'Mee rebus’ in the Malay language, is the direct translation of ‘braised noodles’. A typical Malay noodle dish, it is enjoyed by many in Indonesia and the nearby countries. This noodle dish is often referred to as ‘mee kuah’. The thick gravy is made by reducing beef broth along with a mix of spices, aromatics and sweet potatoes. Slurping egg noodles wrapped in the thick gravy makes every mouthful a delight.
The different types of mee rebus
Mee rebus differentiates across the region. For example, in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Terengganu, it has a clear broth. Meanwhile, mee rebus in other states of Malaysia may use dhal, peanuts and tomatoes cooked in a chicken or prawn based broth. This recipe is closer to the Johor mee rebus which is made out of beef broth. It is also the noodle dish served with a flavourful gravy which is thicken naturally with sweet potatoes. If you are looking for mee rebus with thick gravy which is most commonly found in Malaysia or Singapore, this is the recipe to try.
Sweet potatoes to thicken gravy
Orange sweet potatoes are often used to thicken the gravy. Besides that, you may thicken the gravy with purple sweet potatoes, the common potatoes or even tapioca. Orange sweet potatoes are the most commonly used for its sweetness and colour as it adds a nice orange hue to the gravy.
Chicken stock instead of beef
Of course, you may always substitute the beef stock with chicken stock. Substitute beef with the same amount of chicken. Chicken carcass may also be used to make the stock. Also, remove fats from chicken, if any before boiling chicken. No additional ingredients are required here.
Meat curry powder mix, a type of curry powder used to cook beef, chicken or mutton is used in this recipe. This type of curry powder is sold in supermarkets or wet markets in Malaysia and Singapore. In other countries, choose the curry powder mix which consists mostly of chili powder and a mixture of spices such as coriander, cumin, fennel, turmeric, white pepper, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, star anise, nutmeg, bay leaf and clove.
Mee rebus paste
The mee rebus paste is made out of blended spices and aromatics. Fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, garlics and shallots are used in the paste. The addition of pungent ingredients like fried chilies and dried prawns provides the umami of flavours to the dish. You can prepare the paste in advance and refrigerate it for up to 5 days. Otherwise, the paste can be kept frozen for up to 6 months.
Set aside overnight
The taste of the gravy was much bolder and richer after I left it overnight in the refrigerator. When it comes to soups and broths, it is best to set it aside for at least 6 hours to allow the flavours to further develop.
Freeze gravy for later
If you have extra gravy, feel free to freeze them for later use. For the best flavours, the gravy can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, steam the gravy or reheat in a pot with 4 tablespoons of water at medium heat. Continue stirring to prevent gravy from burning.