The name of this delicacy actually suggests the town where I live, which is located just about five minutes drive to the border of Negeri Sembilan and Johor. But the dish is truly an accumulation of different 'Mee Rebus' from friends and relatives who are Johoreans.
It is a marriage of ingredients related to me by my sister-in-law who hails from the southern tip of the state of Johor and a former colleague whose family still resides in one of the villages in a Johor state that is about thirty kilometers from where I live. And, it is also my own rendition through the many sampling of this dish during my six-year stint as a teacher in one of the districts of Johor!
Hence, the birth of 'Mee Rebus Sempadan Johor' or literally translated Simmered Noodles from Johor border!
350g egg noodles
150g bean sprouts, blanched
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
2 pieces firm tofu, fried and cut into cubes
1 stalk each of parsley and scallions, sliced
5 green chili, sliced
5 kalamansi limes, halved
For the gravy
200g, cubed and boiled, reserve the stock
100g dried shrimp, pounded
4 shallots, pounded
5 shallots, pounded
1/2 inch ginger, pounded
2 stalks lemon grass, pounded
1 cardamom, pounded
1 star anise, pounded
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tomatoes, chopped
200g sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed
7 dried chili, pounded
3tbs vegetable oil
Heat the oil and saute all the pounded ingredients together until aromatic. Add in the beef stock, beef cubes and chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 3 minutes. Thicken the gravy with the mashed sweet potatoes and season well with salt.
To serve, put a portion of the noodles into a plate. Ladle in enough gravy to half cover the noodles (or as much as you desire!) plus a few pieces of the beef. Arrange the garnishes on top; some fried tofu cubes, a bit of bean sprouts, one quarter boiled egg, some pieces of chili, a scattering of parsley, scallions and shallot crisps and half kalamansi lime.