Indonesian Noodles and a Conversation with Asti Messer



Disclaimer: There are so many different styles of fried noodles in Indonesia, we cannot simply claim one style as the Indonesian style. Each region has their own unique style of cuisine, including fried noodles. This version is one of the common home style fried noodles that I am familiar with.

Ingredients
Noodle: 1 pack of Asian style egg noodle/Ramen noodle (approx. 8 oz) 
Paste: ¼ Cup of chopped shallots (can sub with onion) 3 cloves of garlic 2 candlenuts, roasted 2 fresno peppers (or any type of red pepper you like) 5 bird’s eye chili pepper (more or less, depends on your spicy level) 2 TBS vegetable oil
Seasoning: ½ tsp ground white pepper ½ tsp sugarSalt¼ Cup Sweet soy sauce (more or less, depending on your  desired sweet level)
Vegetables and Protein: 1 Cup Any green vegetables, chopped (my fav: spinach, water spinach, bok choy, kale) ½ Cup chopped cabbage 1 Cup any protein of your choice. Shredded or cut into small pieces. This is a good time to use any leftover meat. 2 eggs
Others: 2 TBS Vegetable Oil ½ cup water (more or less)



Instructions
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the egg noodles to the water, stir a few times to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  2. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Do not overcook.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add all paste ingredients into a food processor. Process until smooth and well combined. Using a pestle and mortar will also work perfectly as this is the traditional way.
  5. In a wok or big frying pan, add another 2 TBS vegetable oil then stir fry the paste until cooked and aromatic.
  6. Add vegetables and protein. Add water and stir until vegetables cooked properly
  7. Add eggs. Let the egg sit on the pan for around 2 minutes then scramble it.
  8. Add cooked noodle and seasoning.
  9. Stir and mix until all well combined.
  10. Enjoy
A Conversation with Asti...
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Asti Messer, I was born and raised in Indonesia. I graduated from University with a Bachelor of Engineering degree. I joined a company right after my graduation in Jakarta, Indonesia. While working with this company, they gave me the opportunity to visit our other branch office in Houston, Texas. That was how I met my husband who was also  working at the same company office. Not long after that, we got married and I moved to Houston and stayed in the same company for a good 13 years. My husband and I have been married happily for almost 10 years now and we have a lovely little boy who will turn 7 this year.
How did you get into food styling/photography?
After working in the company for more than 13 years, by the end of 2019 I decided to quit and focus on my family at home. I was planning to take a break with lots of great plans, however when Covid-19 came in early 2020, I changed those plans since we must stay at home most of the time. While taking care of my husband and son who are both are working and doing virtual school from home, I also wanted to do something exciting for myself, something that can keep me occupied but not overwhelm myself. That was when I decided to grab my camera and start capturing my daily cooking/baking  and transform it into beautiful art.
What significance has food played in your creative journey?
I always had a creative side since I was a little girl. I love to make some craft from whatever's available at home. I always have creative ideas and really enjoy the process to create them how exactly I have in them in my head. I started my photography as hobby around 10 years ago and
mostly captured landscapes and old town buildings while we were traveling. However, since I had a baby, carrying a big heavy camera was so difficult. The other thing that I love is cooking, as much as I enjoy the food itself, it always gives me a satisfaction when I can cook/bake all my favorite dishes. When I look up a new recipe, whether from a book or food blog, I tend to reach out and try the recipe with beautiful photo
presentations. Then I realized my passions could be combined and discovered my new hobby as a food photographer. That I can accomplish most of my work at home is a huge victory for me. It motivates and excites me to keep learning new things because the possibility are endless.
What are your go-to comfort foods?
I came from Southeast Asia when our food tastes are complex and spicy. Simple fried rice or noodle are my go-to comfort foods. It is so versatile and easy to make. When I moved to the TX - USA, I tried so many different foods here which many of them I love so much. My favorite ones are Texas BBQ, Chicken fried chicken with cream gravy, and banana pudding.
You can find more from Asti @astimesser on instagram and see more of her beautiful work at https://www.astimesserphoto.com

1 comment

  • It looks and sounds delicious! Thank you for the recipe and for the interesting interview.

    Celine Steen

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