ORDER OF THE DAY: SINGAPORE NOODLES

Today is a cooking day. Usually I complain about cooking. I’ve been cooking daily for close to 60 years. Recently Owen has taken over cooking for a couple of days a week — a huge help. Typically, I make simple meals because they don’t take a lot of time or complicated advance shopping. This was an exception, but it’s so good, it’s worth it.

Nonetheless, I like good food, especially Asian. I’ve enjoyed every kind of Asian cuisine I’ve tried. We have a few good restaurants in Worcester, a couple more in Milford, and one just over the border in North Slatersville, Rhode Island. They are expensive so when I can make the food myself, I cook. It’s hard on my feet, but great eating.

You need to find rice noodles. Although the original recipe specified a particular type of Chinese noodles, I couldn’t find them. Instead, I bought Thai rice noodles and they did the job well enough. I know there are a couple of Chinese groceries in Worcester. We’re going to have to find them and go shopping.

This recipe takes quite a lot of time. It took almost three hours to do the chopping and slicing. The actual cooking will take mere minutes — typical of Chinese cooking.

Ingredients


1/4 to 1/2 pound raw shrimp — shelled, deveined, and rinsed, I use additional shrimp)
Oil for cooking
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 bundle dried rice stick noodles (6 to 8 ounces). (NOTE: If you don’t have a Chinese grocery in your area, any thin rice noodles will be okay.)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or 2 tablespoon grated/chopped garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or cooking sherry
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs, beaten with two pinches of Kosher salt
1/4 to 1/3 pound Chinese roast pork (char siu) or smoked ham, Julienne cut
1/2 small onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 medium red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and julienned (I use all 3 using very small sweet peppers)
1/4 lb. snow peas, Julienne cut
1 tablespoon curry powder, divided (NOTE: There are many varieties of curry powder ranging from very hot to quite mild. The curry powder I have is very mild, so I use extra curry.)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 medium scallions, sliced very thinly lengthwise, then cut in half
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Optional: 1/2 to 1 hot pepper (whatever type you prefer) seeded and finely chopped. I used 1 hot Italian pepper and while the meal tasted great, it was a bit too hot for us. I’m going to use a quarter of a pepper this time. You could probably also use hot sauce to taste, too. Or not, depending on how you feel about hot, spicy food.

DIRECTIONS

Everything but the shrimp (in fridge)

Pat raw shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Mix well and set aside in the refrigerator.

Prepare rice noodles according to directions on the package. Drain noodles in a colander, rinse with cold running water, then let them drain until dry.

Place garlic in a small bowl. Add soy sauce, wine, white pepper, sugar, and remaining fish sauce. Mix well and set sauce aside.

Heat oil in a skillet until very hot. Add eggs and let cook undisturbed for about 10 seconds, then gently move the eggs back and forth with a spatula until they start to firm up. Break the eggs into small pieces, then set aside in a bowl.

Using a wok or a large skillet, turn heat to high. (NOTE: I have a wok, but I prefer a big skillet with flat sides. I find the skillet easier to clean and to turn food as it cooks.)

Add shrimp; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add roast pork and onion. Continue to stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Add red bell pepper and snow peas. Stir for another 30 seconds. Add the curry powder, season with salt, and cook, tossing, until curry is evenly distributed. Scrape wok contents into bowl with eggs.

Using a clean wok or skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the noodles and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the sauce and remaining curry powder. Stir until the curry powder is evenly distributed. Return egg, shrimp, roast pork, and vegetables to wok and stir-fry until everything is evenly combined. This takes just a minute or two. Season with salt and remove from heat. Add scallions, drizzle with sesame oil, mix well, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Eat and enjoy!

Special equipment:
Wok or large nonstick skillet

SUMMING UP

From where exactly came this recipe? Probably not Singapore. Best guess? Cantonese Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong. It doesn’t matter where the recipe originated. It tastes great.

There are a lot of changes you can make to adapt the recipe. It can become vegetarian. You can add julienned carrots, use more and different vegetables, eliminate one or more that someone doesn’t like or to which someone is allergic. Obviously if you are making it vegetarian, you will need a lot more vegetables.

How hot you want it depends on your family’s tolerance for hot food. We love hot food, but our stomachs do not necessarily agree. The dish tastes pretty good even if it isn’t spicy. Be gentle with salt. The fish sauce is salty as is the soy sauce, so you may not need much salt.

Now, it’s back to the kitchen because today is the day I also make Duke’s dinner. It’s an all-day cooking event!



Categories: Anecdote, Food, Recipes

Tags:

11 replies

  1. Those who never used to cook picked up the same during lock down but it was more to do with uploading an insta story/ trend they had to catch up with. These covid chefs left it all as soon as the food joints got opened to deliver orders. In our case, as soon as the permission was granted for maids and cooks to enter the gaited societies, it was the end of lockdown cooking sagas. You are a season player who has been cooking some great meals in the past and sharing under “had to cook to feed myself” category. I used to wonder that how can you get time with your fur babies, writing, photography and moreover with Garry and grand children around that too at times when it used to snow so heavily. Truly inspirational. Noodles look so tempting…..drooling right now.

    Like

  2. I love chinese and asian food! This sounds delish! ❤

    Like

  3. Now is great idea to make this Asian food in that way. So delicious.

    Like

  4. Marilyn, my eyes are salivating and my nose is in heaven just from reading this. Do you deliver? Or take out? Is there any topic you can’t write about?? Best, Babsje

    Like

    • Honestly, I wrote about this because I’ve been in the kitchen since I rolled out of bed this morning. I’ve always been an acceptable cook. Not great and there are things I can’t do, no matter how hard I try — like making pastry or any kind of dough for pies, etc.

      Chinese and Italian are the two other genres I cook pretty well. Italian I picked up from all the Italian people in my world giving me recipes and advice. Chinese I learned from books. One day, I decided that if all those millions of Chinese women can cook this food, probably so could I. What REALLY took a long time was learning to do all the slicing and chopping. I am always looking for a short way to get it done, but there IS no short way. The food don’t come out right when you cut too many corners.

      As for getting good at something? If you live long enough and have a family with a husband who does NOT cook — EVER — you cook. I figured I might as well do it as well as I could. Living where good restaurants are hard to find at all and cost the price of a week’s groceries makes experimental cooking far more attractive!

      My next project? I’m going to try and learn to draw birds. There’s an online course I’m itching to take. If I can afford it, that is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find that the sauces or seasonings make all the difference in the world with Chinese cooking. I’m a rank beginner at it. Your recipe reads great and your photos are so visually appealing. Win-win. Thanks again for taking time out of your busy all day cookathon to post this.

        Like

        • It was nothing short of miraculous that I remembered to take pictures. I usually forget, but this time since I already had the post up, I gave myself an extra “push.”

          Yes, sauces matter a LOT in Chinese cooking. There are so many. Just when I think I have everything I need, i discover there is one more I have to find. Chinese grocery stores are wonderful and you can find everything.

          Chinese cooking isn’t hard, but it is labor intensive. This meal, you can do the chopping and slicing a day ahead and do the rest the next day.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes chopping and slicing ahead is key. It takes so much time. And what you wrote about rice noodles was perfect. I no longer ever buy wheat pasta. Rice noodles work well with so many non-Asian dishes and who needs the wheat gluten anyway. Glad you have yourself the push to include the photos. They are foodie magazine quality. Seriously.

            Like

            • Thank you. I need to try using my macro lens rather than the camera I used which isn’t as good. I’m not a great food picture enthusiast. I take them when they go with a story or a recipe — or it’s a holiday, It is one of the areas of photography that isn’t important. Just as well. I don’t have time to study one more thing.

              Liked by 1 person

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