In an attempt to use up the ingredients I already had in my fridge, as well as not eat a hunk of juicy meat for dinner last night, I decided to myself that I needed to do something with the leftover mashed sweet potatoes from last night. Plain mashed sweet potatoes. Most of the recipe ideas I looked up were for desert-like dishes and I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.
As I started to give up, thinking that maybe I would give up on this mission or resign to eating warmed sweet mash as a crappy side dish to last night’s dinner, I recalled one of the most unique uses of sweet potato I ate in Malaysia and most recently at my friend Glen’s house a couple of years ago: mee rebus. Since I have left Malaysia, I have not seen it on a menu here in Canada. To be honest, it’s not a dish I had that many times in Malaysia and it’s only when Glen’s mom made it that I recalled it.
Mee rebus entails yellow egg noodles served with a curry/sweet potato gravy. The gravy calls for either chicken or beef stock (I used chicken) as well as dried prawns in the paste, while other recipes called for a prawn stock. I have a massive bag of frozen spot prawn heads in the freezer so decided to chuck those into my gravy. I guess it wasn’t totally vegetarian since I used stock from animals, but … oh well. It gets particularly exciting with the garnishing: cilantro, bean sprouts, lime juice, boiled eggs, fried tofu and cucumber slivers.
Also, I kind of cheated here — instead of making the gravy paste on my own I decided to use Thai yellow curry. The ingredients are more or less the same and I figured the prawn heads could compensate for the lack of dried shrimps. I can’t claim to be a mee rebus expert but I have to say, the result was tasty! I think part of the joy in this dish for me, which I find in so many other SE Asian dishes, is the variation of garnishes providing different colours, tastes and textures. A humble, yet exciting meal. Long story short: don’t throw away your mashed yams!
Ingredients for the gravy:
3 cloves garlic
4 tbsp dried shrimps – soak in water for 15 minutes
6 red chilies – remove seeds
2 stalk lemon grass – remove the outer layers and cut small
Blend all the above into a smooth paste.
2 medium size sweet potatoes – steamed and mashed
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp fermented soy bean paste (tau cheong)
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
5-6 cups chicken or beef stock
1. Combined the curry powder, bean paste into the blended ingredients. Mix well. Heat up a stock-pot, put about 3 tbsp of oil and add in the blended spices. Sauté the spices for 5 minutes or until dry and fragrant.
2. Add in stock and mashed sweet potatoes. Stir well and bring it up to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add in sugar and salt. The thickness of the gravy is depending on individual preference. You can add some water to make it lighter.
Ingredients for garnishing:
500 gram yellow noodles – blanched in hot water for a few minutes
A handful of bean sprouts – blanched in boiling water for a few seconds
5-6 pieces prawn fritters – cut into cubes
2 pieces fried tofu – cut into cubes
3 hard boiled eggs
1 cucumber – julienned
2 red chilies – sliced
Some fried shallots
Put the some noodles and bean sprouts in the serving plate or bowl. Pour enough gravy over it and top it with the garnishes.