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Malaysian Mi Rebus Soup

What's The Big Idea?

OK, this may not be desperately authentic, I've adapted the original recipe somewhat (and who knows how authentic the original was?!). But it makes a great - and unusual - starter for a Malaysian dinner party, and is always a talking point.

The basic "soup" recipe is fairly straightforward. What makes it unusual are the "extra" ingredients. Instead of adding these to the soup while cooking it, I serve them in small separate bowls on the table, so guests can add whichever extras they fancy to their soup. This is quite a novel idea and always sparks a few conversations!

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Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 1 large jacket potato, peeled
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry paste (e.g. korma paste)
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons tamarind paste*
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fine rice or vermicelli noodles - about ¼ of the quantity you would use for a main course
  • "Extra" ingredients/garnishes:
    • Hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
    • Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
    • Finely chopped red onion (raw)
    • Finely sliced red chillies
    • Bean sprouts
    • Lime wedges
    • Shallots, cut into rings and fried until crispy
*If you can't get hold of tamarind paste, I substituted 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon lime juice last time I made this. The flavour isn't exactly the same, but it still worked well.

What To Do

  • Bring 1 pint of water to the boil in a large saucepan
  • Cut the potato and sweet potato into 2 inch cubes
  • Salt the water well, add the potato and sweet potato, and cook until tender
  • While the potatoes are cooking, prepare whichever of the extra garnishes you plan to serve. Arrange in separate small serving bowls
  • Turn off the heat and blitz the soup with a blender
  • Stir in the stock cube (crumbled), curry paste, tamarind paste (or alternatives) and sugar
  • Season with plenty of salt and pepper, bring back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, adding more water if needed
  • Meanwhile, cook the noodles as directed on the packet. Drain well
  • Arrange ¼ of the noodles in the bottom of each of four soup bowls
  • Pour the soup over the noodles
  • Serve the soup to your guests, and allow them to add whichever garnishes or extra ingredients they fancy

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