When we talk about the culinary world of Palembang, the word “Pempek” (fried fishcake) would obviously spring to mind first. The capital city of Sumatra Selatan is also home to the likes of Model (tofu in fishcake dough), Lenggang (omelette with sliced fishcake), and Tekwan (chopped fishcake soup). For a bit of soup to their diet, the locals would love nothing more than a refreshing bowl of Pindang Patin (sweet-and-sour catfish soup).
However, try visiting a shop that specialises in authentic Palembang food and you will come across a dish that you may have heard of before: Mi Celor (noodles in coconut milk and shrimp broth). A few people who are not in the know when it comes to this treat would be forgiven for assuming that the word “celor” is another way of saying “telor” (“egg”). And especially considering that eggs are part of the ingredients, one has grounds to make such a conclusion. Yet the true meaning of “celor” is not what most people think it is.
The word “celor” – or “celur” – means “seduh”, which roughly translates as “brew” in the English language. Compared to most noodle dishes from other parts of the country, such as Mie Jawa (Javanese noodle soups), the noodles in Mie Celor are not boiled along with its broth – they are washed down instead. The size of the noodles has more resemblance to Japanese udon – thick and large – than your regular small and thin Indonesian noodles. This is why a portion of Mie Celor tends to be smaller in proportions.
Rich in Flavour
Its soup is uniquely made from shrimp stock, which can either be in the form of ebi (dried shrimp) or freshly boiled shrimp with added coconut milk. This process produces a broth that is flavourful, savoury, and white-yellowish in colour. Compared to other topping-heavy noodles, Mie Celor is only served with bean sprouts, a boiled egg, and a sprinkle of fried shallots. The magical combination between the broth and the noodles, though, is enough to provide a remarkable sensation to our palates.
For those who would like to have a go at this treat, drop by Mie Celor 26 Ilir HM Syafei Z if you ever find yourself in Palembang or just head on over to Martabak Kari H. Abdoel Razak on Jalan Biak, Roxy in Jakarta. Enjoy!