Make Indonesian curried noodles with shrimp on any given night to add some ethnic flair to your table.
I’ve been having a lot of fun lately learning about all the different types of curries throughout Asia. Curry varies from country to country throughout South East Asia. In Indonesia it varies from island to island. So, by now you’ve probably guessed that curry is somewhat of an umbrella term. The word curry comes the Tamil word kari.
Curry in Indonesia
In Indonesia the word used for a meal containing a curry-like sauce is gulai. Basically, gulai is also a general term for a type of food containing a rich, spicy, and curry-like sauce. Gulai is simmered in coconut milk and a spice mixture. It can be vegetarian or contain poultry or beef.
An island of flavor
Indonesian food is made up of the haunting aromas of spices, chilies, and coconut milk. It is a true a “symphony of flavors” if I may use the term. Being an island, Indonesia’s cuisine is dictated by availability of ingredients, which are often humble. Nevertheless, the resulting flavor profiles are outstanding and produce simple yet impressive meals. My niece’s husband, Jufi, is from Indonesia, and he happens to be an amazing chef. For all the family gatherings, the burning question is: “What is Jufi making?” LOL! Needless to say, what he brings is always amazing.
A fusion of flavors
Indonesian Curried Noodles with shrimp is such an interesting dish because the fusion of flavors is out of this world: sweet, salty, savory. YUMMM! Indonesian curried noodles are similar to Singapore noodles (which really aren’t from Singapore), go figure! You can use egg or rice noodles without sacrificing taste.For this recipe I am using rice noodles, but egg noodles will work just fine. If you’re trying to cut the carbs all together, you can probably do zucchini noodles if you have a spiralizer. Not the same taste though.
The mighty tamarind
Ok, so here’s an ingredient in Indonesian curried noodles with shrimp, that you might not have in your pantry: tamarind paste. Tamarind is a tropical fruit that grows in pods with a tangy pulpy fruit inside. The name comes from the Persian tamar hindi meaning “date of India” The tamarind is native to East Africa, its natural acidity makes it a great ingredient for marinating meats. Worcestershire sauce anybody? Yes, there is tamarind in Worcestershire sauce.
On another historical note, tamarind was used by Arab physicians in antiquity and also features in Hindu mythology where it is associated with the wedding of the Hindu god Krishna.
Indonesian curried noodles with shrimp is a great weeknight meal. If you want to be truly authentic serve this dish along with a small dish of serundeng, a spicy condiment made with shredded coconut, roasted peanuts and spices. It is typical at the Indonesian table and adds a bit of heat and texture to many dishes.
If you like curry dishes, then you need to take a look at these:
Thai Red Curry Chicken: a delicious blend of spices, along with tamarind paste, and red curry paste. Serve with jasmine rice.
Did you know you can make your own curry at home? Check out this recipe for DIY curry.
One of my favorite flavor combinations is coconut curry. If you like this flavor profile, then you will love my coconut curry chicken.
Indonesian Curried Noodles with Shrimp
A delicious dish of curry noodles accented with coconut milk, spices and fresh ginger. A perfect Indonesian dish to add an ethnic flair to your dinner table.
- 8 oz. rice noodles
- 8 oz. shrimp deveined
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger
- 2 shallots minced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/3 cup peanuts chopped
- 2 limes cut into wedges
Prepare noodles according to package instructions and set aside. In order to prevent them from sticking, it is a good idea to rinse them in cold water. Leave them in the cold water until you are ready to use them.
- In a small bowl combine curry, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and salt.
Next, in another bowl combine tamarind paste, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice.
- Heat oil in a wok on medium and saute shallots, garlic, and ginger until shallots are translucent.
Add the coconut milk, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the spice mixture, stir, then add the shrimp and cook for about two minutes. Add the fish sauce mixture, and stir well.
Add in the noodles and toss to coat evenly with the sauce.
- Sprinkle with cilantro, and peanuts.
- Serve with lime wedges.