Monday, 23 January 2012

Not Singapore Fried Noodles

Singaporeans will tell you that the popular takeaway classic, Singapore fried noodles, is not from their homeland. It's one of those dishes that popped up and got popular, and people are baffled (or enraged...) as to how they got that name. But you know, whatever, as the premise of it is actually quite delicious. When made at home, stir-fried rice vermicelli with a hint of curry spice and lots of crunchy vegetables was pretty damn good, and far away from the greasy neon yellow takeaway version.

It is Chinese New Year, a time traditionally to eat noodles as the strands symbolise longevity so don't go cutting them with scissors. This was a bit of a fridge wonder as most vegetables you've got lurking would work well so don't feel you have to follow the below exactly. Things like green beans need a bit of a blanch beforehand to lose the rawness. Doused in a chilli oil and freshened up with coriander and spring onions, this made a damn fine brunch to bring the year of the dragon in with. Just don't serve it to a Singaporean. Gung hei fat choi!

Not Singapore Fried Noodles

Serves two

150gr cooked rice vermicelli, left to go cold
A handful of green or bobby beans, blanched
One yellow pepper, sliced thinly
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 an onion, sliced into half moons
Some cabbage, or curly kale shredded
A handful of beansprouts
1 heaped tsp medium curry powder
2 tbsp light soy sauce
A splash of dark soy
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1" ginger, minced
1 green chilli, chopped
A handful of raw prawns
5 tofu puffs, sliced in half (optional, but great for texture)
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Chilli oil to serve
1 spring onion, sliced on the diagonal
A handful of coriander, chopped

Heat the oil in the wok and add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Stir fry till fragrant and then add the carrot and pepper and onion. Add the bobby beans and stir fry, then adding the curry powder. Mix well then throw in the noodles and the rest of the ingredients except the spring onion and coriander garnish. Stir fry on a high heat for a couple of minutes until the prawns turn pink, then add the spring onion and coriander. Serve immediately.


J@feasttotheworld said...

Haha! So true. I think the dish actually originate from Hong Kong rather than Singapore. I grew up in Singapore but I don'r recall having this dish anywhere else other than in Malaysia. In fact, it is more widely available in Malaysia than in Singapore itself as far as I can remember. I think it's due to the addition of curry powder which is of a malay influence and mixing that with a typical chinese-style stir fry. This amalgamation is kind of what singapore food is all about, given the multi-racial nation. Also, it's normally made with Char Siu (BBQ Pork) and also turmeric which gives it a glorious yellow colour.
A lovely dish nonetheless :) Happy New year!

Mr Noodles said...

Singapore noodles is a guilty pleasure of mine! I love them even though they were, as J points out, invented in HK.

Kung Hei Fat Choi! All the best for the Year of the Dragon!

The Greedy Fork said...

I've been looking for a good noodle dish to cook, looks great.

Hollow Legs said...

J - Yep, definitely not Singaporean! In my research I've heard it's because of the addition of spice that people called it that. I've had it with char siu, prawns, leftover chicken, allsorts.

Mr Noodles - Me too. Wong Kei does a gloriously greasy version. Kung hei fat choi to you too :)

Gary - thanks!

German said...

Fantastic dish, i just was looking for a great vermicelli recipes to try.

Paul said...

Made this last night, used some pork as well as prawns which worked pretty well :D kung hei fat choi!

Shu Han said...

haha i'm from singapore and the first time I heard of singapore noodles was when i came over to the uk o.0 that said, we do enjoy fried rice vermicelli a lot, in many more forms than this!

tip for rice vermicelli, either soak it in cold water for about 1 h, or do a quick blanch in boiling water then drain cover and let steam. Either way, while cooking, add about a ladle of stock or water and seasonings before adding the half-raw noodles and let it soak up all the flavours and reach this perfect stage of cookedness without clumping together ;) second way is better, faster and gives springier loose noodles.

oh wait but i see you got fresh cooked rice vermicelli! ooh, where from!!

The Grubworm said...

It sounds - and sorry for lowering the tone - a bit like the old fashioned names for syphilis - in England it was called the Spanish Pox, whereas in France it was called the Italian Pox, the Russians called it the Polish Pox etc ;)

UNLIKE all the aforementioned, this looks pretty damn tasty. Would the addition of egg be totally beyond the pale do you think?

Hollow Legs said...

German - pleased to be of service!

Paul - yes, pork or chicken would work well too.

Shu Han - It was cooked and leftover from another meal I'd made. Great tips though, thanks! ]

Grubworm - Always lowering the tone, you ;) An egg would be excellent, either stir-fried in or served fried, on top.

Corina said...

My husband has been asking me to make these for years and I've never got around to it. Your recipes looks so easy I shouldn't have any excuse now!

Leni and Mimi said...

MMMMM this looks good! Great Blog! Definitely a favourite!