One of the thing that many Indonesians miss when they are living abroad are the street vendors that sell food by pushing their traditional or modern carts around the neighborhood in almost all day long. These sellers will go around on the streets in front of houses while yelling of what kind of food they are selling. Sometimes they don’t have to yell the name of the food, we already know what they are selling at certain time or by the sound of the bicycle bell or the sound of their bamboo sticks hitting each other.
In the morning there will be porridge seller, ketoprak (Indonesian vegetarian salad consists of bee hoon and tofu in peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce and topped with lots of crunchy keropok), and also kembang tahu (bean curd). In the afternoon we can see bakso (Indonesian meatball soup with noodle or bee hoon with chye sim and bean sprouts) seller, siew mai, gado gado (Indonesian salad full of vegetables, tofu, and tempeh and topped with peanut sauce), and not to forget soto (Indonesian traditional chicken soup), and lumpia (spring roll). At night we can satisfy our craving for fried rice, fried noodle, noodle soup, chicken satay, and even kue putu (Indonesian sweet cake with palm sugar and coconut) who are still selling this delicious cake even in the middle of the night.
The best thing is that those sellers will stop in front of our houses, so we don’t have to actually step out of the house to get all the delicious food in very cheap price. One of the very famous food seller that we can see almost every night is the fried noodle and noodle soup seller. The man who sells this dishes will push his cart while sounding his bamboo or wooden sticks that made the sound “tek tek tek tek tek” (well, at least that is how we hear the sound). I think that is why this noodle soup is got his popular name of “Mie Tek Tek”. Mie is noodle in Bahasa Indonesia and tek tek is the sound the seller makes when going around the neigborhood.
This food is originated from Central Java, which is Jogjakarta and is a famous dish in that city. Since all my immediate family (including uncles and aunties) come from Central Java, I know exactly that we love to eat with sweet soy sauce (kecap manis). That is why this recipe is also using sweet soy sauce in the soup, and the spicy taste comes from the mixture of sweet soy sauce and cut green chili padi which serves separately.
My husband loves this dish especially when he’s down with cold and fever. This hot soup will certainly cure your blocked nose immediately and makes you feel better instantly (seriously………..).
It is best to use egg noodle, especially Indonesian egg noodle which has different taste that other egg noodle that I try in Singapore or Malaysia. My favorite brand is 3 Ayam.
The main ingredients are noodle, cabbage, and chye sim. For the meaty part you can use whatever you have in the freezer, such as prawns, meatballs, fish balls, chicken, sausage, etc.
- 200 gr dry egg noodle
- 5 garlic
- 2 red onion
- 1 candlenut, stir fry in a non stick pan without oil until fragrant and golden brown or a bit burn on the skin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried shrimp powder
- 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
- 3 big shrimps, peel and divein
- 100 gr minced chicken
- 2 ready to use beef meatballs, cut each into 4
- 3 fishball, cut each into 4
- 1.2 L homemade chicken broth or water or combination of chicken broth and water
- 200 chye sim, cut into bite size
- 150 gr cabbage, cut into bite size
- 10 spring onion, minced
- 2 tbsp frief shallot
- 1 tomato, cut in round thin slices
- Cook the noodle in booling water for about one minute, then rinse and drain under cold water. Set aside
- Bring the chicken broth to boil
- Mash garlic, red onion, candlenut, dried shrimp powder, and salt with mortar and pestle until they form a paste. Then heat a big wok with 2 tbsp of olive oil and stir fry the paste mixture until aromatic
- Add minced chicken and cook until the chicken turn into white color
- Add cabbage, mix with other ingredients and wait until cabbage is half cooked
- Add chye sim, meatball, and fish ball, and mix well
- Add chicken broth and sweet soy sauce
- When the broth is boiling, taste and add salt if necessary.
- Add shrimps
- Add egg and scramble with the spatula
- When the soup is boiled, add noodle and stir so all ingredients are mixed well
- When all the ingredients are cooked, turn off the heat and transfer the noodle soup into serving plates (originally, the noodle soup is served on a plate and not a bowl). Top the soup with minced spring onion and fried shallot
- Garnish with tomato slices
- Serve with cut chili padi mixed with sweet soy sauce