Indonesia’s Global Brands (Part 20: Instant Noodle)
What is the most popular instant noodle in Indonesia? It’s obvious that the answer is Indomie. Anyway, Indomie is not only popular in Indonesia, it is also well-known in many parts of the world. The most famous variant from Indomie is Indomie Mie Goreng.
Indomie Mi goreng is an instant noodles product line made under the Indomie brand by Indofood company, the world’s largest instant noodle manufacturer, located in Indonesia. The product entered the market in 1982 and is available in many parts of the world including the US, Australia, UK, Middle East and China. Variants of this dish include serving it with shrimp and scallions, omelet, or with Peri Peri sauce. In 2006, Indomie launched Indomie Mi Goreng Kriuuk… 8x. In this product, 8x means “Lebih banyak, Lebih renyah, Lebih gurih, Lebih gede” (translated: more noodles, crunchier, more delicious, larger). It came in three flavors: Chicken, Onion, Spicy.
Although Indomie was banned in Taiwan because of a couple of misunderstandings, but it’s still available worldwide.
- Afghanistan – Upper class shopping centers like A-one Supermarket and Kabul City Center.
- Australia – Most local grocery stores, supermarkets (such as IGA, Coles, and Woolsworths) and specialty Asian stores.
- Austria – Some local grocery stores and specialty Asian stores.
- Brunei – All local grocery stores.
- Canada – Some local grocery stores and specialty Asian stores.
- Egypt – Carrefour, most grocery stores in Cairo.
- Taiwan – Carrefour, Wellcome and some Indonesian stores in big city.
- Italy – Castroni.
- The Netherlands – Large supermarkets and Asian specialty grocery stores.
- United Kingdom – International supermarkets, Chinatown in the Soho area of the City of Westminster, and some hypermarkets with “International Supermarket” sections, Wing Yip and other specialist Asian or Chinese grocery importers.
- Iceland – Mai Thai, and probably more specialty Asian stores.
- Germany – some Asian specialty grocery stores.
- Indonesia – every local grocery stores, small stalls (warung), and supermarkets. Virtually everywhere.
- Malaysia – Most local grocery stores and supermarkets (but using the Indofood brand not Indomie, not the same as Ibumie).
- Middle East – Most local grocery stores and supermarkets.
- Lebanon – Most grocery stores and supermarkets.
- Qatar – Q-Mart and Carrefour.
- Syria – Brenjikshi Group.
- New Zealand - All major grocery stores now stock Indomie Mi Goreng along with many smaller Asian grocers.
- Fiji – All local grocery stores.
- Nigeria – Supermarkets, markets all grocery stores.
- United States – Asian specialty grocery stores, and starting to show up more at Giants (east coast popular grocery store chain).
- Hongkong – Supermarkets, most local grocery stores, and 7-11 (part of their “hot foods” which they prepare for you).
- Singapore – Many grocery stores
- Sudan – Most local grocery stores and supermarkets.
- Thailand – Many hypermarkets such as Big C.
- Ethiopia – YSO as agents; distributed in major supermarkets and kiosk-based shops.
Indomie is also available in Amazon.com and rated 4 stars. It costs $2.45 for 5 packs, and $12.00 for a box (30 packs).
In 2005, Indomie broke the Guinness Book of World Records category for “The Largest Packet of Instant Noodles” , creating a packet that was 3.4m x 2.355m x 0.47m, with a net weight of 664.938 kg, which is about 8,000 times the weight of a regular pack of instant noodles. It was made using the same ingredients as a regular pack of instant noodle and was certified fit for human consumption.
In December 13, 2009, Roger Ebert, popular film critic from the US for Chicago Sun-Times, ranked Indomie in one of his “Twelve Gifts of Christmas” in position # Almost 0 (higher than 1). This is what he says about Indomie,
“Almost 0. At the surprising price of $2.49 (not a mistake, because they’ve sold these to me) I recommend for your your friend’s rice cooker Indomie Instant Fried Noodles – Mix 5 Flavor. I have understandably not tasted these myself, but at the urging of S. M. Rana, a popular poster on my blog from India, I bought these for friends, who report they are delicious–”the best instant pasta I’ve tasted.” S. M. praises the al dente quality when they’re properly cooked, and the richness of the broth. Pop ‘em into the rice cooker with the recommended amount of water, maybe a tad more. My friend Millie Salmon recommends adding fresh or frozen shrimp at the proper moment, and I’ve always found that on such occasions a few frozen peas never do any harm.”
Its unique taste and beautiful packaged charms many people in the world. Roger Ebert is not the only foreigner who likes Indomie. Some people even says that Indomie is better than ramen! Read this article,
I know a lot of us survived on instant noodles through college. I did too, because it was cheap and fast, but I can’t say I was a big fan of any of the flavors, especially any of the south of the border “picante” varieties. And I never figured out exactly what “oriental” flavor was. I noticed a lot of people did the smart thing, as I did, and would drain the noodles from the incomplex, salty broth before consumption. As it turns out, it wasn’t Ramen, the traditional Japanese noodles with soup, that we wanted. It was Mi Goreng we wanted. Had I only known about the broth-free Indonesian instant noodles, IndoMie’s Mi Goreng Pedas, or Hot Fried Noodles, I would have been a happier college student. The term Mi Goreng means “fried noodles” in Indonesian and is the same thing as Nasi Goreng (fried rice) except noodles are used instead of rice.
The seasonings in the Hot flavor consist of five small packets of chile oil with dried onions, fried shallots, condensed sweet soy sauce, crushed chilies, and a seasonings packet that I assume contains chicken boullion powder, salt and MSG (Yes, MSG, you only live once). Pretty fancy for instant noodles, eh? Indeed, opening and emptying each of these little packets can be tedious, but it’s well worth it. Instead of adding the seasonings to the noodles that are cooking in the boiling water, you add the drained noodles to the seasonings and mix. You end up with a flavorful, spicy, glistening noodle concoction that is supposed to resemble fried noodles. It comes close. Ok, not really, but still very tasty.
I can’t say instant Mi Goreng tastes anything like the real thing, but it’s about ten times better than any Top Ramen that’s out there and at the same price so I keep a stash in the back of my pantry for emergency meals. And if you like spice, this brand has got some definite kick. They also have a Regular flavor that is mild, and Satay flavor that is really spicy. And since I am an adult now I try to dress it up a bit with some seared shrimp, fresh scallions and a fried egg to make it a bit more authentic and to round out my meal.
News Sources: Wikipedia, Sun Times, holyshitake, Amazon
Photo Sources: jawaraiklan, holyshitake, forumkami, VIVAnews, noodle-noodle