singapore noodles

from me, assisted by google

This is a rough approximation of the dish I get every time I'm in a noodle house -- any noodle house -- in Philly's Chinatown, gathered from about six online sources and compiled with what I had available. Spicy enough to make the entire front of your face burn, but that's the way I like it. (Hot. And with a spoon ... ;-)

  • not much sesame oil -- 2-3 T max
  • an onion, chopped up
  • 1 clove garlic
  • large chunk of a root of ginger
  • many generous shakes soy sauce
  • large pinch sugar
  • 1 T curry powder
  • pinch or two salt
  • a few grinds black pepper
  • 1 dried red pepper
  • many liberal shakes cayenne pepper
  • cappellini, vermicelli, or thin rice noodles

Chop up onion, a clove of garlic (press this if you like the garlic press; I prefer it to chopping because it (a) exudes more flavor and (b) you don't get garlic chunks in your food), and maybe a tablespoon of fresh ginger. There is nothing like fresh ginger.

Sauté these things in some heated-up sesame oil in a wok, or frying pan, or whatever you have. Don't use too much oil, it goes a very very long way. After you've stir-fried the onion, garlic, and ginger for a bit, break in the dried red pepper, decide that one looks spicy enough for you (it will be, I promise, especially with the cayenne I dump in later -- and the red pepper is really what makes your face burn), and add the curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Now might be a good time to put the cayenne in, just for consistency's sake, but I kind of like dumping that sort of thing in at the end, when you've decided it's not spicy enough, and you need to add something else.

Stir-fry this around for a bit, then add the pre-cooked and drained noodles (if they're rice noodles, just soak them in water; if they're pasta, cook them the normal way). Stir-fry them, turning so you get all the noodles as curry-stained as possible, and then when you think they've absorbed some flavor, put in the soy sauce and sugar. Decide it doesn't look spicy enough, and dump in some cayenne.

You might try adding an egg if you're not vegan -- just beat it up in a bowl, and dribble it on, turning fast, so it cooks but kind of like the egg in Chinese soups. Tofu would also go well here, as would mushrooms, and all manner of green things -- bean sprouts, bok choy, you name it. Chopped peanuts would make a good garnish. But I had none of these things, and my noodles were damn good.

~nh, 22.V.2002