If you frequent Mamaks, you might be familiar with the herby soup noodle dish—Soto Ayam. Due to sharing the word Soto, it is understandable that you might have thought the Mee Soto and Soto Ayam mean the same. These two dishes do share some similarities in terms of its composition—both consisting of soup and noodles. Other than that, however, the ingredients differ significantly. As the name suggests, Soto Ayam is topped with shredded chicken, but for Mee Soto, it is topped with beef instead.
Not sure what Mee Soto is like? Then imagine this. A warm tangy soup with the flavour of lime and vinegar poured generously over chewy egg noodles and topped with vegetables, beef, and slices of risol (spring rolls with crunchy bihun). The composition of this dish may differ depending on the store, each having their unique variation of the broth. Even then, most would probably agree that the perfect soup would consist of lime juice, sambal, fried shallot, vinegar, sweet soy sauce, and emping.
Origin of Mee Soto
Originating from the West Java region of Indonesia, this noodle dish is a well-loved street food amongst the locals. A travelling “gerobak” (cart vendor) can easily be identified by their Mee Soto Bogor cart which has ingredients lined neatly on its window. Traditionally, this Indonesian delight has beef or cow’s trotters on top. However, a liking for beef offal is an acquired taste, and not many are a fan of it; therefore, it is often replaced with beef meat. This split in opinion over the cow’s trotters may be what triggered the creation of the Jakarta version of Mee Soto, which is topped with beef meat instead of trotters.
Now that you have an idea of what Mee Soto is let’s move on to cooking!
Mee Soto Recipe
To keep this recipe simple, we would be replacing beef offal with beef slices as it is challenging to acquire them from the supermarket. Besides that, we would also be using premade or frozen spring rolls to save your time as making spring rolls from scratch may consume a lot of your time and effort.
4 bundles of egg noodles
1 sheet of rice vermicelli
500 grams of beef meat
1200 ml of beef broth
1 large shallot (quartered)
4 cloves of garlic (halved)
½ tablespoons of sambal oelek
¼ turmeric powder
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 lemongrass (smash the white part and discard the green part)
3 bay leaves
1 ginger (sliced)
1 teaspoon of salt (adjusted to taste)
A pinch of black pepper (tailored to taste)
1 teaspoon of sugar (adjusted to your liking)
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tomatoes (diced)
1 cup of sliced cabbage
1 green onion (sliced)
3 or 4 risol bihun
- Start by cooking the rice vermicelli. Cook the vermicelli according to the package. Once it is cooked, drain it and rinse it with cold water until it is cool to the touch (to make sure it does not stick with each other). Then, leave the vermicelli on a colander for 10 to 15 minutes to remove excess water.
- Next, cook the egg noodles according to the package as well. Similar to the vermicelli, once it is cooked, drain them and rinse with cold water. Leave these noodles for 10-15 minutes too and set it aside.
- Moving on to the broth. In a pot, place the beef and pour beef stock on top of that. Heat the pot over medium heat and let it simmer until the meat is fully cooked. Then, using tongs, remove the beef and set it aside to let it cool. As for the leftover soup, strain it with a fine-mesh strainer to remove the foam from the broth. Set the strained broth aside. Then, slice the meat into bite sizes.
- To make the paste, place shallots, garlic, sambal oelek, and turmeric powder into the food processor. Blend the mixture until it has a smooth paste-like consistency.
- After that, get another pot and add two tablespoons of vegetable on it. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the spice paste, bay leaves, lemongrass, and ginger. Sauté the mixture until it becomes fragrant while also checking that the shallots are cooked. Then, slowly add the soup broth into the pot and add salt, sugar, and pepper according to taste.
- Then, bring the pot to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Then, add tomato and cabbage and let the broth simmer for another 1-2 minutes. When that is done, remove the pot from the heat and discard lemongrass, bay leaves and ginger.
- Finally, onto serving the dish. First, divide the noodles and vermicelli into four bowls then add broth over it. Then, top the bowl with tomato, cabbage, green onions, risol bihun and a lime wedge. Lastly, give your bowl a good stir, and your Mee Soto is ready to be served!
Ways to Enjoy Mee Soto
As this dish is best when it’s hot, you should consume your dish immediately after serving. If you think that the dish is still not spicy enough for you, you could accompany the meal with a simple sambal mixture, combining sambal oelek with sweet soy sauce.
Explore other popular Malaysian delights with Lokataste Recipe and more!