Mie Aceh (mie is the word for noodle, Aceh is the region), another Indonesian noodle dishes that I wasn’t grew up with. I first got introduced to Mie Aceh around my university era in Bogor (West Java).
Aceh is the very northern Indonesia province on Sumatra. Curry and coconut milk base foods are flavouring this region. As many other dishes in Aceh, this Mie Aceh has a heavy influence of Indian and Middle East spices.
Mie Aceh is like the western way of Chinese takeaway chow mein with slices of beef, goat meat or seafood (crab, shrimp and/or squid). Beside the protein choices, Mie Aceh are also available in two variations; Mie Aceh Goreng (stir fried) and Mie Aceh Kuah (soupy or gravy). Using thick yellow noodles (or known Shanghai noodle in Canada), this dish is cooked in rich and spicy curry spices that given a kick up the bum with some fiery chili. It is garnished with fried shallot sprinkles and served with emping, slices of shallots, cucumber, and a slice of key lime or calamansi.
This time, I made the kepiting (crab) version with a bit of gravy. Also, I keep this version a pesco vegetarian. A bit disappointment that I don’t have melinjo crackers this time to company my mie aceh. So, I substituted for cassava crackers. Beside sambal, Indonesians love to eat almost everything with kerupuk/krupuk (crackers).
Mie Kepiting Aceh
– Aceh Crab Noodle –
500 g shanghai noodle
600 mL homemade seafood broth (can be substituted for clam juice)
150 g medium-sized shrimps, peeled and deveined, keep the tail intact
1 dungeness crab (1 kg or 2 lbs)
100 g (1 cup) bean sprouts
100 g (1 cup) shredded cabbage
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tablespoons kecap manis
1 medium tomato, diced
2 stalks Chinese celery, chopped and separated into two parts
1 green onion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon curry powder
seasalt and ground white pepper to taste
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Spices to be ground or pounded:
5 shallots (double up the amount if your shallots are small)
2 tablespoons garlic ginger paste
8 long red cayenne pepper*
3 bird eyes chilies*
4 cm long turmeric, peeled
8 green cardamom pods
1/4 teaspoon poppy seed (Indonesian: kas kas, Hindi: khus khus)
1 teaspons cumin, toasted
1/2 teaspoon aniseed (adas manis), toasted
2 teaspoons coriander, toasted
1. Clean and cut the crab into pieces. Save the green and juicy stuff.
2. With a mortar and pestle or food processor, pound/grind the spices.
3. Heat up your wok and add cooking oil. Stir fry shallot slices and the spice paste until you can smell their aroma.
4. Add the crab and 250 mL (1/2 cup) of seafood broth. Do a quick stir. Cover the wok with its cover for 2 minutes depend how big is your crab pieces. Continue stirring for about 2 minutes or until all crab pieces turned red.
5. Take the crab out of the wok. Add shrimp to the wok; stir. Add the green and juicy stuff from the shell and stir well.
6. Add the rest of the seafood broth, a half portion of Chinese celery chopped, green onions, curry powder, groud white pepper and seasalt. Stir.
7. Add noodle, kecap manis, tomato, cabbage, and bean sprouts. Combine.
8. Put the crab back to the noodle mixture. Sprinkle the rest of Chinese celery chopped. Toss one more time before serving.
9. Transfer to the plate. Sprinkle with fried shallot. Serve with acar timun, melinjo crackers and slices of lime. Eat while it’s still hot. Don’t forget to squeeze the lime over. Selamat Makan!
* The amount of chilies can be reduced or added as your palate suitable.
** Kas kas is common to be used in Aceh and Malay culinary.