove and refresh in iced water – this allows the noodles to develop a nice firmness. Return them to the boiling water for 10 seconds, then divide them between four serving bowls. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of chicken oil and 2 tablespoons of the kecap manis and soy sauce mixture over each noodle portion and mix well to ensure the noodles are evenly coated.
Briefly blanch the mustard greens and bean sprouts in the boiling water, then drain and divide between the four noodle bowls. Spoon over the chicken, garnish with the sliced spring onion and fried shallots and serve. Serves 4.
About this recipe
“This dish is incredibly popular not just in Jakarta but also throughout the country, as well as throughout the greater South-East Asian region. I find a busy stall on Jalan Sabang run by lots of men; I’m attracted by the cook preparing the fresh, yellow egg noodles and the way he’s cooking them. He has a huge pot of boiling water in which he briefly blanches them and then he literally chucks them high into the air to get rid of all the water. It’s very theatrical and entertaining and the whole process is over in about a minute. The hot noodles go into bowls with a bit of chicken skin oil (don’t be tempted to omit it when you make this as it gives heaps of flavour and helps separate the noodles). There are lots of ingredients here but don’t be put off by this, as this dish is fantastic. The addition of mustard greens and bean sprouts make it a perfect meal in a bowl.
These are a common ingredient across Asia, where they are sprinkled over salads and rice porridge, used in stuffings and as a garnish for all manner of soup, noodle and rice dishes. Cook these in small batches for the best results and don't throw out the oil. It has a rich flavour and can be used in your cooking.” – Luke Nguyen
MUSTARD GREENS: Part of the brassica family, mustard greens belong to the same genus as the plants that produce mustard seeds, and have a similarly strong flavor. They are often preserved as a salty pickle, which is readily available from Asian supermarkets.
CANDLENUTS: A relative of macadamia nuts that resembles them in appearance and in texture, candlenuts are used in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine as a thickener and a texture enhancer in curries and other dishes. Eaten cooked only (as raw they are slightly toxic and taste bitter), they are often pounded or ground into pastes before being added to curries, sambals or stews.
KECAP MANIS: An Indonesian sweetened aromatic soy sauce, which has a dark color, a thick, syrupy consistency and a unique, pronounced, sweet and somewhat molasses-like flavor. It is used in marinades, as a condiment or as an ingredient in Indonesian cooking. The sweetness comes from palm sugar; other flavorings include garlic and star anise.
Recipes and excerpts used with permission from Luke Nguyen’s Street Food Asia, by Luke Nguyen. Photography by Alan Benson.