How to make Mee Rebus, a hawker centre staple of Malay noodles in a delicious, sweet potato gravy.
Mee Rebus, which literally translates to “boiled noodles” in Malay, is a beloved noodle dish in Southeast Asia. It has a rich and savoury broth that is made from a blend of spices, herbs, and sauces. This is a Malay dish of blanched yellow noodles topped with a lusciously thick, yummy sweet potato gravy. This is a hawker centre staple in Singapore and Malaysia, and eaten typically for breakfast and lunch.
The dish is typically served with yellow egg noodles, boiled potatoes, bean sprouts, tofu, hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with chopped scallions or cilantro.
Why you will LOVE Mee Rebus?
- That GRAVY: Mee Rebus is known for its thick and flavourful gravy, which is made by combining a variety of spices and herbs. The broth is usually made with a base of boiled sweet potatoes and is then flavoured with ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, and tamarind.
- Uniquely delicious: I don’t know any other dishes that tastes quite like this! The combination of sweet potato, umami salted soybeans and curry is MAGICAL.
- HEARTY: Tender noodles in a sweet potato gravy… this one hits the spot each time!
Ingredients you need for Mee Rebus
This is what you need to make a nice, hearty bowl of Mee Rebus:
- Yellow noodles (also called egg noodles or wheat noodles): This is atypical, but I’ve made Mee Rebus with pasta as well and it works great!
Sweet Potato Gravy:
- Sweet potato or potato, boiled and mashed to create the gravy
- Beef Stock: Water or chicken stock works as well
Gravy Spice Paste:
- Shallots or Onions
- Salted Soybeans or Taucheo
- Dried shrimp
- Dried Chilli Paste (optional)
- Meat Curry Powder
- Vegetables: Traditionally beansprouts are used, but i’m not a fan so I used bok choy. Simply blanch the bok choy and set to one side.
- Garnishes such as fried tofu, boiled eggs, lime, green chillies, spring onions and fried shallots
Key Ingredients for the BEST Mee Rebus
I used a mixture of orange and purple sweet potatoes with this, so the colour is darker than usual. It still tastes the same. I’ve also made this with regular potatoes too, and it was equally delicious, albeit tastes very slightly different. Sometimes I would do a combination of potatoes and sweet potatoes.
I steamed my potatoes, but you can boil it too.
Can I use other starches?
YES! I have tried to make this with pumpkin and it turned out so delicious. It was not as thick as when potatoes were used, so I would add lesser stock.
Meat Curry Powder
Any store-bought meat curry powder will work, I would suggest using a blend for beef or lamb for best results, but I have used a chicken curry powder with equally delicious results.
My cheat ingredient: I used stock from bouillon cubes, as opposed to freshly made beef stock. If you have that on hand, awesome; make sure you season accordingly. You can also use chicken stock or vegetable stock. In a pinch, water works too.
Taucheo or Salted Fermented Soybeans
Taucheo is Salted Fermented Soybeans, usually sold in supermarkets in Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand/Indonesia in glass jars. It’s salty, and gives the dish a uniquely umami depth of flavour.
In a pinch you can try Miso paste, non-spicy Doubanjiang, or Korean Doenjang paste. I personally have not tried with any of this ingredients, if you do please let me know, super curious!
How to Make Mee Rebus
1. Cook the Sweet Potatoes
The first step is to cook the sweet potatoes until they soften. To do this, you can either boil or steam the potatoes. I prefer to steam the potatoes, since it would retain all the nutrients that otherwise might have been lost from boiling.
TIP: chop the sweet potatoes up into smaller chunks so it cooks quicker.
Once sweet potatoes cook, mash it and keep to one side.
2. Blend the Spice Paste
While potatoes are cooking, make the spice paste. Throw the ingredients in a blender and blend!
3. Make the Gravy
Add oil to a pot, and heat over low to medium heat. Once hot, add the spice paste, along with a bruised lemongrass (see post on how to bruise lemongrass here). Stir fry until fragrant, and paste dries out slightly.
Add stock next and allow to boil before adding the mashed potatoes.
Let it stew until it reduces to desired consistency. Season with salt and sugar, and the gravy is done!
4. Blanch Noodles and Vegetables
If you have a noodle sieve strainer, you can cook your noodles and vegetables at the same time! I don’t, so I like to blanch my vegetables first and keep that to one side. Using the same post of boiling water, I blanch my noodles next.
5. Add Toppings and Serve!
Prepare your toppings – I recommend serving them in small bowls so that everyone can customise their own bowl!
Add noodles to a bowl, top with the gravy and add toppings of choice.
Can I make this Mee Rebus Vegetarian or Vegan?
This recipe is not vegetarian nor vegan, but it could very well easily be!
I’ve made so many versions of it that is vegan! Swop out the beef stock for vegetable stock, or even with just water. Omit the dried shrimps and the boiled eggs, and you won’t miss much, I promise. The bulk of the flavour comes from the sweet potatoes, taucheo and the meat curry powder (which has no meat ingredient).
More Recipes Like This
Mee RebusCourse: Uncategorized
400g Yellow Noodles, blanched
- Served with:
Tofu Puffs or Fried Firm Tofus
500 grams Sweet Potato, boiled and mashed
1 litre Beef Stock, from bouillon cube
1 Lemongrass, bruised
Salt and Sugar to taste
- Grave Base Paste, to blend:
3-4 Shallots or half an Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1 tbsp or 1/2 inch Ginger
1 tbsp Tau Cheo or Fermented Salted Soybeans*
1 tbsp Meat Curry Powder
1 tbsp Dried Shrimps, soaked in warm water
1 tbsp Dried Chilli Paste (optional, omit for a non-spicy version)
1/4 cup Water to ease the blending process
- Steam or boil the sweet potatoes until soft. Then mash finely.
- While potatoes cook, blend together the gravy base paste.
- In a pot, add oil. Once hot, add in gravy base paste. Toss in bruised lemongrass. Saute base paste until fragrant, or liquid has dried a bit.
- Add in stock or water and let boil.
- Once boiling, add mashed sweet potatoes. Stir through. Mash with potato masher if there are still chunky bits.
- Let gravy stew until it reduces and thickens to desired consistency, about 5 to 10 minutes. The longer it stews, the thicker it becomes.
- Once it has reduced, give your gravy a test taste, and season with salt and sugar as needed.
- Blanch some fresh yellow noodles, and vegetables. Top noodles with the gravy. Garnish with spring onions, tofu, boiled eggs, calamansi lime and green chillies.
- In a pinch you can try Miso paste, non-spicy Doubanjiang, or Korean Doenjang paste.