Fried Sago Noodles

Origin: Selat Panjang, Tebing Tinggi Island – Riau Islands
Source: My friend & ex colleague, Mimi Maryati


  • 300 g riau's sago noodles or korean vermicelli/sweet potato glass noodles
  • 200 g beansprouts, discard the brown ends
  • 2 pc spring onion, slice into 1 cm length
  • 5 tbsp oil to stir-fry

Spice for the paste

  • 5 pc large red chillies, de-seeded (if don't like spicy), chopped
  • 3 pc shallots, chopped (optional)
  • 3 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimps, soak in a hot water for 20 minutes
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste

Fried Sago Noodles

I got first to know this dish around mid 90s. Introduced by my colleague as well as a friend when I was still working in a one of multinational company in Batam Island. Mimi who's originally comes from Selat Panjang, a main town of Tebing Tinggi Island brought me one day after weekend trip to home a special noodles that I have seen for the first time in my life : Selat Panjang's Sago Noodles. I was intrigued as well as wondering to see blackish colour noodles, not so white like Riaus's sago noodle products today. I was more exiting to see the noodles becomes soften just by soaking them in a cold water not by boiling like common noodles. But the surprise was more to come onced the noodles is being served. My first impression : I was like eating rubber bands !!!! ha ha. Then I have chewed slowly to get better acquainted with those strange things in my mouth. At the end…… hhhhmm Though it seems oddly enough to say but I have fallen in love with this rubber bands noodles ever since 😉
Note: Unfortunatelly Riau's sago noodles is not available in the west even in the other parts of Indonesian Islands. But by luck I found the korean sweet potato noodles which has almost same texture as well as the best subtitute. The spice of this fried noodles is different compare to commonly Indonesian noodles which tend to be sweet from kecap manis.
It is delicious spicy fried noodles, another variant of Indonesian fried noodles that it's really worth trying ;-). Last but not least thanks & credits goes to Mimi who's introduced this exotic fried noodles many years back 😉


  • Soak the sago noodles until soft, wash & set aside in a colander to drain. (If you use korean sweet potato noodles, soak the noodles in a warm water then cook the noodles in boiling water (until al dente) according to package instructions and set to drain in a colander).
  • Put shallots & garlics in a grinding stone & grind into smooth paste. Add the pre-soaked dried shrimps then grind all these until smooth.
  • You can also use the grinder or food processor to blend all the ingredients into smooth paste. (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Heat 5 tbsp oil in a wok or big saucepan. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender). Stir fry the paste over medium heat until cooked & fragrant. It takes about 5 minutes.
  • Add the noodles, stir fry until the paste mix well with the noodles. (If necessary rinse the noodles with cold water, drain well then adding to the frying pan if the noodles stick to each other).
  • Add the beansprouts, stir fry shortly just until wilted.
  • Add the spring onions & stir to mix. Adjust the seasoning, add salt (& sugar if preferred). Remove from heat. Serve hot immediatelly.
Keyword Indonesia, noodles, Sago

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