A month ago over lunch, Lina, a colleague of mine from Indonesia, saw me enjoying a bowl of Filipino chicken noodle soup (or chicken mami) complete with a garnish of carrots, Chinese lettuce and sliced boiled egg. Curious, she asked what the ingredients were and mused that it was very much similar to the chicken noodle soup she enjoyed at home. If one thinks about it, chicken-based soup has variants the world over: Congee soup with shredded chicken, Pho Ga from Vietnam, Arroz caldo from the Philippines, the classic chicken noodle soup, and the Ethiopian Doro W’et, to name a few.
And so, about a week or two had passed, Lina showed me a photo of Mie ayam, a Chinese Indonesian noodle soup, which is apparently popular in Indonesia and sold in small restaurants, street vendors and hawker centers. It’s easy to prepare as I’ve cooked one for my family. My kids love the sweet and salty flavor. Hope that you enjoy this simple dish as much as I enjoyed cooking it! Selamat makan!
(Chicken noodle – Chinese Indonesian style)
200 gm. yellow wheat dry noodle, boiled al dente
A quarter of a chicken, diced small
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 whole medium white onion, chopped
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tbsp. kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) or oyster sauce
1 tbsp. cooking rice wine
8 heads of bok choy, blanched
4 cups of chicken broth
1 tsp. sesame oil
Fried garlic slices, mushrooms and chopped scallions for garnish
White pepper to taste
1. Stir fry white onion and garlic until fragrant.
2. Add chicken, soy sauce, kecap manis or oyster sauce, and cooking wine. To enhance flavor, add diced fresh mushroom (or dried mushroom that has been soaked for at least an hour).
3. Prepare chicken broth. Add chopped garlic and white pepper to taste.
4. Blanche vegetables and noodles on a separate pot.
5. Finally, assemble everything on a soup bowl. First, pour one tablespoon of sesame oil and about two tablespoons of light soy sauce.
6. Add noodles and toss.
7. Top it with diced chicken and bok choy. Garnish with scallions and fried garlic slices.
8. Chicken broth is usually served in a separate bowl, or you can add the broth to the noodle bowl directly. Serve piping hot.