Bakmie Goreng is an Indonesian noodle dish that was introduced to Holland in the early 1600s by employees of the Dutch East India Company. The company was the first permanent Dutch trading post established in West Java, Indonesia (aka The Spice Islands).
These noodles are found everywhere in The Netherlands and especially as one of 10-to-15 Indonesian dishes served in a Dutch rijsttafel (rice-table). How did this Indonesian celebration buffet, called slametan, got co-opted by the Dutch? A bunch of hearty big seafaring guys left the limited cuisine of Holland to sail to a tropical place called the Spice Islands. There, they experienced endless magical small dishes and couldn’t get enough of it. When they returned to Holland they brought all those great dishes back with them to enthusiastically share with everybody back home…all at once crowded on top a single table. The Dutch rijsttafel was born.
Bakmie Goreng Jawa – Javanese Fried Noodles
- Wok or large skillet
- 6 oz Chinese egg noodles, medium round or fine
- ½ cup Vegetable oil
- 5 medium Shallots, minced (or 5 tbls sweet onion)
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 6 oz Shredded pork, beef filet or flank steak
- 4 oz Shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3 leaves Iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
- 3 Baby carrots, into ¼-inch slices
- ⅔ cup Bean sprouts
- 5 Scallions, ½-inch slices
- 2½ tbsp Soy sauce
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Cook noodles in boiling water until just tender. Drain, rinse in cold water to stop cooking, and drain again. Noodles can be cooked 1 day ahead, tossed with 1 tbsp oil. In a wok or heavy skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic. Stir fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add beef or pork, and shrimp. Stir fry for 2 minutes and then toss in lettuce and carrots for another minute. Add noodles and bean sprouts and stir until noodles are heated through. Stir in soy sauce and scallions. Remove from heat, adjust seasonings, and pour into a serving bowl or bowls. Top with chopped parsley or cilantro, fried scallions, a fried egg, or nothing at all. Serve.
- Everything can be chopped in advance and stored in separate baggies in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Whole dish can be cooked an hour in advance and warmed to serve.
- Chinese sausages can replace shredded beef or pork to add a chewy-sweet component to the dish.
- Be careful not to overcook the noodles so they don’t get mushy when frying them.