It’s a fairly good rule of thumb that if a dish has the name of a place in the title, it’s not usually from that place. Singapore noodles is no exception.
This Cantonese dish is from Hong Kong, and the name is inspired by the use of rice vermicelli popular among Singapore's Hokkien community, and curry spices used by Singapore’s large ethnic Indian community.
My advice for Singapore noodles is to treat it like fried rice, in the sense that I use my two rules of thumb for fried rice to make good Singapore noodles. Those are:
1. Use quite a lot of oil. The oil is needed to separate the rice grains (or strands of rice vermicelli) without the need to add too much water so that the rice or noodles fry instead of stewing, and
2. Season very aggressively. Both rice and rice vermicelli are unseasoned, so plenty of salty, umami seasonings (like stock powder or MSG, salt and soy sauce) are needed. A little sugar is helpful for balancing.
- 450 g dried rice vermicelli
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 150 g raw peeled prawns
- 2-3 pieces fried fishcake, sliced (optional)
- 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
- 200 g char siew pork (available from Cantonese BBQ restaurants), thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1cm ginger, finely chopped
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp chicken stock powder or ½ tsp MSG
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 4 thick spring onions, white and green part, diagonally sliced on a sharp angle
- 80 g bean sprouts
- Pour boiling water over the vermicelli and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then drain well.
- Heat your wok over high heat and add 2 tbsp of the oil. Add the prawns, fishcake (if using) carrot and capsicum to the wok and toss for a minute. Add the pork, garlic and ginger and toss for a further 1-2 minutes until the prawns are nearly cooked through. Remove the contents of the wok to a plate and return the wok to heat.
- Add the remaining oil and the eggs. Stir the eggs vigorously in the oil to form threads, then add the drained vermicelli. Toss to combine and fry for 2-3 minutes until the vermicelli is lightly toasted. Return the fried ingredient mixture to the wok and add the curry powder, stock powder, salt, soy sauce and caster sugar. Toss to combine everything together, adding a little water or stock to moisten the contents of the wok as needed. Toss through the spring onions and bean sprouts for a minute or so, then serve.