Singapore (curry) rice noodles

Besides chocolate, I have an extreme weakness (or should I say, fondness) for pasta and noodle dishes.  I'm still trying to get over the fact that a mere two ounces is considered a proper portion!  Although I do practice portion control these days (ignorance - and youth - was bliss), I'd go with Nigella and say that 4-ounces seems to be a more realistic parameter, particularly if it's being treated as a main course.
I adore all kinds of Italian pasta dishes and I also love Asian noodles - whether in soup or stir-fry form.  This Singapore rice noodle is one of my (many) favorites, something I crave and order often from Chinese restaurants.  The beauty of the dish is there's plenty of room to bulk up with add-ins (from vegetables like onions and peppers to different types of protein) if you are looking to stick to that framework of 2-ounces of noodles per person.

Singapore rice noodles is essentially just curry rice noodles.  From what I hear, it's not an authentic Singaporean dish at all but a Chinese/Cantonese invention.  Aside from being delicious, it may have been created as a way to repurpose leftovers because you can largely throw in leftovers or what you happen to have in the refrigerator to make this stir-fry. 
You'll often find sliced onions, peppers, and scallions in Singapore rice noodles, along with eggs, chicken, shrimp and/or roast pork and ham. The flavor (and golden color) comes from curry powder and aromatics like ginger and garlic, along with pantry items like soy sauce and a maybe a dash of vinegar or fish sauce to round things out.
Shrimp, chicken, eggs, and ham - some of the ingredients I added to my Singapore noodles
It dawned on me one day while browsing around Penzys Spices that I could make this dish at home.  I bought a jar of sweet curry powder (I've since "graduated" to hot curry powder for when we want a little more heat), which became the impetus for making this dish.  Another way to save on take-out!  And this dish isn't difficult to make - you need to be generous with the curry powder and because of the various ingredients you're likely to add, mise en place is essential before the actual stir-fry takes place. 

This recipe makes a big portion thanks to all the add-ins I like to throw in.  The good news is this dish is ideal for leftovers!  The curry flavor deepens and melds into all the ingredients.  It is super tasty, very flavorful, reheated a day or two after!

I looked at a bunch of recipes on line and cobbled this one together from what I learned.  Though I am Chinese, I am certainly not a very authentic Chinese home cook (I don't even use a wok!) so this is my imprecise interpretation.

Essentially, I think it's important to incorporate curry powder in each of the ingredients and make sure to add plenty to the noodles for maximum flavor.  Adjust the amount of curry you use depending on how intense it is.

Start with 8 ounces of rice noodles.  I love thin rice, or vermicelli, noodles.  Cook them according to package instructions.  For me, that meant dropping them in boiling water for about 2 minutes and then draining and rinsing under cold water.  You don't want to cook the noodles too long because it can get mushy (remember, we will stir-fry it later) but I also don't like the noodles too al dente here.  They should be soft when done.
Decide on the add-ins you'll be using.  I went with onions, eggs, chicken, shrimp, and a little bit of deli ham that I had in the fridge.  I also used a few scallions as well as minced ginger and garlic for flavor.  If you have it, I do love Chinese roast pork in this dish - it adds a nice saltiness.  Though I didn't use it in this case, I also recommend red peppers and bean sprouts as a couple of other potential ingredients.  You can literally put a little of this and a little of that in.
A sliced onion sauteed with a bit of curry powder; do the same with the other ingredients
I cook each ingredient individually (eggs, shrimp, chicken, onions) and set it aside on a plate.  I like to sprinkle a bit of curry powder, along with salt & pepper, in each layer of ingredients to add to the flavor once combined.  Speaking of curry powder, I started off using a fairly mild, sweet curry powder I bought at Penzys to make this.  Madras curry powder, which is hotter, is a very popular/common one to go with for this and other curry dishes.  I have both kinds now and want to incorporate them more often in my cooking. 

When most of the vegetables and the protein have been cooked, I heat up scallions, ginger, and garlic with some oil and a good couple tablespoons of the curry powder.  Finally, add the rice noodle in, along with the onions, and mix together well.  The noodles should turn yellow all through.  Add a bit of water or chicken stock to loosen up the noodles and help everything combine.  Add in all the other ingredients you cooked earlier and stir it all together.  I also add soy sauce and a couple splashes of rice vinegar.  Taste and see if you need more curry powder or add a bit more salt or soy sauce, as necessary. 


Recipe:

Singapore Rice Noodles

Notes: You can substitute different vegetables and protein in this dish according to your own preference.  Bell peppers, carrots, bean sprouts, and roast pork are a few possibilities. 

You'll see that I start in a non-stick skillet and then finish the cooking in a large heavy-bottom pan.  That might seem clumsy and it is extra work but I do this so I can use less grease to cook the protein and most of the vegetables.  You can stir-fry the entire dish in a large wok or heavy-bottom pan like a dutch oven; you will just need to use a bit more oil if you do so.

- Makes 4 to 6 servings -

8 ounces dried rice noodles
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons curry powder (adjust to taste, depending on whether you use sweet or hot, Madras, curry powder)
1/2 pound medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces chicken breast, sliced crosswise
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 scallions, cut into 2-inch length pieces
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 ounces deli ham or ham steak, sliced into strips
Approximately 1/2 cup water or chicken stock
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or fish sauce
Salt, to taste

Cook rice noodles until tender, according to package instructions.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Set aside.

Season shrimp with salt, pepper, and about a teaspoon of curry powder.  Do the same with the chicken.

In a non-stick skillet, heat about a teaspoon of oil over medium-low heat and cook eggs until just set.  Turn it out onto a large plate, set nearby.  Over medium-heat, add about a teaspoon of oil to the pan and cook the shrimp.  Add shrimp to the plate with the eggs.  Next, add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and cook the chicken.  Transfer the chicken to the plate as well.  Add 1-2 teaspoons of oil and add onions, along with a teaspoon of curry powder.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until onions soften a bit.

Switching to a large heavy-bottom pan, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-heat.  Add scallions, ginger, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of curry powder, and stir-fry for about a minute.  Add rice noodles and the cooked onions into the pan and stir together.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock to the pan and continue to cook and stir together until noodles are completely yellow (add more curry powder, if needed).  Add the reserved shrimp and chicken into the pan.  Add the ham.  Add soy sauce and vinegar, tossing well to combine.  Then, add the cooked eggs back into the pan.  Give it one last toss and taste, adjusting seasoning as necessary. 

Serve immediately.  Store any cooled leftovers in the refrigerator.  Leftovers are great reheated the next day or two, as the curry flavor deepens.







32 comments:

  1. I made singapore noodles just this past weekend! I had a feeling they weren't super authentic but tasty nonetheless!

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    1. That's awesome! I think it's very tasty, too!

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  2. This looks absolutely delicious! I'm a pasta freak, and of course an Asian food lover... this dish was made for me!!

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    1. Same here on both counts! This is really flavorful and gets better as leftovers when that curry flavor just melds into everything.

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  3. My mom used to make this for us when we were little. I'm so glad you posted this because it brings back good memories. I need to make this for sure!

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    1. Feels a little weird posting savory on my baking spot here but it's so convenient to pull up these recipes that I know I'll make often. My mom never made this at home but it's one of those restaurant favorites I can't get enough of for whatever reasons...I hope you make it!

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  4. I'm with you- hopelessly addicted to all forms of pasta, and all other carbs for that matter :( I LOVE singapore noodles! I always get them take-out and never knew how to make them at home, so i'm totally trying this. Does the type of curry powder matter? I think I bought some other one from the spice store. I could go pick up this one if I have to though....

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    1. Hi Amy - not that I'm some expert on singapore noodles now but I think you should be able to use the curry powder you have on hand, unless it's some sort of mixed/special kind (is there such a thing)?! I think Madras or hot curry powder is typically used but I've made it a couple times with the "sweet" curry powder and it's just milder. Taste and adjust (I find you need to use a good helping of the curry). You know, one time I did order take out and the singapore noodles tasted like an Indian dish so I'm guessing they used a different spice...but even then, it was still good.

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  5. Your singapore noodles look perfect! I used to eat this dish a lot back in Hong Kong. Once I have moved to LA, it is not easy to find. Therefore I only eat this every once a while. I am glad to find this recipe. I would love to make this at home. Thanks!

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    1. Glad to hear that! I order it when we do take-out all the time but now I just want to make my own.

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  6. I love noodles & pastas too! On cold days, I just love noodle soups!!! :D This dish sounds fabulous! I wish I had a big bowl now. :) Great post Monica!

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    1. Thank you, Anne! I'm crazy about noodle soups...sigh...

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  7. My husband's mother helps out at a Chinese restaurant and their Singapore noodles are super popular, to the point that the restaurant will not take any orders for it after 5 pm because they say it's too much work to make for everyone. So silly. :) Yours looks great, and I like the ideas for what we can add.

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    1. Oh wow - your mother in law must know all the secrets for making a good one. Sounds so good...I can't believe the pre-5pm rule!

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  8. Wow two ounces is a portion size? Eek that sounds super tiny! Especially when you compare it to those cavernous bowls of noodles that you can get! This looks really good! :D

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    1. That's what I'm sayin'! I'm hoping 2 oz. would be as part of a multi-course meal; it's pretty skimpy otherwise. I just love "cavernous bowls of noodles"! : )

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  9. Noodles are just the best thing in the world. This looks like it's packed with flavor!

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    1. Absolutely agree with you. I just could not give up noodles...and many other carbs. I'm a cranky person without it!

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  10. Wow, this looks SO good! I'm always looking for a good noodle recipe, and I think this looks like a winner

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    1. Thanks, Cathleen. Hope you give it a try one day.

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  11. I agree that 2 ounces is too little! I also have a weakness for pasta and noodles - and chocolates, of course ;)

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    1. Definitely way too little! We definitely share the same weaknesses but maybe it's better to think of them as "passions" and give it a positive spin? ; )

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  12. Oh....this Singapore (curry) rice noodles look so perfect. It's one of my favorite noodles to order when I'm out. Somehow, I never thought of making it at home. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try making it myself. :)

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    1. Same here...I never thought about making it myself when it'd be one of the first things I'd think to order when we do takeout. I was walking around Penzys and it just dawned on me that half the effort has to be just the curry powder.

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  13. Delicious Monica! I love pasta dishes too...but it is so easy to overeat! 2 oz is never enough :-) Especially when you have a dish as tasty as this! Thank you for sharing. I have a local spice store here that I love. Will be making this soon!

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    1. Thank you, Monet! I'm trying to incorporate more spices into my cooking. A friend of mine just gave me a bunch of spices for my pantry and I'm going to start playing around with it. : )

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  14. I love curry vermicelli. Yours looks so delicious, Monica.

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    1. Hi Angie - thanks! Vermicelli/rice noodles are one of my favs.

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  15. love this dish; you just reminded me i need to make up a list for a Penzey's run soon, because i like to go with a game plan. I have a total weakness for Asian and asian-inspired dishes, i think because it seems like the flavor profile is something which comes very naturally to me in terms of cooking versus things that do not, like italian (which i inexplicably manage to screw up almost every time). this is wonderful; i too would be eating it all the time. The rice noodles in my pantry needed a place to go, so thank you. :)

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    1. Penzey's really inspired me when it opened in town...but a friend of mine just gave me a bunch of spices since she heard I was trying to incorporate it more into my cooking. I bet your Asian dishes are delicious! I always make the same stir-frys and I'm really trying to change things up lately. Italian food is my other favorite!

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  16. We adore Singapore noodles at our house too. Love how each ingredient is infused with the curry powder - it gives this dish that extra punch of flavor especially with the shrimp and chicken. Great job Monica, these noodles look fabulous!:)

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    1. Noodles are a universal language! I love your idea to make a ready sauce to stir in - such a great shortcut and we all want quick & easy yet delicious.

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