Noodles In Sweet Potatoes Gravy–Mee Rebus (马来卤面)



To be very frank, mee rebus is not something that I am very familiar even though it is rather common in Singapore and Malaysia..One of the prime reasons is that it was usually prepared with beef broth.


I am rather sensitive to beef and usually after I took a spoon or two of the mee gravy, I will know whether or not it is prepared using beef. If it is prepared using beef, I will give the entire bowl to my wife. Having said that, that one or two spoons of noodles gravy did gave me a good impression of the comfort noodle dish well liked by many Malaysians and Singaporeans.


Today, I have decided to prepare Mee Rebus as my lunch using my own meat stock.. After reading through many recipes, I was rather confused and almost gave up in view of the huge number of ingredients required for the preparation. Some have prawns, some  don’t. Some have beef and some are vegetarian. Some use lime leaves, bay leaves etc. and most are none. Some used castor sugar and some used palm sugar. Some used sweet potatoes as a thickener and some used potatoes  to thicken the gravy.. Whose is authentic and how I wish that there are certain patent and guidelines for the preparation of Mee Rebus issued by the relevant authority to guide new chefs like us in the preparation.. However, it is also understood that traditional cuisines will have as many recipes as the number of grandmothers in the village and everyone will claim that theirs is the best..


Some called it Mee rebus, others called it Mie Celor, Mee Jawa, Mee Bandong …and I am unsure whether or not these are the same.. However, they do have a common characteristic, a yellow egg noodle dish with thick gravy usually prepared using meat or seafood broth.. It is usually garnished by Chinese celery, bean curd, green chilli and hard boiled eggs. 


Being pampered with so many recipe choices…I have decided to choose a recipe that have the ingredients closest to Wikipedia’s definition. As per Wikipedia,

“Mi rebus or Mee rebus (Malaysian and Singaporean spelling), (literally boiled noodles in English) is a noodle dish popular in Indonesia,Malaysia, and Singapore. The dish is made of yellow egg noodles, which are also used in Hokkien mee, with a spicy slightly sweet curry-like gravy. The gravy is made from sweet potatoes, curry powder, water, salted soybeans, dried shrimps, and peanuts. The dish is garnished with a hard boiled egg, calamansi limes, spring onions, Chinese celery, green chillies, fried firm tofu (tau kwa), fried shallots and bean sprouts. Some eateries serve it with beef, though rarely found in hawker centres, or add dark soy sauce to the noodles when served. The dish also goes well with satay. In certain area, due to the local situation, a similar variety of this Mi Rebus is called Mee Jawa, Mi Jawa or Bakmi Jawa, although this is a popular misnomer, since Javanese bakmi Jawa is different from Mi Rebus. A dish similar to Mi Rebus in Indonesia is called Mie Celor, and it is popular in Palembang.” (Source:



Recipe adapted from: Noodles in Sweet Potato Gravy ( Mee Rebus )

Servings: About 6 Adult servings



  • 500 grams of sweet potatoes (boil and mash)
  • 300 grams of beef or other preferred meat (boil and cut into small pieces)
  • 2 lemon grass (cut and bruise)
  • 4 tablespoons of meat curry powder
  • 3 cups of meat stock
  • 3 tablespoons of oil of stir frying
  • 1 tablespoons of palm sugar

*To be blended with 1/2 cup of water

  • 30 grams of baby shrimps (soaked in water) *
  • 1 big onion or 10 small shallots *
  • 10 cloves of garlic*
  • 3 cm long galangal*
  • 3 cm long of ginger*
  • 2 tablespoons of fermented soya beans or taucheo*

For Assembly


  • 400 grams of yellow egg noodles (blanched)
  • 200 grams of bean sprout (blanched)
  • 6 hard boiled eggs (cut into half)
  • 1 piece of firm bean curd (pan fried until slightly golden brown and cut into small pieces)
  • 2 red chillies (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 green chillies (cut into small pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons of deep fried shallots
  • 2 stalks of Chinese celery (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 stalks of spring onion (cut into small pieces)
  • 6 calamansi or lime (cut into half)




  • Steam the sweet potatoes until soft and use a fork to mash until puree form. Set aside for later use.

  • Boil the meat until cooked. Keep the meat broth. Either manually cut until small pieces or use a food processor to blend until small chunks.


  • Put all the ingredients mark “*” in a blender, put half cup of water, blend until as fine as possible.

  • In a bit pot, put 3 tablespoons of cooking oil, pour the rempah to the pot follow by meat curry powder and bruised lemon grass stalks.


  • Sauté the rempah using medium heat until aromatic, oil separates from the rempah and fragrance permeates the house. It will take about 15 minutes. From the 3 cups of meat broth (you can use plain water plus beef or chicken seasoning cubes and do not forget the earlier meat broth from the cooking of the meat), add about 2 cups of the meat broth to the rempah. Stir until well mix. Add the mashed sweet potatoes followed by meat chunks and palm sugar. Stir until well mixed. Add the remaining one cup of meat broth to the gravy until your desired consistency.  Bring the gravy to boil and set aside for later assembly. (Adding meat broth gradually will give you a chance to control the consistency. If too much water is added, it is rather hard to salvage the situation)


  • For assembly, put some beansprouts and yellow egg noodles in the bowl. Put adequate gravy to cover the beansprouts and yellow egg noodles. Sprinkle on top of the gravy some red chilli, green chilli, firm bean curd slices, some eggs, deep fried shallots, spring onions, Chinese celery and calamansi or small lime. The noodle is best served warm.



Though the preparation is slightly more laborious but the noodle dish really worth every single effort put in. Do not ask me the difference between  this Mee Rebus and Mee Jawa commonly found in East Malaysia and Indonesia or Mee Rebus Penang style or Mee Rebus Johor style or Mee Celor in Palembang, Sumatra. I am equally confused but what I knew is food history are all intertwined and it is common to have slight  differences due to localization of ingredients and none shall claim his or hers as authentic.  Do give it a try and let me know if it suit your taste buds.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 28 July 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  


8 thoughts on “Noodles In Sweet Potatoes Gravy–Mee Rebus (马来卤面)

  1. Hello Kenneth, love your blog!
    I am thinking to cook Mee rebus by using your recipe. I wonder how many servings will I get if I follow your recipe?

  2. Pingback: RECIPE INDEX ( Updated on 14 OCTOBER 2014) | GUAI SHU SHU

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s