Friday, October 3, 2008

Singapore Noodles

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!

Singapore Noodles

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.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, this looks amazing. And you're getting me in the mood to bake bread, just a soon as I have a pocket of time.

Anonymous said...

Jack, my son, love noodles too. He would love this I think. Quick story: When I was in Singapore the thing I remember is my mom brought home chickens to cook with the heads still attached! Made me laugh!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Candy, did she have to dress the chickens or were they just hung with head and feet intact? Not a lot gets wasted, as you know from time spent time there. I still think about chicken feet for breakfast. The operative word is think! In the interest of cultural relations I ate my share, but must admit I never acquired a lasting taste for them and will leave it to others to carry that cross into battle.

Allie said...

What a wonderful looking meal. I would eat pasta every meal if I could!

Tina said...

Yum! Pretty photos too!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Tina, this can also be a great meatless meal. I so glad you stopped by.

Tastes of Home said...

ahh I love Singapore noodles! and yours look so yummy :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

TOH - I'm so glad you're back! It must be hard to be so far away from family and home. Hugs....Mary

Oh, I almost forgot; much excitement here....we'll be going to Southeast Asia in February - Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. So, even at my age dreams can come true. One of mine has always been to see Angkor Wat. It's going to happen!

Jenny said...

What beautiful noodles Mary! Talk about delish! I'll have to make this soon! Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of Rice noodles, mung bean noodles, or even the konyaku noodles, you can do so much with them and not many calories to their friend "pasta"

Nice Dish Mary = )

free online adventure games said...

You know, I live in Singapore and all these years I've wondered what the real Singapore noodles is whenever people from overseas ask me. I think it's something I find only when I'm outside of Singapore in other countries, and often in different variations of the dish. Back in Singapore, probably the closest dish (in name) that is a "Singapore noodle" is a simple fried noodle (maifun) dish found in eateries selling Chinese home-styled dishes cooked to order. But without curry powder! Haha this would be an interesting recipe to try.

JMS~JOY in the arts! said...

Thank you for admitting to the same "affliction" I suffer (Joyously) from. I hoard noodles too. Whenever I find something new, I just have to have that, plus an extra pkg or two in case I can't find them again. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE "Three Sisters" brand rice noodles in all their sizes (S,M, L, XL!) They make the most yummy spaghetti. (I am allegioc to gluten) I have the Shiritake ones, the mung bean ones, but tend toward the most skinny and linguine styles. My most recent finds are "RP's" brand Wheat (gluten) Free Spinach Noodles. I make sauteed ground lamb and red peppers, then mix in half a pkg of these, cut into 1" lengths. (They are like very dense and "voluptuous" dumplings) Then I throw a handful of Galaxy brand Rice Mozzarella Shreds on top and YUMM!!!

Nice to know I am not alone in the noodle-hoarding club!

Thank you for confessing, and for your yummy recipes!


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