Singapore Noodles

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

I had these at a restaurant in DC once and then shortly thereafter ran across the recipe in a cookbook I have by Nina Simonds called Asian Noodles. There are actually two almost identical recipes in the book, one just vegetable and one with shrimp. This time around I made the vegetable version.

I go through phases where I really like curry for a while then can’t stand it for a while. This is one of the things I make when I’m in the like-it phase because it’s easy and definitely gives you a curry fix. (If you don’t like curry powder, you can just stop reading right now; it’s not an optional ingredient in this recipe.)

One of the reasons I like this recipe is because I can never get my stir-fry sauce to turn out quite the way it does at a restaurant, and this one doesn’t have a cornstarch sauce that needs to thicken, so you don’t feel like you did something wrong when you’re eating it. Also it’s quick and flexible.

I think all the other times I’ve made it, I’ve used slightly thicker rice noodles, but this time I used the vermicelli that the recipe calls for. I think it would be good with pretty much any thickness of rice noodle. Also I’m pretty loose with what vegetables I use. I picked up some bok choy and a red pepper, so I used those, then added carrots, because I always put carrots in my stir fries, they’re cheap and good and pretty, and also bamboo shoots because I had them. This meant that I ended up with a lot of Singapore noodles, which I was worried about finishing before getting sick of them, but then I ate a lot of Singapore noodles so it turned out fine.

Okay enough with the background, here’s the original recipe, as printed. Feel free to adjust as much or as little as you like.

Singapore Noodles
from Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds

1-1/2 tablespoons oil

Curry Seasonings
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder, preferably Madras

2-1/2 cups very thinly sliced red onions
2 cups thinly sliced red bell peppers
4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage

Basic Chinese Sauce
Mix together
1/4 cup chicken broth [or vegetable broth or water]
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 pound thin rice stick noodles (vermicelli), softened in hot water and drained

1. Heat a wok or a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the oil and heat until very hot, about 30 seconds. Add the curry seasonings and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the red onions and stir-fry for about 1 minute, until barely tender. Add the red peppers and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the cabbage and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until all are crisp-tender.

2. Add the basic Chinese sauce and the noodles, and carefully toss to mix. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot or at room temperature.

3 Responses to “Singapore Noodles”

  1. fivecats Says:

    In the Good Eats episode where my personal food hero, Alton Brown, discussed wok cooking, he pointed out that the problem with most attempts at wok cookery is that the wok simply is not hot enough. If you go to a Chinese restaurant and look at the flames they’re using, they’re industrial kitchen grade intense. That, I think, is the only way you’re going to get the oil “very hot, [in] about 30 seconds.”

    On the episode of Good Eats, Alton dismisses the average home gas powered range and goes outside and sets up a propane tank.

    (I tried this once with the metal stand I have for brewing beer — the gallon or two of wort needs to be raised to a specific temperature and a long-ago overspillage inside has forever had me banished to the outside for brewing by bonn. The HIGH flames and heat from the propane tank made a big difference.)

    This sounds good enough to tweak and try. Thanks for the recipe!

    — Tom

  2. lessisenough Says:

    I have a c. 1959 electric stove in my kitchen. The burner gets pretty hot but you have limited control over it. Maybe I should try cooking on the burner of the woodstove when it’s all fired up? That gets HOT.

  3. […] also came across three recipes that I haven’t yet tried: from Less is Enough, Singapore Noodles; from Meet the Shannons, Fettuccini with Wild Mushrooms and Artichoke Hearts (yuuuuuuuuuum); and […]

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