Mie Aceh gained its popularity during my time when I was a university student in Bogor back in 1996. Mie is an Indonesian word for noodle meanwhile Aceh is the very west province of Indonesia. It’s located on the west tip of Sumatra island. So the perfect translation for this Mie Aceh is Aceh curry noodles.
Aceh food is heavily spices up by many ingredients that are made up into Curry base. Just like most other provinces in Sumatra, coconut milk base foods are also flavouring this region. Unlike other mie in Java island, Mie Aceh is used many different 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, Acar Bawang (shallot pickle), and a slice of key lime or calamansi.
Crab and shrimp will be used for my version of Mie Aceh. Make sure you eat it while it’s still hot. Don’t forget emping melinjo (Gnetum gnemon) crackers, acar bawang Aceh (shallot pickle) and slices of leprous lime/nasnaran mandarin (jeruk sambal), key lime or calamansi (jeruk kesturi).
- 454 grams (1 lb) fresh shanghai noodle
- 680 grams ( 1 1/2 lbs) blue crabs
- 150 g medium-sized shrimps, peeled and deveined, keep the tail intact
- 100 g (1 cup) bean sprouts
- 100 g (1 cup) shredded Taiwan cabbage
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon curry powder (I used Padang meat curry)
- 2 tablespoons kecap manis
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 2 stalks Chinese celery, chopped and separated into two parts
- 1 green onion, finely sliced
- seasalt to taste
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil
Spices to be ground or pounded:
- 5 shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 candlenut
- 1 tablespoon roasted/fried peanuts
- 5 ring of fire peppers (cabe merah keriting)*
- 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed, toasted
- 1/4 teaspons cumin seed, toasted
- 1/4 teaspoon aniseed (adas manis), toasted
- 1 cardamom seed
- 1/4 teaspoon white peppercorn
- 1/4 teaspoon poppy seed (Indonesian: kas kas, Hindi: khus khus)
- nutmeg, grated and take a pinch of it
- sea salt to taste
- Melinjo (Gnetum gnemon) Crackers
- Acar Bawang (Shallot Pickle)
- Slices of Leprous Lime/Nasnaran Mandarin (jeruk sambal), Key Lime or Calamansi (jeruk kesturi)
- Clean and cut the crab into pieces. Save the green and juicy stuff.
- With a mortar and pestle or food processor, pound/grind the spices.
- Heat up your wok and add cooking oil. Stir fry shallot slices and the spice paste until fragrant.
- Add the crab and 125 mL (1/2 cup) of shrimp 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.
- 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.
- Add a half portion of Chinese celery chopped, green onions, and curry powder
- Add noodle, kecap manis, tomato, cabbage, and bean sprouts. Combine.
- Put the crab back to the noodle mixture. Sprinkle the rest of Chinese celery chopped. Toss one more time before serving.
- Transfer to the plate. Sprinkle with fried shallot. Serve with acar bawang, melinjo crackers and slices of lime. Eat while it's still hot. Don't forget to squeeze the lime over. Selamat Makan!
- Padang meat curry powder contains coriander, turmeric, paprika, cumin, cardamom, galangal, chili pepper, star anise, aniseed, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, Indonesian bay leaves and lemongrass.
If you use a different curry powder make sure, the mix contains star anise, cloves and cinnamon. Or else skip the curry powder just add 1/4 star anise, 1 cloves, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon individually.
- Instead of using seafood, you can use beef, goat or chicken. Change the broth to any kinds of broth of your preference.
- Kas kas is common to be used in Aceh and Malay culinary.