Singapore Street Noodles

Contributor
From www.foodfanatic.com, by Toni Dash
Singapore Street Noodles

Singapore Street Noodles Photo

I had the pleasure of living in Singapore as well as traveling there many times on business. I fell head over heels in love with the food. When I was living there, Singapore was divided equally between Chinese, Indian and Malaysian cultures all of which blended into a rich and exciting food culture. Despite all of the noodle dishes I grew to love, Singapore street noodles was NOT one of them!

There were many noodle dishes that became my regulars. We’d have them for breakfast in spicy broths, as well as lunch or at the local hawker centers (food courts) for dinner where I’d go nightly with my work colleagues. Before I returned to the U.S., Singaporean and American friends would ask me what food I was craving most from home. Honestly there weren’t any since there were a number of larger American chains in Singapore. What I would miss greatly was the local ethnic cuisine, much of which was not available outside Singapore.

The reason I had not become smitten with Singapore Street Noodles is that it is not a Singaporean recipe! It makes them no less delicious but places them in the ranks of foods like French fries which originate in Belgium, not France.

Singapore Street Noodles Picture

I traveled down several rabbit holes looking for the basis of what is known as Singapore Street Noodles, and my conclusion is that it’s a dish originating in Hong Kong. Though similar to two particular true Singaporean noodle recipes, this recipe has taken on characteristics of its own. For instance, the addition of the curry. I read a very long conversation thread online started by someone wishing to have traditional Singaporean Street Noodles on an upcoming trip to Singapore. The locals were chiming in about the noodle dish and how they never serve such a dish with curry in it.

I think, as with many favorite foods, versions of Singapore Street Noodles have transformed over time. Some versions have shrimp and chicken, some shrimp and pork; some only one of those meats. Some have curry. Some are spicy. They all use rice noodles (which are naturally gluten-free) and stir fry as the means to combine the flavors in the dish.

Singapore Street Noodles Image

I too have created my own version, staying true to the basics of what we know as Singapore Street Noodles in the U.S., adding some of what I love about similar noodle recipes from Singapore. It’s a spicy combination of chicken, lean pork, shrimp with a bit bacon for a flavor similar to Chinese barbecue pork. There are sultry spices and some crunch too. The recipe makes a very large batch however vermicelli rice noodles tend to be less filling allowing the diner to eat more to make a meal! What a delicious fate.

One quick tip about stir fry cooking: have all of your ingredients prepared beforehand and at the ready. It’s a fast cooking process allowing everything to retain a great texture, color and flavor. There is no time however to prepare anything during the cooking time. 

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Singapore Street Noodles Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 12 ounces rice vermicelli noodles, also known as rice sticks
  • 3 tablespoons refined peanut oil
  • 4 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 2 slices smoked bacon, siced horizontally into 1/4 inch wide strips
  • 4 ounces boneless pork loin, thin cut and sliced into 1/4 inch wide strips
  • 4 ounces raw shrimp, shelled and deveined, 26-30 count
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved sliced
  • 1 medium red pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeño, deseeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons tamari soy sauce, naturally gluten-free, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly across the leaf
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts

Directions

  1. Place the rice noodles into a large mixing bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside.
  2. Heat a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil. When the oil appears to ripple on the surface add the chicken and bacon. Stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add the pork and continue to stir for 3 minutes until the meats have lost their color and begun to brown slightly. Remove from the wok and set aside.
  3. Add the shrimp to the wok and stir constantly until they become white and brown slightly; 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove and add to the meat.
  4. Heat the remaining tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the onion and red pepper to the wok and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. While the onion and red pepper is cooking, drain the noodles in a colander.
  5. Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno pepper; stir for 15 seconds. Add the curry powder and sugar. Stir together. Add the noodles, 3 tablespoons Tamari, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and toss to coat. Tip: I find using tongs (safe for nonstick cookware) the best way to combine ingredients from this step forward. Allow noodles to cook 5 minutes, periodically tossing the ingredients in the wok.
  6. Turn off heat and toss in the scallions (some may be reserved for garnish), basil and bean sprouts. Finally toss in the remaining 1 tablespoon of each Tamari, fish sauce, rice vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.

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