The thick gravy and yellow egg noodles will fill you up. The portion served at hawker centers are usually too much for my small appetite. Mi Rebus is very popular among many, how else could the dish survived till today and offered by many food stalls in Singapore? It is usually available as breakfast. But it can also be eaten at lunch or dinner.
Literally, Mi Rebus means blanched or boiled noodles. The yellow egg noodles are blanched in hot water before pouring the thick gravy over it and garnished with blanched bean sprouts, fried pieces of firm tofu or beancurd, sliced green chillies, sliced spring onion, halved calamansi lime, fried shallots, halved boiled egg (eggshell removed of course) and sometimes a dash of dark soy sauce or pieces of beef. The thick gravy is sweet and spicy. It is a meat, fermented soybean, mashed sweet potato and grounded peanut combination.
Mi Rebus is said to have originated from Indonesian but there are little similarities to have been so. Probably over time, the dish has evolved to suit the local tastebuds and become what it is today. Please see my recipe below.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
- 500 grams to 1 kilogram of yellow egg noodles
Blanched the noodles in hot water, drained and put aside. I suggest to do this after the gravy and garnishes are ready or just before serving.
For the Mi Rebus gravy
- 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Fennel powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
- 5-6 tablespoons of chilli paste
- 2 medium onions, peeled
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
Ground the above ingredients to a fine paste with an electric blender. This is the Spice Paste or Rempah
2 stalks of lemongrass, halved and bruised
- 3/4 inch galangal, peeled and bruised
- 6 tablespoons of fermented soy beans or tau cheo, grounded
- 100 grams or 1 cup of grounded peanuts
- 1/2 – 1 cup of granulated sugar (later add in a little at a time, sweeten to your preference)
- 300 grams or 3 – 4 sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed ( I used the yellow Indonesian sweet potatoes)
- 1/2 cup of cooking oil (Try to use a flavorless oil, I used canola oil)
- 300 grams of beef, cut to bite-size, boiled until tender (keep the beef stock to add to the gravy later)
- 150 grams of fresh shrimps, shelled and deveined
- 6 – 7 cups of water (include the beef stock)
- Salt and Seasoning to taste
- Heat the cooking oil in a pot and fry the spice paste or rempah. Add the lemongrass and galangal. Fry the ingredients in the pot until fragrant and the oil separates.
- Add in the beef and prawn meat and stir fry for a few minutes.
- Add in the grounded peanuts and fermented soybean or tau cheo, mix well for a couple of minutes.
- Add the beef stock plus water to the consistency you preferred. It’s okay to be a tad watery cos you are adding the mashed sweet potatoes later.
- Season with a teaspoon of salt and seasoning powder. You can use MSG or similar seasoning powder like KNORR’s ‘Hao chi’ powder.
- Add in the sugar a little at a time to the sweetness you desired. Mix well and bring this concoction to a boil.
- Add in the mashed sweet potatoes and stir until well combined. Make sure the mashed sweet potatoes are dissolved.
- Taste the gravy again. You can add more salt, seasoning powder or sugar if you find any lacking.
- If you find the gravy too thick, add more water. If you find it too watery, add in a tablespoon of all-purpose flour to thicken it.
For the Garnishes
- 1 -2 firm tofu or bean curd, deep fried then sliced or cubed to bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups of bean sprouts, roots removed and blanched
- 2 -3 sprigs of Chinese celery, chopped
- 2 – 3 sprigs of spring onions,chopped
- Green chillies, sliced
- Fried shallots
- Hard-boiled eggs, shelled and halved
- Calamansi limes, halved
The above are for garnishing the Mi Rebus so you can decide the amount based on the quantity you required.
How to serve:
- Place some blanched yellow egg noodles and beansprouts in a bowl or a deep plate .
- Pour the gravy over (gravy has to be hot) the noodles and beansprouts and sprinkle with the garnishes.
- Add a dash of dark soy sauce if you like. Serve it fresh and hot.
- Don’t serve cold! The noodles will absorb the gravy and turn soggy so don’t pour the gravy over the noodles too early before serving.
- Always taste your gravy at different stages of cooking to obtain the right flavor keeping in mind other ingredients that you have yet to add in that will make a difference to the flavor.
I made the Mi Rebus because my son and hubby love it. And it is one of the traditional dishes that I wanted to try for a long time. Because it is cheap and convenient to buy from food stalls I guess that’s what made it rarely cooked at home.
Give it a try and improve on this recipe and share so that others can benefit too. Have a nice weekend 🙂