I hoard noodles. They're tucked, unashamedly, into the nooks and crannies of my fridge and pantry. Made from rice, mung bean, wheat and occasionally sweet potato, they come in all sizes and shapes and can be flavored with an endless assortment of ingredients. They are quick to prepare and budget friendly; some types are exotic, but most are simple and can be tailored to your taste. Starting with the more familiar flavors of Hong Kong (Canton), Shanghai and Singapore and then proceeding westward to the fiery, exquisitely balanced flavors of Sichuan, there is a world of flavor waiting for you. Curry is associated with the Singapore school of cooking and because this dish contains curry powder - voila! - you have Singapore noodles. I must tell you that I never had these noodles in Singapore; I tried but they just weren't available in the places where I ate. My first taste of Singapore noodles was in Guilin, at a stand hastily assembled by a stick stick man who carried his utensils, ingredients and stove on a pole hung across his shoulders. This is an introductory recipe and I've tried to keep the heat under control. I use a small amount of a mild curry powder, but feel free to improvise! If you love fire, move immediately to the hottest curry powder you can find. While land-locked areas of China use pork or tofu in this dish, I prefer to use shrimp or a combination of shrimp and Chinese barbecued pork. If you like curry, you like this dish. Slurp away - it really is permitted!
1 (6.75-oz.) bag maifun rice stick noodles
2 quarts boiling water
1/2 cup concentrated chicken broth, undiluted
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
1-1/2 tablespoons minced chopped garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 cups thinly sliced red bell peppers
2 cups thinly sliced green bell peppers
1 to 2 cups finely shredded carrots
2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage or broccoli slaw
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
3 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1) Cover noodles with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain.
2) Combine chicken stock, tamari, salt, sugar and pepper in a small bowl. Place shrimp in another small bowl; toss with half the sauce. Marinate for 30 minutes. Reserve remainder of sauce to finish noodles.
3) Heat 1-1/2 tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet until hot but not smoking. Add shrimp and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, or until shrimp are pink. Transfer to a plate.
4) Heat remainder of oil in the wok until it begins to smoke. Remove from heat; add garlic, ginger and curry powder to wok and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Return wok to high heat; add onions and stir-fry until limp. Add pepper, red and green, carrots, Napa cabbage and wine. Stir-fry until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
5) Add shrimp, noodles, beansprouts and reserved sauce to wok; cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to a platter. Yield: 6 servings.