Treat your taste buds to Mie Ayam, one of the most well-sought Indonesian street foods featuring yellow wheat noodles (bakmi) served alongside flavorful braised chicken and mushrooms with steamed vegetables.
What is Mie Ayam
Mie Ayam, which is a noodle dish with chicken and various toppings, is one of the most sought-after street foods in Indonesia.
The word Mie Ayam literally means ‘chicken noodles’ in English. It is a dish made of egg noodles, spiced shredded chicken, mushrooms, and a sweet-savory sauce. And it is often served with soy sauce, chili sauce, choy sum, and chicken broth.
The dish is quite versatile. You can have the chicken stock in the noodle bowl together with all the toppings. Or, you can also have the chicken broth in a separate bowl.
The latter choice is one I’m sharing with you here. This one is often called Mie Yamin. The noodles are coated with spicy chicken fat, white pepper, and soy sauce, with a bowl of soup served separately.
Furthermore, you can also enjoy your Bakmi Ayam with meatballs called Bakso or with Pangsit Ayam, the chicken dumplings.
Although it is not really clear where its origin is. It is believed that it was brought by Chinese migrants who settled in Indonesia centuries ago.
Today, this chicken dish has become a staple in Indonesian cuisine. And it is easy to understand why.
Because it is affordable, simple, and tastes delicious.
You can find Indonesian mie ayam in almost every corner of the country. From food gawkers to food stalls. From school canteen to office cafeterias. From street food sellers to restaurants. Everywhere.
I grew up with these chicken noodles that I used to have almost every day at the school canteen. Now that I’m thousands of miles away from Indonesia, I have to make it myself whenever I crave it.
Luckily, it is not difficult to make it. Though it take a bit of preparation before you actually make it.
One of the most popular street food in Indonesia
There are endless street food choices in Indonesia. You can find savory options such as Sate Ayam, Soto Mie, Gado Gado, etc.
And for the sweets, there are Martabak Manis, Kolak Biji Salak, Dadar Gulung, and many more.
Of all the savory items, Mie Ayam is one of the most popular ones, and it is a must-try when you go to Indonesia.
Different variations of Mie Ayam across Indonesian regions
As the name implies, the dish consists of two key ingredients: noodles and chicken.
However, when you travel across Indonesia, you may find it slightly different from one region to another.
For instance, in Jakarta, the noodles are usually served with crispy fried onions, and the chicken topping will have mushrooms.
If you go to central or eastern Java, the chicken noodles may be served with chicken skin and liver.
While in Bali, they serve the noodles with varieties of vegetables such as green peas, carrots, cauliflower, etc.
And if you travel further to Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, and more, the variations will be even more.
Having said that, no matter what variation the dish has, it surely makes the dish a delicious meal to enjoy.
The most favored condiments for the dish
The condiments that complement the noodles are soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, and chili sauce.
As for chili sauce, two different ones are served with the noodles. One is the shop-bought chili sauce, and the other one is freshly made chili sauce.
And many like to add acidity to the dish with a squeeze of lime juice or white vinegar.
Ingredients for Indonesian chicken noodles
- Chicken thighs with skin and bone
- Egg noodles
- Cooking oil
- Ground white pepper
- Turmeric powder
- Ground coriander
- Oyster sauce
- Sweet soy sauce
- Cooking oil
- Pak choi, bok choi or choy sum
- Chili sauce
- Cucumber salad
- Crispy fried shallots/ onions
Please don’t get intimidated by the long list of ingredients for this recipe.
The reason for being a long list is that I categorized them into each component of the dish. Hoping it is easy for you to track which items have been prepared.
So there are five items you need to prepare for the dish, and they are spiced chicken oil, chicken broth, chicken and mushroom topping, noodles, and additional condiments.
I use chicken thighs with skin and bone for the recipe. I took the skin off and used it to make spiced chicken oil. And use the chicken meat for the topping. The bone was used to make chicken stock.
Most of the spices are easy to obtain and pretty common. They are ginger, garlic, ground white pepper, turmeric powder, ground coriander, and candlenuts (also known as Kemiri in Indonesian).
If you don’t have candlenuts, you can use macadamia nuts as a substitute. And if you can not get macadamia nuts, you can omit them altogether.
You will also need a few sauces, i.e. oyster sauce, and sweet soy sauce.
How to make Mie Ayam
Firstly, you prepare the chicken by taking the skin off and cutting the skin into small pieces.
Make the chicken spiced oil by frying the skin in cooking oil until it’s slightly brown and crispy. Then add chopped garlic. This spiced oil made from chicken fat is ready when the garlic turns golden brown and the oil is fragrant.
Next, you boil the water and add in the chicken, ginger and garlic, scallion, ground white pepper, and salt. Bring it to a boil again.
Once the chicken is cooked through, take it out and dice or shred the chicken meat. Then put the bone back into the soup and let it simmer while you get on with other items.
Then make a spice paste of shallots, garlic, and candlenuts. You can use a pestle and mortar, or a food chopper/ food processor.
Fry the spice paste and add the turmeric powder and ground coriander. When it releases an aroma, add the diced chicken and chopped mushrooms. Let it cook until the liquid evaporates.
Once the chicken topping is done, blanch the pak choi, bok choi, or choy sum that you use. Then get your noodles ready. If you use the fresh ones, you can just blanch them. If you use the dried ones, you cook them according to their packaging instructions.
Drain the cooked noodles and divide them equally into three serving bowls. Add oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce, and chicken oil to each bowl. Then stir and mix the noodles until they are coated with sauces and oil.
Top with the chicken and mushrooms. Add the bok choi, and sprinkle with fried shallots. If you like, drizzle with more sweet soy sauce and some chili sauce.
More Indonesian street food recipes
Thank you for checking out this Mie Ayam recipe. I hope you will try it out soon. When you do, please let me know how you like it in the comments below. I really appreciate it.
Before you move on, don’t forget to check more Indonesian street food recipes that you may like.
- Sate Ayam: Indonesian chicken satay.
- Gado gado: Indonesian salad with peanut sauce.
- Soto Ayam: Indonesian clear chicken soup.
- Mie Goreng: Indonesian stir-fried noodles.
- Soto Betawi: Indonesian beef stew from Jakarta region.
Take care and all the best.
Mie Ayam Recipe
- Cooking pans
- Wooden spoon
- Fork or chopsticks
- Serving bowls
- Chicken skins of 3 thighs cut into small pieces
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 3 pieces chicken thighs with bones
- 1 scallion/ spring onion cut in an inch length
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- ½ – in ginger sliced
- ⅓ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken see the note
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 candlenuts optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup of water
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms see the note
- 8 ounces egg noodles dried or fresh (see the note)
- 6 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 6 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
- Ground white pepper
- 2-3 heads pak choi/ bok choi blanched
- Sweet soy sauce
- Chili sauce
- Cucumber salad
- Crispy fried onions
- Place the chicken skin and oil in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the skin is cooked and slightly brown.
- Add the chopped garlic and continue cooking the oil until the garlic is golden brown and the oil is fragrant. Set it aside.
- Boil 1.5 liters of water, and when it reaches boiling point, add the chicken thighs, spring onions, garlic, ginger, salt, and white pepper. Then cook at medium heat until the water reboils.
- Then turn the heat down and let the soup simmer for about half an hour.
- When the chicken thighs are cooked through, take them out. Shred the chicken meat and set it aside. And put the chicken bones back in the soup.
- Continue cooking the soup until you can see the water turns cloudy when the soup is ready.
- Check the seasoning, and set it aside.
- Using a pestle and mortar, or a food chopper/ food processor, grind the shallots, garlic, and candlenut into a paste.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the spice paste, turmeric powder, ground coriander, and salt. Fry the spices until fragrant.
- Add the shredded chicken to the spice mixture, followed by the chopped mushroom. Stir-fry for about a minute or two, then add the water.
- Put a lid on and turn the heat down to let the chicken and mushrooms cook and absorb the spices.
- Once all the liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat. Set it aside.
- If you use dried noodles, cook them according to their packaging instructions and drain them.
- And if you use fresh egg noodles, blanch them with hot boiling water and drain.
- Divide and place the noodles equally in three serving bowls.
- Add 1 tablespoon of spiced oil, 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce, ⅛ teaspoon of ground white pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon of salt into each bowl.
- Use a fork or chopsticks to mix and stir the noodles with the spice, oil, and sauces.
- Top the noodles with chicken topping.
- Garnish with blanched pak choi/ bok choi.
- Drizzle some sweet soy sauce and chili sauce.
- Sprinkle your Mie Ayam with crispy fried onions.
If candlenuts are not available to you, you can omit them altogether.
As for mushrooms, you can use any mushrooms, though cup mushrooms, button mushrooms, and chestnut mushrooms are most commonly used.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.