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Mee Rebus is a classic Malaysian/Singaporean dish made up of noodles served in a rich and flavorful sweet potato gravy! This vegan version is satisfying, comforting, and loaded with tasty toppings such as fried onions, bean sprouts, chili slices, and fresh herbs!

Malaysian noodle soup with green pepper slices, noodles, chopped herbs, and fried onions.

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • Hearty and warming. If you are looking for a noodle dish that is both comforting and satisfying, you will love Mee Rebus! The natural sweetness of the sweet potato gravy balances perfectly with the smoky aroma of the spices.
  • Simple to prepare and versatile. Make a big batch of the gravy and reheat it just before serving for a quick and delicious dinner. It can then be served with any noodle or pasta and garnished with whatever green vegetable you have on hand.
  • Packed with flavor. The gravy, which is the star of this dish, gets a wonderful flavor from various aromatics. Ginger, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and curry powder all work together to create a bright, citrusy, and floral taste.

📘 What is Mee Rebus

Mee Rebus, or Mi Rebus, is a traditional Malaysian and Singaporean dish that consists of cooked noodles served in a sweet potato gravy. The gravy is typically infused with aromatics such as lemongrass, garlic, ginger, galangal, and curry powder.

This dish is served with various add-ins like fried onions or shallots, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and hard-boiled eggs for the non-vegan version.

Ingredients like sweet potatoes, shallots, garlic, galangal, and lemongrass.

🍠 Ingredient Notes

Here are the ingredients that you will need to make the sweet potato gravy:

  • Sweet potatoes – Any type of sweet potato will work, but the ones with orange flesh are typically used in authentic recipes.
  • Garlic and shallots – Feel free to use onions if you don’t have shallots.
  • Ginger – Fresh ginger should have smooth skin and little to no wrinkles. It should also be firm and juicy.
  • Lemongrass – Use fresh lemongrass stalks for optimal flavor. If you don’t have fresh lemongrass, you can replace it with about 2 tablespoons of frozen minced lemongrass.
  • Galangal – While galangal looks a lot like its cousin, ginger, each has a very different flavor profile. Galangal is not as spicy as ginger and has a more citrusy, floral aroma. If you don’t have galangal, omit it. It does bring extra flavor to the gravy but it is not essential.
  • Ground chili – Optional. Add a teaspoon of chili powder for spiciness.
  • Curry powder – I recommend using Malaysian meat curry powder for an authentic flavor. It’s a type of curry powder generally used to season meat, as well as Mee Rebus. Don’t get confused by its name, it doesn’t contain any meat, just spices!
  • Fermented bean paste – It adds plenty of umami and saltiness. While optional, it’s highly recommended.
  • Salt and sugar – To season.

Then, for the add-ins, you will need the following:

  • Noodles – Thick yellow noodles are generally used, but any noodles will work. I couldn’t find thick yellow noodles, so I just used regular wheat noodles.
  • Fried onions – Or fried shallots. You can fry them yourself or buy them already fried at the store.
  • Mung bean sprouts – Again, use fresh mung bean sprouts as canned won’t be as crispy and won’t taste as good.
  • Fried tofu or Youtiao – Optional. You can add fried tofu for extra protein and/or Youtiao for crunchiness.
  • Cilantro and scallions – For freshness.
  • Green peppers – For some crunch and a hint of spiciness. I advise against using serrano peppers as it would make this dish too spicy. Instead, use Anaheim peppers.

🥣 How to Make It

1. Cook and blend the potatoes

You have two options to cook the sweet potatoes: boiling or steaming. I went with the boiling option as it is the easiest, but if you want to steam them, it will take approximately 20 minutes in a steamer.

  1. Peel and dice the potatoes. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes using a potato peeler. Next, dice the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Boil the potatoes. Once boiling, carefully add the diced sweet potatoes and boil them for 12-15 minutes or until tender.
  4. Drain. Using a colander, drain the sweet potatoes.
  5. Blend. Transfer the drained potatoes to a high-speed blender and add the water. Blend for 10-15 seconds or until smooth. You should end up with the consistency of a smoothie. Set aside.

2. Blend the aromatics

  1. Slice the aromatics. Peel and slice the garlic, shallots, ginger, and galangal. Slice the white part of the lemongrass stalk into 1-inch slices. Transfer all of the aromatics to a high-speed blender.
  2. Blend into a purée. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the blender and blend for 10-15 seconds or until it forms a smooth paste.

3. Cook the gravy

  1. Sauté the paste. Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep pot or Dutch oven. Once hot, add the aromatic paste and fry it for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly, until it appears dryer. The oil should also start to separate from the paste.
  2. Add the curry powder. Next, add the curry powder and stir to combine it with the paste. Cook for another 2 minutes. At this point, you can add some chili powder of ground dried chilies if you want some heat.
  1. Add the fermented bean paste and seasonings. To the pot, add the fermented bean paste, sugar, and salt.
  1. Pour in the blended sweet potatoes. Pour the blended sweet potato sauce into the pot and stir to combine with the aromatics.
  2. Simmer. Finally, let the gravy simmer covered for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your liking, and keep it warm while preparing the noodles and add-ins.

🍲 Assemble

Once the gravy is ready, it’s time to assemble Mee Rebus:

  1. Cook the noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain the noodles and divide them between serving bowls.
  2. Pour in the gravy. Pour a generous ladle of piping hot sweet potato gravy into each bowl.
  3. Garnish. Finally, before serving, garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of fried onions, sliced fried tofu or Youtiao, some chopped cilantro and scallions, and a few chili slices. Add a squeeze of lime as well.
  4. Enjoy! Using chopsticks, give it a good stir to allow the fried onions and fresh herbs to infuse the gravy before eating.

📔 Tips

  • Adjust the thickness of the gravy. Depending on how thick you prefer the gravy, you can adjust its consistency by using more or less water. Do not forget to adjust the salt and sugar accordingly.
  • Use meat curry powder. For the most authentic flavor, I highly recommend getting your hands on Malaysian meat curry powder. Other types of curry powders obviously work but will alter the dish’s overall flavor.

🥬 Variations

  • Add roasted peanuts: Ground candlenuts or roasted peanuts are sometimes added to the gravy to make it thicker and add a hint of nuttiness. Process about 1/2 cup of roasted peanuts until it forms a fine powder, and add it to the gravy before simmering.
  • Add dried chilies: Process a few dried chilies into a powder and add about 1 teaspoon of this powder to the curry powder.
  • Add tamarind juice: Instead of lime juice, you can add a couple of tablespoons of tamarind juice. It will bring extra sweetness, tanginess, and a fruity flavor.

❄️ Storing and Reheating

  • To store: You can keep the sweet potato gravy in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze: Let the gravy cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or bag. You can freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To reheat: Reheat the gravy gently over low-medium heat for a few minutes, stirring regularly.

💬 FAQ

Can I prepare Mee Rebus ahead of time?

The gravy can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving. Regarding the noodles and add-ins, I advise preparing and cooking them just before serving.

Close-up of sweet potato gravy topped with noodles, fresh herbs, and mung bean sprouts.

This Malaysian dish is a must-try if you love sweet potato and curry flavors! It’s superbly seasoned, packed with bold flavors, and so satisfying!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Mee rebus with green pepper slices, noodles, chopped herbs, and fried onions.
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Recipe

Vegan Mee Rebus (Malay Noodles in Sweet Potato Gravy)

5 from 1 vote
Author: Thomas Pagot
Mee Rebus is a classic Malaysian/Singaporean dish made up of noodles served in a rich and flavorful sweet potato gravy! This vegan version is satisfying, comforting, and loaded with tasty toppings such as fried onions, bean sprouts, chili slices, and fresh herbs!
Prep Time : 45 minutes
Cook Time : 40 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 18 ounces)
  • 3 cups water

Aromatic Paste

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 4 shallots
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 inch fresh galangal
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 1/4 cup water

Gravy

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp meat curry powder
  • 1 tbsp fermented soybeans paste
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt adjust to taste

Toppings

  • 7 ounces thick yellow noodles
  • 1/4 cup fried onions
  • chopped cilantro and scallions
  • fresh mung bean sprouts
  • lime juice
  • sliced fried tofu or Youtiao

Instructions
 

Cook the potatoes

  • Peel and dice the potatoes. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes using a potato peeler. Next, dice the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, carefully add the diced sweet potatoes and boil them for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, drain the sweet potatoes using a colander.
  • Blend. Transfer the drained potatoes to a high-speed blender and add the 3 cups of water. Blend for 10-15 seconds or until smooth. You should end up with the consistency of a smoothie. Set aside.

Aromatic Paste

  • Slice the aromatics. Peel and slice the garlic, shallots, ginger, and galangal. Slice the white part of the lemongrass stalk into 1-inch slices. Transfer all of the aromatics to a high-speed blender.
  • Blend into a purée. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the blender and blend for 10-15 seconds or until it forms a smooth paste.

Gravy

  • Sauté the aromatic paste. Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep pot or Dutch oven. Once hot, add the aromatic paste and fry it for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly, until it appears dryer. The oil should also start to separate from the paste.
  • Add the curry powder. Next, add the curry powder and stir to combine it with the paste. Cook for another 2 minutes. At this point, you can add some chili powder of ground dried chilies if you want some heat.
  • Add the fermented bean paste and seasonings. To the pot, add the fermented bean paste, sugar, and salt.
  • Pour in the blended sweet potatoes. Pour the blended sweet potato sauce into the pot and stir to combine with the aromatics. Finally, let the gravy simmer covered for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your liking, and keep it warm while preparing the noodles and add-ins.

To Assemble

  • Cook the noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain the noodles and divide them between serving bowls.
  • Pour in the gravy. Pour a generous ladle of piping hot sweet potato gravy into each bowl.
  • Garnish. Finally, before serving, garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of fried onions, sliced fried tofu or Youtiao, some chopped cilantro and scallions, and a few chili slices. Add a squeeze of lime as well.
  • Enjoy! Using chopsticks, give it a good stir to allow the fried onions and fresh herbs to infuse the gravy before eating.
  • You can keep the sweet potato gravy in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Notes

  • Adjust the thickness of the gravy. Depending on how thick you prefer the gravy, you can adjust its consistency by using more or less water. Do not forget to adjust the salt and sugar accordingly.
  • Use meat curry powder. For the most authentic flavor, I highly recommend getting your hands on Malaysian meat curry powder. Other types of curry powders obviously work but will alter the dish’s overall flavor.
Course : Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine : Asian, Malaysian
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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5 stars
It’s amazing. My friends loved it very much. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks for this as am living in Singapore Cant wait to make this soon for me i never had vegan mee rebus before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work