Singapore noodles are a delicious jumble of BBQ pork, shrimp, red peppers and rice vermicelli all wrapped up in a crazy tasty curry package. Seriously good eating.
It’s easy too. Fast food. I love when fast food is this good. Better than takeout. On a weeknight. From your kitchen. What’s better than that?
They don’t serve Singapore noodles in Singapore
Fun fact. Singapore noodles were invented in Hong Kong. They are a Cantonese dish. Big in Canada and the US. Australia too.
But they don’t serve them in Singapore. Outside of Cantonese restaurants I guess. I tried to figure out why they are called Singapore noodles but couldn’t come up with anything. If you know the story leave a comment. I’d love to hear.
Homemade Singapore noodles – way better than takeout
I have to come clean here. I came up with this as a knee jerk reaction to Singapore noodles I got from a local Chinese takeout. A pretty famous one in fact. Been around a long time.
And they sucked. Badly. A whole lot of noodles. Day-glo yellow from way too much turmeric. A couple microscopic shrimp and a couple shards of BBQ pork. I was so unimpressed I vowed never to order Singapore noodles again.
Which is kind of sad. Because Singapore noodles can be a great dish. One I really like when it’s done right. So I started tinkering. And this is what I came up with.
Bold curry taste. And lots of stuff. I like stuff. Every bite has a little bit of everything. And big shrimp. So you know you’re eating shrimp. No micro-shrimp here.
Bloom your spices for best flavour
Little Indian cooking trick. Always bloom your spices in oil. It’s simple. Just heat up your oil. Add the curry powder. Let it cook for about a minute. Instant curry infused oil. And no raw spice taste. It works every time.
That’s the real secret here. This is curry flavoured noodles. Why not take a page from the masters of curry? Makes sense to me anyway.
Pre-cook the shrimp
Perfectly cooked shrimp is easy if you poach them ahead of time. Use a timer. And shock them in ice water to stop the cooking at just the right moment.
What’s hard is tossing some shrimp in a pan and stir frying them until they are perfectly done. And to be finished cooking everything else in the dish at exactly the same time. Too hard for me.
So I pre-cook whenever I can. I like my shrimp done just right. Not willing to take chances. Maybe I could nail it if I cooked shrimp every single day. But I don’t. So I don’t risk it.
This dish is perfect for it anyway. Pre-cook the shrimp. Cook everything else. Toss the shrimp in at the last minute to warm through.
Buy your char siu to make things really easy
You can make char siu – Chinese BBQ pork. It’s not hard. There are lots of good recipes out there. Just make sure you use pork shoulder. Pork tenderloin is just not right. Too lean.
Or you can grab some at your local Chinese grocery. They do BBQ pretty well. I’m not usually a fan of pre-fab but the duck and pork they sell in the markets where I live is pretty good.
They will slice it for you if you want. I usually just get a chunk and slice myself.
Singapore noodles. Done right. Lots of stuff. Curry infused oil. Try it. You may never order takeout again.
- 3 oz rice vermicelli noodles
- 6 large shrimp 31-40 count or larger
- 6 oz bbq pork char siu - thinly sliced. You can get this at Asian markets.
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 3 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 eggs
- pinch gochugaru optional
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
- 2 tbsp shaoxing cooking wine a dry sherry would work
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Pre-cook the shrimp
- Run frozen shrimp under cold water to thaw.
- Bring 3 cups of salted water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Add the thawed shrimp. Let stand 6 minutes for 31-40 count. 7 minutes for 21-25 count. 8 minutes for 16-20 count. Count refers to the number of shrimp per pound. It will say on the package.
- Remove the shrimp from the water. Submerge in ice water to stop cooking. Perfect shrimp every time.
- Cut the rice vermicelli into 3-4 pieces. You want short pieces of noodle for this dish. Pour boiling water overtop. Soak for around 2-3 minutes. Drain. The noodles are now ready. Don't boil them. That makes mush.
- Beat the eggs with the gochugaru if using.
- Heat 1 tsp of oil in a non-stick skillet large enough to hold all the ingredients over medium heat.
- Scramble the eggs. This won't take long. Don't overcook. If you are feeling fancy make a little omelette and slice that. Pretty but not necessary. Set the eggs aside and wipe out the skillet.
- Heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the garlic ginger paste and fry until it stops sizzling. This should take less than a minute.
- Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the curry powder and chili powder. Stir to mix with the oil. Cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. This is called blooming the spices. You wind up with a curry infused oil. It is going to make this dish special. It's a great technique for Indian and Mexican cooking as well.
- Add the red pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes. You want it to soften slightly but not get mushy.
- Add the pork and cook for about a minute to warm through. Add the green onion and shrimp. Cook another 30 seconds. Add the rice vermicelli, soy and shoaxing wine. Cook for 1 minute.
- Fold the egg into the mixture.
- Toss to combine. This is the hardest part of the whole recipe. Getting the stuff distributed into the noodles is maddening. Don't obsess over it. They can't do this in restaurants either. Toss it for 20-30 seconds. That is probably as good as it's going to get. Just toss the bits that don't get incorporated overtop. It's fine that way.