I love Singapore rice noodles – pan fried thin rice vermicelli with curry powder and turmeric. But most the ones you get at restaurants have fish sauce and or meat. So I make my own vegetarian Singapore rice noodles. Funnily, this dish is not Singaporean – you won’t find it in Singapore. It is most likely an invention of Hong Kong chefs. Irrespective of its origins, this is a great vegetarian noodle dish!
I use S&B Oriental Curry powder for this recipe. For more about curry powders, read this post.
Tips for perfect Singapore rice noodles
- Don’t over soak the noodles. Read package instructions and make sure the noodles aren’t sitting in water longer than needed. Drain the noodles well. If you land up over-soaking the noodles, try to rescue them by spreading the drained noodles on a large platter and placing them under a fan, this should dry them out a bit.
- Don’t over cook the vegetables, they will get soggy.
- Use medium-high heat, this will ensure that the vegetables and noodles don’t get soggy.
- Work quickly. Have all the ingredients prepped before hand, and then work quickly. Don’t let the vegetables or the noodles sit in the wok for too long. When you add the noodles and sauce to the wok, if you feel you are taking too long (over 2 minutes) to mix everything well, take the wok off the heat, and mix the noodles. You can then re-heat the noodles before serving.
- Remember that every curry powder is different. Some are spicier/hotter than others. You may have to use more or less depending on the curry powder you use. Taste the noodles at the end, and add more curry powder and soy sauce if needed, then re-heat.
- The taste of Singapore rice noodles develops over time (because of the curry powder), so it tastes even better the next day!
Singapore Rice Noodles Recipe
serves about 4
6 oz rice sticks, also called rice vermicelli or rice noodles
For the sauce
2 teaspoons curry powder, I recommend S&B Oriental curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
Crushed dry red pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar, optional
½ teaspoon vinegar, optional
1 tablespoon mushroom flavored soy sauce (available in Asian markets), substitute with soy sauce
For the noodles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 heaping teaspoon garlic paste (use a mortar and pestle or grate in a microplane)
1 heaping teaspoon ginger paste (use a mortar and pestle or grate in a microplane), optional
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup cubed fried tofu, available in Asian markets
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 heaping cup beansprouts
3 scallions, chopped
4 lemon or lime wedges
Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Soak the rice noodles according to package instructions. (This usually involves soaking them in warm or cold water for 2-5 minutes).Drain well and set aside in the colander.
- Whisk together all ingredients for sauce, along with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large wok, that is atleast 12 inches wide. Add the ginger and garlic and let them sizzle on medium heat, till fragrant and lightly browned.
- Pour in half of the sauce. Work quickly, and mix everything together, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Cook till the sauce starts to bubble, about 20 seconds.
- Throw in red peppers, carrot, cabbage, and tofu.
- Crank up the heat to medium-high and sauté till the vegetables just start to wilt, about 2 minutes. Don’t over cook the vegetables.
- Add the soaked, drained rice stick noodles to the vegetables. Also add the remaining sauce. Working quickly, and using two spoons or tongs, toss and combine everything till the noodles are well coated in the sauce.
- Turn off heat and add sesame oil, bean sprouts and scallions. Toss well.
- Serve immediately garnished with chopped cilantro and lemon or lime wedges on the side to squeeze over the noodles.