Bihun Sup (Rice Vermicelli in Spicy Beef Soup)

The beef soup is laden with spices. The beef broth contains pounded fennel seed, cumin seed, black pepper, and coriander seeds.

To complete the taste, eat with bird’s eye chilli and soy sauce. Known as Sambal Kicap or spicy-sweet soy sauce. 

Bihun Sup Rice Vermicelli in Spicy Beef Soup Noodles
Bihun Sup with sambal kicap.

This Bihun Sup is popular in the northern state of Peninsular Malaysia and is fondly known as Bihun Sup Utara.

The special feature about this vermicelli is that it is soaked with turmeric powder giving it a natural yellow colour.

Commonly sold at food stalls or hawker centres.

This is one of the favourite meals among travellers as the owner of the stall usually prepared the beef broth earlier.

They cooked the beef broth in the large pot early in the morning. 

The beef is then separated from the broth and placed on a tray after being cooked. 

When it is time to serve, they will put sliced beef on top of the yellow vermicelli and pour the soup garnished with chopped soup leaves and spring onions. 

Recipe Bihun Sup 

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serving size: 4 bowl

Ingredients for Yellow Vermicelli

  • 275g vermicelli 
  • 3 teaspoons of turmeric powder 
  • Plain water 
  • Boiling water 


Soaked the vermicelli with turmeric powder in plain water for one hour. Do not cook the vermicelli on the kitchen stove as the vermicelli will dissolve and destroy eventually cannot be used.

After one hour, the turmeric will be absorbed inside the vermicelli and change the colour from white to yellow. Then, discard the water and place the yellow vermicelli in a bowl. 

Prepared boil water and pour the boiling water in the bowl containing yellow vermicelli. Soaked it for five minutes. 

After, five minutes remove the water. The yellow noodles are ready to be served with the beef broth. 

Here are the ingredients and instructions to prepare the beef broth.

Ingredients for Beef Broth 

  • 300g beef 
  • 17 shallots
  • 4 garlic 
  • 4 litres of water 
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • ½ teaspoon clove 
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala 
  • 3 tablespoon soup powder 
  • 3 teaspoon salts

Instructions for making Beef Broth 

In a pot boil the beef in 1500ml of water for 30 minutes.

After that, placed the pounded shallots, garlic, fennel seed, cumin seed, black pepper, white pepper and coriander seeds. 

Break the cinnamon stick into pieces and add in the clove. 

As the broth is boiling, add an additional 1500ml of water. 

Add garam masala, soup powder and salts. 

Let it boil for another 45 minutes.

Add the remaining one litre water. Then boiled for another additional 15 minutes.

The beef will become tender after one hour and 30 minutes of boiling.

The beef soup is now ready to be eaten with yellow vermicelli.  

Our way of eating the bihun sup

This Bihun Sup is delicious to be eaten with its own red chilli sambal. 

However, I make my own version of sambal kicap using birds eye chilli, garlic and sweet soy sauce. 

I love to say that the sweetness from the soy sauce and the hot taste from the chilli make the soup taste more delicious. 

The sambal is optional. Usually, it is prepared in a small bowl and you can add the quantity according to your own preferences. 

We, as Malaysians like to eat spicy food. Thus, the sambal is considered a must-have condiment in our cooking. 😊 

It adds a kick to the already spicy soup. 

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