Vegan Mee Rebus

Mee rebus is a comforting noodle dish with a starchy spicy gravy, thickened by blended root vegetables. It is a popular snack or breakfast dish in Singapore and Malaysia. Vegan mee rebus is like a warm hug from the Malay makcik (auntie) next door! The traditional recipe for mee rebus uses orange sweet potato. As we are unable to get this where I am, I use potato and pumpkin in my vegan mee rebus instead. Potato and pumpkin is milder than sweet potato, so we will be adding sugar to make up for the sweetness. It is also less starchy than sweet potato so we have to cook the gravy down a little at the end. The original spice paste or rempah uses candlenut, but I cannot get that here, so I am using cashews instead. Instead of egg noodles, I use vegan yellow noodles (see below for what I use). If you can't find vegan yellow noodles, then you can use rice, shirataki or buckwheat noodles.
Servings: 2 yield(s)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Ingredients
  • 250 g noodles
  • For the spice paste (rempah)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only)
  • 2 shallots (or 1 small red onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 galangal slices (use ginger if not available)
  • 8 raw cashews (soaked)
  • 15 dried chilli (soaked)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • For the gravy
  • 500 ml water (or vegetable stock)
  • 2.5 cup pumpkin and potato (diced)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp fermented bean paste
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vegetable seasoning granules
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • For the toppings
  • 150 g semi-firm tofu
  • 0.5 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 calamansi lime
  • 1 tbsp oil
Instructions
  1. Cube the potatoes and pumpkin. Roughly chop the ingredients for the spice paste (rempah).
  2. Dice half the tofu, and leave the other half as a full rectangular block. This is purely for plating and texture fun, so if you want to chop all of the tofu that is fine too!
  3. Boil 500ml of water in a pot and cook the potato and pumpkin until soft. Keep the water for the gravy later
  4. Remove the potato and pumpkin and blend until baby food consistency.
  5. Blend all the ingredients in the spice paste with 2 tbsp of oil. Heat a pot over low heat and fry the blended spice paste slowly until it goes dark and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the water used for cooking the potato and pumpkin into the pot and mix the spice paste well into the water. Then add curry powder, fermented bean paste, sugar, salt and vegetable seasoning granules. If you used vegetable stock, then you can skip the seasoning here. Add the blended potato and pumpkin paste and stir to mix well. Bring to boil and slowly simmer until the gravy thickens to your desired thickness.
  7. Heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium flame in a non-stick pan. Brown the small tofu cubes on all sides, and the big block of tofu on the four longer sides. Slice the big block of tofu.
  8. Heat some water in the pot for cooking noodles. But before we cook the noodles, we will blanch the bean sprouts in the boiling water for about a minute.
  9. Cook the noodles as per package instructions. These are the noodles I am using.
  10. Assemble! Start with the cooked noodles in the bowl, then top with gravy, and add the toppings. Serve with a halved calamansi and/or a spoonful of sambal.