Well, time to get back on the saddle again after a long break. It’s been so long I almost feel like I’ve forgotten how to write a blog post! Well, the good news is that I pretty much just make it up as I go along anyway, so I guess there’s not much to forget after all. Here it goes…
Today we’re making Spicy Stir-Fried Singapore Noodles. One of my 2 year old’s favorite jokes is “Singapore Noodles Sing”. She has numerous others too, including “Porcupines eat pork” and “Triangles say ‘Good Try'” – all of which she made up on her own.
Anyhow, have you tried Singapore Noodles before? They’re spicy, with a heavy dose of curry powder and filled with goodies like shrimp and pork or sausage. I’m not sure how authentic “Singaporean” they are, as my husband says he never saw anything like them when he spent a bit of time in Singapore several years ago. I’ve had them several times at Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants, but I’ve only recently conquered them at home. If you’re fairly new to stir-frying, one of the most important things to remember is that you absolutely NEED to have ALL of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you even turn on the heat. Yes, I know that is something they teach in home ec in Jr. High, but if you’re like me, sometimes you probably cheat a little and frantically cut up your veggies while the meat is browning for 8-10 minutes. Not the case with stir-frying. You’re working with very high heat, and the cooking part goes extremely quickly. Like 10-30 seconds between the addition of ingredients in some cases. So you can see why everything needs to be ready to go. Having a good hood fan is a good thing too, because things can get a little smoky.
The first step (after all your chopping is done) to making these noodles is making a thin omelet that will be sliced up and tossed in with the noodles at the end. Of course, if you’re not an egg person, you can omit this step, but I think it adds a lot to the dish in terms of flavor and extra protein.
Also, while you’re chopping and or cooking your eggs, you can be soaking your noodles. If your rice vermicelli package has English instructions, certainly follow those. Mine didn’t, so I improvised by soaking them in hot (not boiling) water for 5-10 minutes. You’re going for al dente here. If the noodles get too soft, they will turn into mush in the wok.
Now for the stir-frying. If you don’t already have a wok, you should definitely consider buying one if you plan to do a lot of stir-frying. You can get them for really cheap too – you definitely don’t need a high end one. You’ll want to heat the oil over high heat – I mean as high as your stove goes. Watch for it to just start smoking, then quickly toss in the shrimp and stir them around. Immediately add the carrots, cabbage, sausage, shallot and dried peppers. Stir it around for about 30 seconds then add the curry and stir to incorporate.
Then add the noodles, salt and cooking wine. Stir it until the curry is completely incorporated. It takes quite a bit of stirring. Now just toss in your eggs, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper and you’re done. The spiciness of the noodles can be controlled by how much and/or the type of dried chili pepper you add, and how much/if you add the white pepper. The curry powder itself doesn’t have that much heat, but of course if you want a milder flavor you can always cut back.
- 10-12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, patted dry
- 1/2 package rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp canola oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups shredded Napa cabbage (see note)
- 2 carrots, juliennned
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 3 dried red chili peppers, cut or broken into small pieces or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 small Chinese Sausages, julienned, or 1/2 cup julienned Chinese BBQ pork (see note)
- 1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- Pinch of white pepper
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- Soak noodles in hot (not boiling) water for 5-10 minutes or according to directions on package. You want them to be al dente, not soft. Cut or tear into shorter lengths (around 6") if desired to make stir frying and eating easier.
- Heat 1 tsp of the canola oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour eggs into the skillet and do not stir. Cook until the top of the omelet is no longer runny. Transfer omelet to a cutting board and cut into thin strips. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining canola oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the shrimp and stir fry for 10 seconds. Add the carrots, cabbage, shallot and dried peppers and stir fry for 30 more seconds. Sprinkle the curry powder over everything and stir.
- Add the rice noodles, salt and cooking wine and stir until the curry powder is completely incorporated, ensuring to scrape the bottom of the wok.
- Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, white pepper, scallion and egg and stir until incorporated. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- If you can't find Napa cabbage, regular green cabbage can be used alternatively
- Chinese sausages are available in Asian markets. They are small dry sausages, and they may or may not be found in the refrigerator.