icon Fried Noodles Indonesian Style
(Mie Goreng)

Mie Goreng are Indonesian-style fried noodles. Noodles are historically a Chinese invention, having originated there 4,000 years ago. Noodles were brought to Indonesia (and also to Malaysia and Singapore) by Chinese immigrants. Noodles also travelled with Chinese merchants via the "Silk Route" through Central Asia to Turkey and all the way to Italy.

Asian wheat egg noodles.
Indonesian Mie Goreng uses yellow wheat noodles that flat and narrow, about the width and thickness of fettuccine (or perhaps as narrow as linguine). In Indonesian, these yellow noodles are called "bakmi".

Other varieties of wheat noodles around the world include:

  • "Chuka men": Japanese noodles used for ramen
  • "Mee pok": flat, yellow Chinese noodles, common in Southeast Asia
  • Italian pasta: noodles typically made from durum wheat (semolina)
  • "Udon": thick, round Japanese wheat noodles
  • "Kishimen": flat Japanese wheat noodles
Fried noodles in China ofte contain pork. Indonesian mie goreng is typically made with shrimp, chicken or beef, to cater to the Muslim palate.

What makes Mie Goreng special is the use of Indonesian sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis). To most Westerners, "soy sauce" is Chinese-style soy sauce, which is salty. Indonesian soy sauce is quite different. It is thick and syrupy with a distinct molasses-like taste due to the generous addition of palm sugar. In the West, it can be found in most decent supermarkets or in Asian food stores. If unavailable, it can be replaced by molasses with a little vegetable stock.

Typical Mie Goreng is yellow wheat noodles, stir fried with chopped shallots, onion, garlic, vegetables, chicken or seafood, seasoned with Indonesian sweet soy sauce.

A variation on Mie Goreng is Fried Kwetiau (Kwetiau Goreng), which uses thick flat rice noodles instead. Other varieties include:

  • Mie goreng ayam - Mie Goreng with chicken
  • Mie goreng sapi - Mie Goreng with beef
  • Mie goreng kambing - Mie Goreng with mutton
  • Mie goreng udang - Mie Goreng with shrimp
  • Mie goreng seafood - Mie Goreng with a mixture of fish, squid, and shrimp.

Here is a Mie Goreng recipe from Jakarta:


  • 250 g yellow flat wheat noodles
  • 250 g shrimp, peeled
  • 4 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh red chili, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried-shrimp paste
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 tsp Indonesian soy sauce
  • Small wedge of cabbage, finely shredded
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Thinly sliced cucumber
  • Fried onion flakes


  1. Soak noodles in hot water, while bringing large saucepan of water to boil.
  2. Drain noodles and drop into the boiling water, return to boil and boil from 1-3 minutes, until al-dente. This depends on the noodles: some are cooked in short time, while others require a little longer. Do not overcook. Keep testing one noodle every half minute. When al-dente, drain in colander and run cold water through them until cool or they will continue to cook. Drain well.
  3. Shell and devein shrimp.
  4. Heat peanut oil in a wok or large deep frying pan and fry the onion, garlic and chili until onion is soft and starts to turn golden. Add dried shrimp paste. Add shrimps and stir fry until cooked through. Add celery, cabbage, salt and pepper and fry for a further minute or just until tender. Vegetables should retain their crispness.
  5. Add the noodles and keep turning the mixture so that every part of it gets heated through. Season with soy sauce to taste.
  6. Place in a serving dish and sprinkle with the onion flakes and the chopped green onion. Arrange cucumber slices around edge of the bowl. Serve hot.
  7. YIELD: 4 servings.

Mie Goreng with chicken

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Last updated: May 8, 2022