Dining In 4 minutes 21 December 2023

Enjoy Mee Goreng Like a MICHELIN Chef

MICHELIN chefs in Malaysia tell us their favourite go-to places for fried noodles and how they add a personal touch to this quintessentially Malaysian dish.

Holding significant cultural weight in Malaysian cuisine, Mee Goreng (literally translated to "fried noodles")  is one of Malaysia's quintessential local dishes that epitomises the country's culinary diversity and vibrant street food culture.

This versatile dish, commonly found at hawker stalls and street-side stores, reflects the amalgamation of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences, showcasing Malaysia's ability to blend various flavours and cooking styles. The dish's popularity in everyday dining, its bold use of spices, and its role in creating a sense of nostalgia contribute to its cultural significance. Beyond being a beloved comfort food, Mee Goreng has become a symbol of Malaysia's culinary identity, attracting both locals and tourists with its rich and flavourful profile.

Mee Goreng is also a dish adored by MICHELIN chefs in Malaysia. Today, they share where their go-to spots are for this local favourite, how they make this dish at home, and how they best enjoy it.

Darren Teoh

Two MICHELIN Stars, MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang 2024

For me, Mee Goreng is far from being regarded as a humble dish. It encapsulates the intricate tapestry of culture, not just in terms of food but as a reflection of life on the Malay Peninsula. It stands as a creole dish, a result of significant historical blending among diverse ethnic and cultural groups. The term "Creole" or similar concepts might aptly describe local populations or languages that evolved from these interactions. It symbolises the amalgamation of cultural elements, seemingly haphazardly brought together by coincidence or intent, resulting in a cacophony of flavours on a single plate. It's a representation of distinct food cultures merged into one — a vibrant, multifaceted embodiment of the region's heritage and history.

How Darren enjoys Mee Goreng:

The place I like to visit for Mee Goreng in Kuala Lumpur is at Seeni Mee Goreng Sotong in SS2 Rising Kopitiam. I think Mee Goreng should always be prepared with a Pasembur sauce, shrimp fritters, sotong sambal, and, if at home, I would fry it with pork fat.

Johnson Wong, Gen MICHELIN Guide.jpg

Johnson Wong

MICHELIN Guide Young Chef Awardee Kuala Lumpur & Penang 2024
Communal Table by Gēn
Bib Gourmand, MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang 2024

Mee Goreng is my go-to comfort food when I get home after a long day at work and when I'm in the mood to have something simple. After a long day, I just want to end with a happy stomach, not an empty stomach.

How Johnson enjoys Mee Goreng:

Personally, I like the instant noodle type of mee goreng. I usually reach out for Indomie Mi Goreng Perisa Special, but I also enjoy Maggi's Curry Instant Noodles — stir-fried instead of cooking it into a soup. With these Mee Goreng brands, one packet is never enough! Two packets are essential, perfectly paired with sunny-side-up eggs or a fried omelette.

Kian Liew Bol MICHELIN Guide.jpeg

Kian Liew

MICHELIN Selected, MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang 2024

Mee Goreng, for me, represents a comforting and affordable dish, often associated with local flavours and cultural identity. Its simplicity can evoke a sense of nostalgia, or remind me of shared meals and communal experiences with friends and family after a late night out, or after watching a movie.

How Kian enjoys Mee Goreng:

Cooking Mee Goreng involves stir-frying noodles with a flavourful mix of ingredients. For my basic recipe, I use yellow noodles (pre-cooked and drained), cooking oil, chopped garlic and onions, proteins (chicken, shrimp, tofu, or a combination), vegetables (cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts), eggs, Mee Goreng paste (or a mix of soy sauce, chili, and spices), and, lastly, ketchup. 

Heat oil in a wok or large pan, and then sauté garlic and onions until fragrant. Then, add the proteins and cook until they're done. Toss in the vegetables and stir-fry until slightly tender. Push the ingredients to one side, crack the eggs into the empty space, and scramble. Once done, mix the scrambled eggs with other ingredients. Add the pre-cooked noodles to the wok and pour the Mee Goreng paste or sauce over the noodles and toss everything together. Ensure that the noodles are evenly coated and heated through, and then garnish with green onions or lime. Serve it while hot!

Although my go-to Mee Goreng spot is at Kwai Sun in Subang Jaya, I reach out for the instant variety every once in a while. I'd sometimes enhance my Mee Goreng by substituting chicken eggs with duck eggs, and then incorporate the instant noodles, scallops, Chinese chives, and top it all off with some crispy Sakura shrimps.

Kim Hock Su

Au Jardin
One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang 2024

As a memory, Mee Goreng is a quick and hearty fix. It's nostalgic — I remember always grabbing a plate of it along the roadside, in between tuition classes.

How Kim Hock enjoys Mee Goreng:

It's the instant noodle variety for me. I've always had a liking towards its hard and crunchy texture, to that extent that when I cook it, the noodle biscuit still holds on to its shape and still has a lot of crunch.

When eating out, I will always get the anneh (mee mamak cook) to reduce the sauce before pouring it onto the quickly blanched noodles so it doesn't soften the noodle too much, maintaining its hardness and crunch.

Shaun Ng Hide MICHELIN Guide.jpg

Shaun Ng

MICHELIN Selected, MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang 2024

Mee Goreng is definitely a comfort dish that I would imagine all of us Malaysians love. It is a dish that can be enjoyed any time of the day, especially after a night out. Vivid memories of being in high school, watching
football with friends at the nasi kandar store, and having a good plate of Mee Goreng with a cup of calamansi iced tea is something that I will keep in my memories for a long time.

How Shaun enjoys Mee Goreng:

When I cook Mee Goreng myself, I don't have a secret ingredient per se; however, there are two things that I really need to enjoy my Mee Goreng with, and that's a sunny-side-up egg and fried chicken. For me, it's these two additions that complete the Mee Goreng experience. Very simple, yes. I believe that the greatest things in life are made up of simple things.

When it comes to eating out, there isn't a specific spot that I would say has the best Mee Goreng. However, I've always been going to Nasi Kandar Pelita since I was very young, and I guess it just became a norm and my go-to. It's known to be one of the most commercialised places in town, but the food is always consistent, which is why I keep coming back to it whenever the craving kicks in.

Yavhin Siri, Nadodi, MICHELIN Guide.jpg .jpg

Yavhin Siri

MICHELIN Selected, MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang 2024

As a Malaysian, the humble Mee Goreng holds an indispensable place in my heart, especially during those cherished late-night lepak (hang out) sessions with friends at our favourite local Indian-Muslim restaurants or mamak stalls. Mee Goreng embodies more than just a dish; it's a culinary sanctuary of comfort that perfectly completed a late night out. In the rhythmic clatter of the wok and the aromatic symphony of spices, you find not only a meal but also a flavourful testament to the camaraderie and nostalgia embedded in every strand of these beloved noodles.

How Yavhin enjoys Mee Goreng:

Hailing from Klang, my go-to spot for Mee Goreng is an iconic gem called Sri Baratha Matha Vilas.
This quaint outlet is renowned for crafting large batches of Mee Goreng on a daily basis. The spectacle of the enormous wok and the skilful chef orchestrating the toss of noodles with a myriad of condiments is a mesmerising experience. The open area surrounding the cooking station becomes a gathering point, where locals, like me, stand in awe, witnessing the culinary theatrics. The allure of this spot extends beyond the exceptional flavours; it's a nostalgic haven, where childhood memories intertwine with the aroma of sizzling noodles. It might be biased, but Sri Baratha Matha Vilas remains unparalleled, with locals often seen carrying substantial packs of mee goreng wrapped in old newspapers — a testament to its enduring charm and the countless memories it holds.

On my days off, when the craving for Mee Goreng strikes, my approach involves a delightful combination of convenience and homey indulgence.

Opting for the nearest stall that serves the dish, I enhance the experience with a personal touch. At home, I always have bacon stocked, a versatile ingredient that elevates many of my takeout favourites.
The ritual involves rendering and crisping out bacon strips, infusing the Mee Goreng with an additional layer of savoury goodness. This simple yet effective addition transforms the dish into a comforting and indulgent treat, offering a fusion of flavours that never fails to satisfy my palate.

All images are courtesy of the respective chefs.

Dining In

Keep Exploring - Stories we think you will enjoy reading