Saturday, April 29, 2006

Singapore Noodles

Singapore, situated at the tip of the Malay peninsula, has always been a cultural crossroads. The distinctive local cuisine has been shaped mainly by immigrants from southern India and China. This spicy version of fried rice noodles is as good a showcase as any for that mix of influences.
You can make your own spice mix, as I have done here, or use a hot (madras) curry powder. The dish can be eaten hot or cold and you can vary the contents. This version is meat-free, but Singapore noodles often contain a small amount of pork (bacon is good) or chicken.
Serves 4

300g rice vermicelli noodles
3 tbsp vegetable oil 
100ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of '/2 lime
1 tsp sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1 or 2 dried red chillie
1 red pepper, finely sliced
2 or 3 curry leaves (optional)
'/z tsp ground coriander seeds
'/z tsp ground cumin seeds 
tsp ground cinnamon
'/2 tsp ground nutmeg
'/z tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp turmeric 
100g peas, cooked if fresh, thawed if frozen
Fresh coriander and lime wedges to serve

Soak the rice noodles in hot, but not boiling, water for about 15 minutes. until they are soft. Drain and cool thoroughly. toss with 1 tbsp vegetable oil and set aside. Combine the stock with the soy sauce, lime juice and sugar and set aside.
In a wok, or wide frying pan, heat the remaining oil until it is very hot. Add the eggs and start to fry them as if you were making an omelette. As it sets, break it up with the end of a spoon so that it looks like dry scrambled egg. Remove and set aside.
Keeping the wok on the heat, fry the onions, garlic. chilli, pepper and curry .
leaves for about a minute. Add the remaining dry spices and stir thoroughly. - Now add the peas and the stock.
followed by the noodles and the cooked egg, and keep everything moving. Stir the noodles until all the stock has disappear( at which point the dish is ready to serve Garnish with fresh coriander and extra wedges and serve.