"While checking out Block M, a bar district in Jakarta, I asked the younger locals where they went for street food. I was surprised when they directed me to the very centre of Block M where there's a newish food precinct called Food Fighters. This place is a slice of modern Jakarta so it's interesting to see, on that level alone. You can get everything here from lattes to Mexican food, to charcoal bun burgers to waffles, but I was recommended the noodles at Mie Chino. A young guy runs this place and he has just four dishes on his menu. Of these I thought the stir-fried Hakka noodles with chicken and lap cheong were pretty special. They're also easy to make and I can't recommend enough that you add them to your ‘I need to cook dinner in a great hurry' repertoire. They only require simple ingredients and literally 3 minutes of cooking time, and you're there. Too easy." ~ Luke Nguyen.
400 g (14 oz) fresh yellow Hakka egg noodles
2 Tbs peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
150 g (5 1/2 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
50 g (1 3/4 oz) lap cheong (Chinese dried sausage; see glossary), sliced
150 g (5 1/2 oz) choy sum (Chinese flowering cabbage), cut into 4 cm (1 1/2 in) lengths
150 g (5 1/2 oz) bean sprouts
1 Tbs sambal oelek chilli paste
2 Tbs kecap manis
Pinch of sea salt
1 Tbs Fried Red Asian Shallots (see page 152), to garnish
2 spring onions (scallions), sliced, to garnish
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Blanch the noodles in the water for 20 seconds, then remove and drain. Set aside.
Heat the peanut oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, then add the chicken and lap cheong. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add the blanched noodles, choy sum and bean sprouts and stir-fry for a further minute, then add the sambal oelek, kecap manis and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry for another minute.
Transfer to individual plates, garnish with fried shallots and spring onions and serve.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Street Food Asia by Luke Nguyen published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $60 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: © Alan Benson.