Rather than being an actual Singaporean invention, Singapore noodles are thought to be more of a tribute to Singapore. The dish is said to have been devised by Chinese cooks in homage to the cultural diversity of the island republic, borrowing from a couple of cuisines – hence the curry powder. This version can be tweaked to your preference, or just adapted to use up leftover proteins. It's really simple to pull together and only takes a matter of minutes to cook.
350g rice vermicelli
80ml light soy sauce
3 tbsp rice wine
2 tsp castor sugar
1 tbsp Malaysian curry powder
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
10cm ginger, julienned
1 long green chilli, finely chopped
¼ wombok, finely shredded
1 handful green beans, finely sliced in rounds
⅓ cup frozen peas
6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
4 spring onions, finely sliced
½ bunch baby mustard greens (optional)
½ bunch garlic chives, finely chopped (optional)
6 water chestnuts, sliced
120g char siu pork
6 green prawns, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
2 tbsp peanut oil (or any neutral oil)
2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
1 handful coriander leaves
1. Cover the vermicelli with boiling water and set aside for five minutes (if using fine vermicelli, one minute is enough) until softened. Drain and dry in the sieve for about 10 minutes, tossing a few times to ensure that the noodles don't clump together.
2. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and half the curry powder in a small bowl. Add the noodles to a large bowl and pour over the soy mix. Toss gently until well coated.
3. Have all the ingredients ready in bowls so that you can add them to the hot wok quickly. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli and remaining curry powder to one bowl; the wombok, beans, peas, mushrooms, spring onion, mustard greens (if using), garlic chives (if using) and water chestnuts to a second; and the pork and prawns to a third. Have half a cup of water on hand to add to the noodles if they become dry.
4. Heat half the oil in a wok until it just starts to smoke. Add the garlic mix and stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for about two minutes. Tip out of the wok into a bowl and set aside.
5. Heat the remaining oil in the wok and add the pork and prawns. Stir-fry for about two minutes, and then push to the side of the wok. Add the egg and cook until it starts to stick to the wok. Scramble the pork and prawns back through the egg and add the noodles, followed by the vegetables. Toss together, adding the water if necessary, and cook for two to three minutes until combined and hot. Tip onto a platter and garnish with the coriander. Serve immediately.
1. You could use roast duck, chicken or Chinese sausage instead of the pork.
2. Swap the pork and prawns for some firm tofu to make a vegetarian version.
3. Make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go before cooking, as it all needs to come together quickly in the hot wok.