I love noodles, any kind of noodles; soup noodles, stir-fried, dry, wet, doesn’t matter. So while living in Singapore, I became slightly addicted to their mee or noodles and the condiment that always comes with it: pickled green chillies. One of my favorite was the light Singapore Noodles that are made with rice noodles with a slight curry flavor. When the weather is hot and humid, the pickled green chillies really gives it a tangy boost to get your appetite going. The most important part of this recipe is to purchase the correct type of noodle.
Going into an Asian supermarket can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know what you are looking for. I love to spend time just reading the labels and figuring out what each ingredient is! Rice noodles can come in a variety of names such as rice vermicelli, rice stick or the Japanese call it bee hoon. Please do not confuse rice noodles with bean thread noodles as they are completely different ingredients and your dish will come out a little different than expected. Rice noodles will be white when cooked while bean thread noodles will be clear. Also, there are a variety of thicknesses for rice noodles. Some are similar to the thickness of fettuccine, some are even wider. For this recipe, please purchase the thinnest noodles.
I found this in my local Asian supermarket. These are made in Taiwan. The ingredients include rice, water and cornstarch. Not all contain cornstarch, but they say this helps keep the noodles nice an firm even after stir frying, instead of turning mushy. Make sure you check the ingredients of the packet you are buying. The above was 400g of noodles. Usually, these large packets have two separate bunches of dried noodles. We will be using just one of these and it will feed about 2 people for a full meal or 3-4 as a side dish. As usual, just use whatever vegetable ingredients you have handy in you refrigerator, just make sure you slice them to about the same shape and size. This is so that they will cook evenly and it’s just easier to eat.
- 220 g dried rice sticks
- 1/2 onion sliced into thin strips
- 1 small carrot sliced thin
- 1/2 red pepper sliced thin
- 2 sticks celery sliced thin
- 1 -2 teaspoon curry powder
- sake, rice wine
- option: 100g raw prawns, cleaned and deveined (substitute with cold cuts or keep it vegetarian)
- optional: white pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- pinch of sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- If using prawns, place them in a bowl and sprinkle with rice wine and cornstarch and let marinate.
- In a large bowl submerge rice sticks in hot water to touch, not boiling. Make sure you cover them all and let it sit for about 30 minutes until the noodles are fairly soft. You can check this by just touching the texture.
- Place all the ingredients of the sauce in a bowl. I now prefer to put them in a little glass jar and then just set it aside.
- Heat a wok until hot. Place your palm to feel the heat, then pour oil, I use canola, and cook prawns or cold cuts.
- next, add the onions. Cook until translucent, then add the rest of the vegetables
- Now, remove everything to a plate and set aside.
- Your noodles should be soft by now. Drain the water and using cooking shears, cut the noodles into smaller pieces.
- Heat your wok again, add more oil, about 2-3 tablespoons, and then add the curry powder.
- Cook the spice and then add the drained noodles and sauce.
- At this point, I lower the flame so the noodles don’t stick to the wok, then stir fry for several minutes.
- Add the cooked vegetables, 1 tablespoon of sake, and blend well – tongs or two spatulas with both hands work too!
- Adjust seasoning to your liking and add white pepper if you like the taste.
This recipe may seem long and difficult but in reality, it’s pretty straight forward and easy. Hope you give it a try as it will make a great light lunch, snack and is also a good dish to take to a potluck, just double the recipe!