Singapore noodles are a stalwart of Chinese takeaway menus the world over. They are also a contender for most misleadingly titled dish, as they have nothing to do with Singapore and are apparently unheard of there. Apparently they’re actually a traditional Cantonese style dish in Hong Kong, so where the name comes from is anyone’s guess.
Every year on St.Patrick’s Day I find another culinary mystery: corned beef. Every American food blog and website features this, and it is as far as I can tell *the* definitive dish for St.Patrick’s Day among Irish-Americans. I’ve never actually seen it or tasted it in Ireland, but then again we also don’t have green beer.The closest I am getting to celebrating Paddy’s Day this year is using green and orange highlighter pens on my study notes, but it’s lovely to watch it being celebrated all over the World. My former homes of Australia, England and Denmark have joined in, with the Sydney Opera House, the London Eye and the Little Mermaid turning green. Last week, Amsterdam city council sent letters to all of it’s Irish residents in Irish to invite them to vote in their local elections. As a nation, we seem to turn up everywhere you look.
At least my Singapore noodles are Irish(ish) featuring green peas, white leeks and orange carrots. There are a million different recipes for Singapore noodles, none of them the same. The one defining feature is the curry powder which gives a distinctive taste and a yellow tinge you will spend ages washing off your bowls and frying pan. You can really use any veg you want, but these are my favourites. I’m not a fan of eggs, but they can be added and usually are. If you want a vegetarian dish, skip the bacon. Serves 2
Happy St.Patrick’s Day!
- 175g very thin rice noodles or vermicelli noodles
- 1 red pepper
- 1 large leek
- 1 carrot
- Handful of fresh peas/cooked frozen peas
- 65g bacon, diced (optional, omit for a vegetarian version)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice wine
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons tumeric
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- Some chili powder or chopped fresh chili pepper (optional)
- A teaspoon or two of neutral oil
- First, leave the noodles to soak in boiling water for just under a minute until softened, but not completely soft.
- Leave to dry in a sieve or colander for at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally so they don’t clump.
- Thinly slice the veg (I usually peel the carrot into thin strips using a potato peeler).
- Combine the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and half the curry powder in a bowl.
- After thirty minutes, toss the noodles in the soy sauce mixture to coat completely.
- Mix together the curry powder, tumeric, ginger,garlic and chili.
- Cook the bacon in a large wok or frying pan big enough to hold all the ingredients with a little bit of oil (you shouldn’t need much, the bacon will give plenty of grease).
- When the bacon starts to crisp, add the ginger/curry powder mix and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn (burnt garlic has the worst smell and taste that will haunt your kitchen).
- Add the veg,mixing well with the bacon/garlic/ginger and cook until they’ve softened and reduced to about half their size (about 5 minutes).
- Add the noodles and sauce and cook for a remaining 2-3 minutes.
- Serve immediately.