I came across this gem of a recipe on The woks of life, my favourite go-to site for all things Chinese.
It’s a vegetarian version of the mildly curried noodle dish that has become very popular in the UK.
As, with most Chinese cooking, everything comes together at the last minute so have your spices mixed and your veggies prepared before you start to cook. It’s best to Julienne the leeks prior to washing them, that way you will be certain of removing any sand or dirt.
Where I live in central Portugal speciality ingredients are hard to come by so I did have to make a few adaptions. I did use a good Madras curry powder as suggested by the author but substituted portabello mushrooms for the shitake, egg noodles for the mei fun and white port for the Shaoxing wine.
It may not have been the most authentic of Singapore noodles but it was still damn delicious and now makes a regular appearance on my Chinese table.
VEGETARIAN SINGAPORE NOODLES
250 g mei fun dried rice noodles
100 g fresh Shiitake mushrooms, or 4 to 5 reconstituted dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 small yellow or red bell pepper, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
150 g napa cabbage, julienned
100 g broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
125 g leeks, julienned and thoroughly washed
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1½ tablespoons Malaysian curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1¼ teaspoons sugar
pinch ground white pepper
60 ml vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2-3 tablespoons hot water
In a large bowl, soak the noodles in 2 litres hot water for 30 to 45 minutes minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside. (If you are using egg noodles, cook as instructed on the packet until al-dente)
Prepare the vegetables and set them aside. The dish comes together quickly, so it helps to put them on plates ready to go by the stove. If using dried mushrooms, soak them for at least 30 minutes in hot water.
Combine 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1½ tablespoons Malaysian curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, 1¼ teaspoons sugar, and a pinch of ground white pepper. Set aside.
Heat your wok to medium heat, and add the vegetable oil around the perimeter of the wok.
Stir the garlic into the oil, and immediately add the Shiitake mushrooms, bell pepper, carrots, cabbage,broccoli, and ⅔ of your leeks. Turn the heat up to the highest setting.
Stir-fry everything together for 1 minute, and add the spices you prepared earlier along with 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine.
Next, add the noodles and stir fry everything together for another 5-6 minutes until well combined and everything is warmed through. Cover the wok for 1 minute if you feel it’s not hot enough or if the noodles are not lightly sizzling. A quiet wok at this point means there’s not enough heat!
If your stove heat is not very strong, warming the noodles may take longer, and they may start to dry out. If this happens, add 2 tablespoons of water around the perimeter of the wok.
When steam starts rising from your noodles and they’re nearly done, add the remaining leeks to the mixture and stir fry for another minute, incorporating the leeks. Transfer to a dish and serve immediately.