My favorite thing to eat for supper when we were young was this Indonesian boiled noodles with gravy or famously known as e mie or mee rebus. I remembered I often walked to the nearby street food vendor nearby our house for this mee rebus.
Indonesian style E mie/ Mee Rebus is a noodles serves with thick gravy made of shrimp stock. When the expert tastes the gravy itself, they will know whether that’s a good mee rebus or not. So, the bulk of the work mainly lies on preparing the shrimp stock, which is made of shrimp shells, Indonesian dark palm sugar/ gula jawa and other spices.
The gravy is sweet in taste and flavorful thanks to kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, bay leaves and shallots. It is one of the famous dishes at my hometown. The noodle is then served with shrimps, slices of boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and topped crispy fried dried shrimp (ebi), crispy fried shallots, Chinese celery, prawn/emping crackers (optional) with green chili. If you are looking for mee rebus recipe, you gotta try this one for real. It is so good that it really knocked my socks off and I couldn’t be more excited to share this recipe with everyone.
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- 1 - 1½ lb yellow egg noodles (enough for 4 generous servings), feel free to use spaghetti noodles if you prefer
- 2 lbs of medium-size shrimp with shells and head intact
- 7 shallots (peeled and finely chopped) - divided into half
- 2 stalks lemongrass (remove few inches of the bottom and bend in half)
- 2 thumb-size galangal (don't substitute with ginger as they will not give the same flavor. If you can't find any, I'd rather you omit this)
- 3 kaffir lime leaves (tear the leaves to release flavor)
- 6 bay leaves/ daun salam
- 6 oz Indonesian dark palm sugar/ gula jawa (you may substitute with Thai palm sugar but you need to add dark soy sauce so the gravy will look dark brown)
- Pinch of salt
- 8 cups of boiling water
- 1 Tbsp of canola oil
- 3 Tbsp corn starch with 3 Tbsp water
- 4 oz fresh bean sprouts
- 4 oz good-quality medium-size dried shrimps (soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes, drained off the water and pat dry with paper towel)
- 1 large potato (skinned and boiled until cooked and sliced thinly)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs (slice each in half)
- 2 stalks of Chinese celery (finely chopped, you can substitute with one regular celery)
- Crispy fried shallots / bawang goreng
- Canola oil for deep-frying the dried shrimps
- 8-9 long green chilis or Thai chili
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- Cook the noodles in boiling water according to the package. Set aside and covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve
- Wash the shrimp with cold running water. Pat them dry with paper towel. Peel the shrimp and save all the shells and heads to make the stock. Keep ½ of the peeled shrimp for other use next time. You only need ½ of the peeled shrimp for this recipe but you need all 2 lbs of the shells for the stock. Place the shells in a colander to make sure they are pretty dry and don't wash it anymore. Pat them dry as much as you can
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil while preparing the rest
- Preheat a small skillet/pot with 1 Tbsp of oil. Add in ½ of the shallots and stir-fry until soft and fragrant. Add in the shrimp and sauteed until they turn color, about 1-2 minute or so. Remove from the heat and set aside
- Preheat a large pot with 1 Tbsp of oil. Add in the shrimp shells and the other ½ of the shallots and sauteed until they are fragrant. It's okay to even char the shells a little bit as they will be even more fragrant. Stir-fry for about 10-15 minutes. Add in the lemongrass, galangal, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, pinch of salt and 8 cups of the boiling water you prepared earlier to the pot (it's important to use only boiling water and not cold water). Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it gently simmer for the next 45 minutes or so. Have a taste of the stock. It should taste sweet and not salty. If not sweet enough you can add a bit more gula jawa. I find 6 oz of gula jawa is good for us. Strain the stock to another medium size pot and discard all the shells and herbs away. Set aside
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch the beansprouts in the water for 10 seconds and run them through a cold water. You want it to be still crunchy. Set aside
- In a small sauce pan, pour enough oil to deep-fry the dried shrimp. Heat the oil up to 375 F (use deep-fry thermometer if you have one). Otherwise, throw a small piece of raw potato in and it should sizzle up. The oil must be really hot. Add in the dried shrimp and fry for about 15 seconds and quickly scoop out with slotted spoons onto paper towel. Let them cool down completely and you can prepare and chop the other toppings. Come back to it again and heat the oil up again to 375 F. Fry the dried shrimps again for the second time for about 10 seconds, they will get browned pretty fast this time, so scoop them out with slotted spoon onto the paper towel again. You will get some VERY crispy dried shrimp for toppings. You can use the same oil to fry your prawn crackers or emping crackers if you have some
- If you have mortar and pestle, place all the chili in the mortar along with the minced garlic and mashed until the chili is coarsely mashed up. That's the way you want it, coarse ! Set aside to serve with the noodles later
- Portion the noodles out into individual serving bowl. Place few slices of boiled potatoes, few prawns, boiled egg, sprinkle on some celery and bean sprouts on top of each serving bowl
- Give the corn starch mixture a stir again. Bring the stock back to a boil. When it's boiling. With one hand stirring, the other hand slowly pour in the corn starch mixture and stir vigorously to make sure they do not curdle up on you. Ladle the gravy onto each individual serving bowl
- Top with crispy fried shallots and crispy fried dried shrimps. Place the crackers on the side of the bowl. Do this last so you don't pour the gravy over the crispy stuff. Serve with the green chili
- Enjoy and be ready to add more!!!!!