Singapore hawker noodles
The first time I had this dish was at the now famous Lau pa sat food market in Singapore. We were gorging on coal charred satay sticks and bamboo clams, feasting on crab in black pepper sauce, and plates of this delicious fried noodles kept showing up. I was addicted on my first bite. This is probably my favorite fried noodle dish!
The recipe looks long, but trust me this is quite a simple recipe. The dish is made quickly in a searing hot wok in a tradition Asian stir-fry manner. I love this dish for its complex flavors, the two meats, chicken and prawns in this case, and spiced sauce make it addictive. The traditional dish is without vegetables, but I have adapted the dish to include some red peppers and light crunch from the bok choi and fresh cucumbers. You will get a massive bowl of noodles, so make sure you and your guests are hungry. Of course serve it with the omnipresent sriracha sauce for those who like some extra zing. For a vegetarian version substitute tempeh or extra form tofu for the meats. Finally, this is not a dish that can be made ahead, serve straight from the stove. When made ahead, the noodles turn soggy and the dish is not at its best.
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2 tablespoons peanut oil
4-5 shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ginger paste
3 oz. pork, thinly sliced, or 4 chicken tenderloins, thinly sliced
2-4 fresh red chilies, thinly sliced, or to taste
2 tablespoons yellow bean paste (available in any Asian grocery store or Amazon)
1 cup dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (See note)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons tomato paste
10-12 medium, or 24 medium shrimp
10 oz, rice sticks or vermicelli
4 oz. cooked crabmeat (optional)
6 scallions, sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
A handful cilantro, minced + some to garnish
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 bok choi, sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
Cilantro, minced, to garnish
Note: If using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in hot water for 1 hour to soften them.
Cook the rice sticks or vermicelli as per the instructions on the packet. Drain, keeping the cooking liquids. Set the noodles aside to drip dry.
Heat the oil in a hot wok on a medium high flame and add the shallots, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute till the shallots are soft but not colored. Add the pork/chicken and red peppers and fry for an additional 2 minutes till the pork is white and takes on a light golden color. Add the chilies and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the yellow bean paste, and stir well to coat the sauce onto the meat, cooking for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, soy sauce, and tomato sauce and cook for 1 more minute mixing the sauces up well.
Add the shrimp and mix in cooking for 2 minutes till the shrimp are cooked through. Add the noodles and scallions and toss well to coat the noodles with the sauce. Add the bok choi and crab meat and toss again.
Serve immediately topped with cucumbers and garnished with cucumbers.