Pantry-Style Street Noodles (Indonesia, Malaysia) | Blue Zones Recipe

Today I shared my funny Pad thai story with the staff at Children’s Hospital. Okay, it was not so funny when it happened. These rice noodles reminded me of that young chef learning moment.


In college, I was getting ready to leave for the weekend. As a good roommate, I wanted to clear the fridge of any uneaten leftovers before I left. I had made a quick pad thai a few days before. The sauce was a mix of peanut butter, ketchup, soy sauce, and fish sauce. It turned out pretty good for my first time, but it made WAY too much. 


So, instead of stuffing up the trash can and making it smell, I thought the better way of disposing it was the garbage disposal (its in the name after all). I wanted the gluey noodles to disappear. 


It was the WORST idea ever. While on my fun weekend away, I got a call from my roommate that some weird substance was coming up from the shower drain. Yes, it was the pad thai! It was horrible!


Right when I got home, I called Rooter rooter to get the whole thing sorted out. Thankfully, my roommate, Robin is still my friend and forgave me. 


Lesson learned: If you are wondering if you should throw food down the garbage disposal- don’t! It is only used for scraps despite its name. Take it from an embarrassed young chef.


Here’s the recipe for spicy sweet noodle. It’s soooo much better than that Pad thai I made in college so you won’t be trying to throw it down the garbage disposal. 


It would be really nice with shrimp or chicken too if you’re not a big tofu fan. Use chicken breast pieces if you go with chicken. Cook in the same way as the tofu. 


Pantry-Style Spicy Street Noodles (Mee Goreng)

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small sweet onion or shallots, thinly sliced into strips 
  • 8 oz firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2-3 cups chopped greens (spinach, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, shredded cabbage, green beans, or any combination of these)
  • 12 oz fettuccine or rice noodles
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-3 teaspoon sambal oelek or other sweet chili sauce like sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup (can sub with 1 Tbsp. maple syrup and 1 sliced tomato)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Lemon for serving


  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well.
  2. Heat up a large pan or wok over high heat.
  3. Add the oil, reduce heat to medium-high and saute tofu for a couple minutes, or golden brown. Then, remove tofu from pan. 
  4. Then cook onion for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, greens and cook for 3 more minutes.
  5. Mix spice and sauces in a bowl.
  6. Add noodles to the pan with greens, tossing and mixing with tongs or cooking chopsticks. (It’s better if parts of the noodles get a bit crispy).
  7. Add spice – sauce mixture and tofu back to pan and toss everything together.
  8. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until sauce is thickened..
  9. Transfer to individual serving bowls and serve with lemon wedges and sambal oelek.

Adapted from


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♬ original sound – Joanna Barajas

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