[Recipe] Ketchup Noodles – Cheat’s Mee Goreng Mamak

I like to thank you all for leaving comments and feedback on my last stir fry recipe.

I often wonder if people are still interested in stir fry recipes just because I feel they are not as interesting as some other recipes. It seems like we can’t have enough of recipes for mac ‘n’ cheese, burgers, bolognese, pancakes, chili, just to name a few. I could be wrong but, that’s what I gathered from my personal observation. :)

Whether or not this ketchup noodles is going to be a hit with you guys, this recipe has earned a special place in my palate. For any Malaysians who look at these pictures will know this is mee goreng mamak (basically a popular street food in Malaysia).

So why the name ketchup noodles? Since my beloved is not from Malaysia and has no idea what mee goreng mamak is, to simplify things (plus the laziness of providing explanation right after work), I just renamed it with something he is familiar with. After all, the main ingredient for the sauce is ketchup, so the name is totally justifiable! :P

{An overview of all ingredients}

FYI – I have made this recipe up as I go based on my memory on how it supposed to taste like. The last time I had this in Malaysia was 3 years ago, and therefore, my version is not as authentic as the one you’ll find on the street of Malaysia.

Ketchup Noodles

(A Fuss Free Cooking Recipe)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


  • 450g (16 oz) fresh Hokkein noodles
  • 90g (3 oz) tofu puffs (or you can substitute with a block of firm tofu – need to dice and pan fry)
  • 1 lime (garnish)
  • 3 lettuce leaves (garnish)
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts (garnish) – I used store brought version but you can always make your own
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2.5 tbsps light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 drops of sesame oil
  • 3 tbsps cooking oil


  • Thinly slice the lettuce and set aside on a plate.
  • Loosen up the noodles before opening the packet (like photo below).

  • Then remove the noodles from the packet. Loosen them further in a mixing bowl by hand. No need to cook the noodles

  • Add tofu puffs with the noodles. Set aside.

  • Mix ketchup, soy sauce and sesame oil in a measuring jug. I leave out the water for now.

  • Slice the onion thinly and make sure the thickness of the slices is even. Otherwise some small bits will burn more easily than the thicker ones. Anyway no pressure, just try your best. :) If you were to use firm tofu, now is the time for you dice it into one inched cubes.

  • Heat a wok (or a large pan) with 3 tbsps of cooking oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and spread the slices around.  We want the onion to be crispy, so try not to stir the onion too much. Just move the onion around when some bits are getting more brown than others.

  • It took me about 5 minutes to achieve my desired colour and texture. Turn off the flame and remove the onions from the wok. Spread them on a plate. FYI – they will crips up as they cool.

  • Use the oil in the wok to cook the noodles. Turn on the flame to medium and add the noodles and tofu puffs. Saute these ingredients for a minutes. For firm tofu users, this will be the time pan fry the diced tofu BEFORE adding the noodles. Once you have pan fried all the tofu, add noodles and the pan fried tofu and toss them for about a minute.
  • TURN THE FLAME TO A MINIMUM and add the ketchup mixture. (Note: this will buy us some time to mix everything together without burning the sauce and noodles).  If you see the noodles start to stick on the wok/pan, add about 1/4 cup water and toss the noodles and tofu to bind with the sauce.
  • Once you’re happy that everything is well mixed, turn the flame to high and quickly toss the noodles for a minute or until there’s very slight charring on the noodles. Turn off the flame immediately.

  • To serve: Scatter some onion crips, chopped peanuts, lettuce and squeeze some lime juice over just before digging in. For this recipe, I’m sorry to say that these garnishes are NOT OPTIONAL!

29 Responses to [Recipe] Ketchup Noodles – Cheat’s Mee Goreng Mamak
  1. Allison [Haute Box]
    March 3, 2011 | 1:22 pm

    I’m so intrigued by this. I have never heard of ketchup noodles and this looks so good! Perhaps I’ll make it this weekend! :)

    • Emily
      March 3, 2011 | 9:42 pm

      Hope you’ll enjoy the dish! :)

  2. Roxan
    March 3, 2011 | 3:39 pm

    Emily! I’ve never heard of this dish before but it looks SO good. Your boyfriend is a lucky man! He gets to eat everything you make.

    • Emily
      March 3, 2011 | 9:41 pm

      Haha, I’ll let him know you’ve said that! :P

  3. sonia
    March 3, 2011 | 6:11 pm

    The ketchup noodles are looking very inviting, difficult to resist. Wud love to have it, so saving your recipe for sure !

    • Emily
      March 3, 2011 | 9:42 pm

      Thanks Sonia. I hope you’ll like the noodles when you make it! :)

  4. meemsnyc
    March 3, 2011 | 7:36 pm

    Yum, I love mee goreng!

    • Emily
      March 3, 2011 | 9:44 pm

      Oh yes, it’s yum….Definitely one of my favourite street food in Malaysia….

  5. Bourbonnatrix
    March 3, 2011 | 11:55 pm

    You had me at ketchup

    • Emily
      March 4, 2011 | 5:36 am

      Hehe, I did eh? ;)

  6. Cookie
    March 4, 2011 | 12:50 am

    My husband would LOVE this since he loves all things ketchup! I might have to substitute some fried chicken for the tofu though. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Emily
      March 4, 2011 | 2:29 am

      Can’t say no to fried chicken, hehe! Great substitution! ;)

  7. Pansy
    March 4, 2011 | 1:48 am

    Emily, where would I find tofu puffs? Would I need to go to an Asian grocer? This recipe looks delicious!

    • Emily
      March 4, 2011 | 2:11 am

      I bought tofu puffs from a chained farmer’s market called Harris Farm (in Australia). That said, you best bet would be Asian grocer and try to look around the fridge section. :) Thanks for your lovely comment.

      • Pansy
        March 4, 2011 | 10:39 pm

        I found the noodles today at the grocery store, but couldn’t find the tofu puffs, so I bought extra firm tofu cubes. Would you coat the cubes in something before you cook them? The puffs look like they have a coating on them. You can probably tell I don’t do much Asian cooking! I’m trying to change that. :) Thanks!

        • Emily
          March 5, 2011 | 5:51 am

          No I wouldn’t coat the cubes. Normally, I’ll dry the tofu with a kitchen towel, then just pan fry it with a little oil. Basically, just to brown exterior to give it some color. About the puffs looking like they have coating…they are not really a coating but seem like it because they have been deep fried before hand. I should have added this in my post but instead of tofu, you can substitute it with chicken or prawns (brown the chicken/prawns before adding the noodles though). Happy cooking!

  8. Dave
    March 4, 2011 | 5:10 pm

    I can’t speak for others, but we really like stir-fry. And there’s something meditative about cutting all the veggies and arranging them as they’ll go into the wok. Then – flash! sizzle! – it’s ready to serve.

    In fact, your ginger beef recipe was a bit of revelation for me. I usually cook by feel, but I’ve never been very satisfied with my stir-fry sauces. I’d tried adding everything I could think of (five spice powder, black bean sauce, ect.), but my sauces always tasted muddy, without the clarity I wanted. Turns out white pepper was the key. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, but there you go.

    So, I love seeing any East Asian recipes (though I make a couple of great South Asian dishes too), and I would be happy to see more for fast, flavorful stir-fries. I’m really looking forward to trying this new one out on the kids next week: noodles and ketchup – two of their favorite food groups – and I get to eat Asian. What’s not to love?

    • Emily
      March 6, 2011 | 11:28 am

      That’s right, I feel the same way about stir fry too. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the recipe. I love adding white pepper in Chinese dishes in general, something I’ve learned from my mum, and can’t live without them really. ;)
      I hope you are going to love the ketchup noodles. Probably doesn’t sound super wholesome, but it surely is a wonderful dish for a ketchup lover….

  9. vietfoodrecipes
    March 5, 2011 | 3:45 am

    Never heard of this ketchup noodles dish. Simply beautiful!

    • Emily
      March 6, 2011 | 11:30 am

      Thanks for your lovely comment. :)

  10. Ilke
    March 14, 2011 | 11:57 pm

    I think you just gave the stir-fry its well deserved place :) Looks very tempting! Is there a version without the tofu?

  11. Jenn Brigole
    April 8, 2011 | 12:54 pm

    This looks wonderful! I love my mom’s spaghetti, but I should try this recipe and use as bribe for my niece when I need some cover. :))

    Speedy recovery! Can’t wait for what you can come up with next though. :)

  12. Dolly
    June 7, 2011 | 6:54 pm

    Me & my brother tried it & it was really good! THANKS VERY MUCH<3

  13. Amanda
    September 3, 2011 | 8:23 pm

    this is the second recipe i tried from your blog and my partner and i loved it. he turned vegetarian recently so i’m always on the hunt for vegetarian recipes. a big plus for me is my love for ketchup and it truly is a fuss-free recipe. this will definitely go on our list of favourite dishes.

    • Emily
      September 6, 2011 | 1:20 pm

      Hi Amanda,

      Glad to hear you loved the recipe! This is one of my favourite ways of having noodles….so simple and yet tasty! :)

  14. rukhsar
    September 5, 2011 | 11:01 am

    i like dis very much thank u very much for Emily to teaching dis dish

  15. Diane
    April 6, 2012 | 3:23 am

    Had this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic! Definitely adding it to the rotation. Yum Yum. Pan-fried some chicken and added in mixed veggies. Thank you for a simple and delicious dinner!

    • Emily
      April 6, 2012 | 3:26 am

      Hi Diane

      Really appreciate the wonderful feedback. :) Thank YOU!

  16. Linder
    February 1, 2014 | 10:00 pm

    Tasty. Thank you!

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