Singapore noodles are one of those classic Asian dishes which is colorful and packed full of flavors. There’s just one problem – the dish isn’t from Singapore, and you would be hard pressed to even find it there. Notwithstanding its imposter status, it is a very popular dish here in the U.S. when ordering Chinese take-out, which may explain its origins. A good friend who has spent a lot of time in China and Hong Kong thinks it may have come over from Hong Kong, given that it is readily found there.
Singapore noodles is a dish that requires a lot of ingredients and some prep work, but the effort IMHO is worth it. It’s a dish that bursts with flavor from the bold earthy flavor of the curry, to the spicy heat of the chilies and the savory sweetness of the char siu chicken or pork. It is also a great dish you can make in large quantities and save the leftovers for another meal or two.
Feel free to substitute some of the veggies for whatever you may have on hand or desire. I use celery because I often have it in the fridge, but you could use bean sprouts instead. Have some green bell peppers? Use that as well. Cilantro? Chop it up and add if you wish. Most of all though, enjoy making it and enjoy the leftovers the next day. The flavors just get better!
- 8 ounces (2 bundles) rice vermicelli
- 4 ounces char siu chicken (or pork), grilled and cut into strips
- 4 ounces small shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 ounces tofu, cubed into 1/2″ pieces
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2-3 Tbsp. canola oil
- 3 Tbsp. curry powder
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- 1 dash (3-fingered pinch) kosher salt, for the eggs
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and julienned
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 large celery stalk, julienned
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 2 baby bok choy, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 green onions, diagonally sliced
- lime juice from 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
- Because everything cooks quickly, the first step is really all about prep. Have the spices and ingredients ready much like an assembly line. Mince the garlic and ginger, julienne the red pepper, carrots and celery, chop the shallots, finely chop the jalapeno, roughly chop the bok choy, separate bulb from leaves and diagonally slice the scallions.
- Bring 1 1/2 quarts water to a boil, cut the dried noodles in half and soak for about 3 minutes. Drain noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside in a bowl.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of oil and heat until it just begins to shimmer, then add curry powder and cayenne pepper, stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour spice mixture into noodles, mix well and set aside.
- Return skillet to stove, add a tablespoon of oil, then add minced garlic and ginger, cook, stirring constantly until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add shrimp (if using larger shrimp, cut into bite-sized pieces) in even layer and cook for about 60 seconds, stir and cook for about 60 seconds more, or until the shrimp are translucent. Turn heat to medium-low and move shrimp to the edges of the skillet. Add more oil if needed and pour beaten eggs into the center of the skillet, add a dash or two of salt and scramble until just set. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Turn heat back to medium-high, add more oil if needed and add shallots, jalapeno, julienned vegetables and chopped bok choy bulb to the skillet, cook about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside with shrimp and scrambled eggs.
- Return skillet to stove and add noodles and chicken stock, cook until liquid has been reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Add back shrimp, eggs, sautéed vegetables, chopped bok choy leaves, green onions and lime juice. Stir and cook for one minute. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed – more fish sauce in place of salt and crushed red pepper for heat if desired.
- Transfer to a large serving bowl and serve immediately, garnish plates with lime wedges.