Mee Hoon Sup Berempah

Spiced Rice Noodle Soup

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My Rendang isn't Crispy

My Rendang isn't Crispy

By Zaleha Kadir Olpin

Published 2019

  • About

This dish is very similar to the Indonesian mee soto. There are many variations of this dish and this is what our family likes to eat, a spiced broth topped with fiery blended chillies with a side of comforting potato cutlets. It’s the perfect winter comfort food!


  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 500 g (1 lb oz) chicken breast
  • 2 litres (64 fl oz / 8 cups) water
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 200 g (7 oz) dried rice vermicelli
  • A handful of bean sprouts
  • A handful of Chinese celery
  • 1 Tbsp crisp-fried shallots

Potato Cutlets

  • 300 g (11 oz) potatoes
  • 50 g ( oz) chicken meat
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 Tbsp chopped spring onions
  • 4 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 Tbsp crisp-fried shallots
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white

Spice Paste

  • 2 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp fennel powder
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5-cm (2-inch) knob ginger, peeled

Tempering Spices

  • 4 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised
  • 2 star anise
  • 2.5-cm (1-inch) length cinnamon stick

Spicy Chilli Vinegar

  • 5 red chillies
  • 3 bird’s eye chillies
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 1–2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste


  • Prepare the potato cutlets. Boil the potatoes until tender, then peel and place in a large bowl. Boil to cook the chicken, then pound using a mortar and pestle. Place in the bowl with the potatoes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the egg white, and mash. Form the mixture into 2.5-cm (1-inch) balls and flatten slightly. Set aside.
  • Place the ingredients for the spice paste in a blender and process until smooth.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the tempering spices and fry until it starts to splutter. Add the spice paste and turn down the heat. Cook until the oil separates.
  • Add the chicken breast, water and stock cube. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken breast and set aside to cool before shredding. Cover and set aside. Check the soup for seasoning and keep hot.
  • In another wok, heat sufficient oil for deep-frying over medium heat. Dip the potato cutlets in egg white and lower into the hot oil. Do this in small batches. Deep-fry for 1 minute on each side until golden brown. Remove and drain well on paper towels. Set aside.
  • Place all the ingredients for the spicy chilli vinegar in a blender and process for 30 seconds. Transfer to a clean bowl.
  • To serve, boil a pot of water and blanch the noodles. Drain and divide among 4 serving bowls. Top with shredded chicken, bean sprouts and Chinese celery. Spoon the hot soup over and garnish with crisp-fried shallots. Top with the potato cutlets and serve the spicy chilli vinegar on the side.

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