Few traditional Malaysian dishes exhibit my home country’s history of culinary fusion better than Mee Goreng. Walking the streets of Kuala Lumpur, I’m reminded of the irresistible aroma of curry spices hitting the oil of a fiery-hot wok. In Malaysia, Mee Goreng is everywhere, street vendors, pushcart operators, and established restaurants all compete with their unique variations—some spicy, some not, some with potatoes and chunks of tomato, others with shrimp or scallions. Rarely are two versions prepared the same way. But you don’t have to travel to Malaysia to taste it, Mee Goreng can be easily made at home with just a few simple ingredients.
If you’re going to make just one Malaysian dish in your life, I urge you to try this one. Malaysian food is distinctive largely because of its combination of spices, aromatics and sauces, and in no dish do they all come together better than in Mee Goreng. It’s a dish you’re invited to personalize—which is another way of saying there’s no wrong way to prepare it.
The Morning Rundown
Get a head start on the morning's top stories.
The combination of flavors coming together in a hot wok are like musical notes coming together into a song; each one adds its own personality, and the result is a harmonious dish that you’re going to love.
For me, enjoying a warm bowl of Mee Goreng is nostalgic, I am taken down memory lane. During my childhood, the rickety Mee Goreng pushcarts would comb the neighborhood selling cooked noodles wrapped in small banana bundles. Each bite was sensational – a memory I’ll never forget.
1 tsp. chopped garlic
½ tsp. Kosher salt
3 heaping tsp. Chopped shallots
1 tsp. Sambal Oelek to taste (Malaysian chili condiment that can be purchased in Asian gorcery stores)
1 tsp. Hot Madras curry powder
1 Tbs. salty soy sauce (such as ABC Brand Kecap Asin)
1 Tbs. sweet soy sauce (such as ABC Brand Kecap Asin)
1 ounce beef (thinly sliced)
1 ounce chicken (thinly sliced)
3 shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 ounces calamari (thinly sliced)
8 ounces precooked egg noodles (such as Lo Mein)
2 stalks yu choy (also known as green choy sum, available in Asian markets), cut into 2 inch pieces
1 whole egg
½ cup bean sprouts
2 Tbs. + 1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 lime wedge
Grind garlic and salt in a mortar. Add the chopped shallots and Sambal Oelek and grind until they form a paste.
Heat a wok over medium-low heat. Drizzle in 2 Tbs. of oil and add the ingredients from the mortar. Add the curry powder and stir, heating until aromatic. Add both soy sauces and the meat and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
Add the noodles and yu choy. Stir fry for 30 seconds, then push the mixture to one side of the wok.
Drizzle 1 tsp. of oil and scramble an egg in the space you’ve created in the pan. Add the bean sprouts and toss all ingredients together over the heat.
Ladle onto a plate and garnish with a wedge of lime. Squeeze lime juice over the mee goreng dish before eating.
Kitchen secret: You can use only one type of protein in this mee goreng recipe or many according to your liking. Substitute tofu to make this a vegetarian mee goreng.