‘Sometimes called Singapore Fried Noodles, this dish, like so many things in Singapore, combines elements from East and West to make something unique; says Brian Yarvin in his book From A World of Noodles. ‘In this case, the stir-frying technique is from China, the rice noodles are from Southeast Asia, and the curry powder is from Britain, Jamaica, or India, depending on who you ask and what variety of powder or paste you choose. In this recipe, the kind of curry you add makes a big difference. American supermarket curry powder will give you a mild dish; Indian market curry paste will offer a bit more complexity and perhaps more heat. Chilli heads can use Jamaican curry powder; this will give the dish a blast of heat and a brilliant yellow color.’
Makes 2 servings
8 ounces thin rice noodles
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons hot curry paste*
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1⁄2 pound boneless chicken thighs cut into thin strips
1 egg, beaten
1 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1⁄2 cup red and/or green bell pepper strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh hot red chilli pepper
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
*Alternatively, use 1 tablespoon Indian or Jamaican curry powder + 1 additional tablespoon peanut oil
1. Soak the rice noodles in hot water until they soften and begin to separate, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Put a wok or large skillet on high heat and make sure that it’s really hot. You won’t get real stir-frying without the heat. Add the oil, curry, and fish sauce and stir until they are well mixed, about 3 minutes.
3. Mix in the chicken and cook and stir until the pink color is gone, about 1 minute. If it takes longer, your pot isn’t hot enough—don’t be bashful!
4. Add the egg to the hot pan a few splashes at a time and keep stirring. The result should be little bits of cooked scrambled egg.
5. Mix in the bean sprouts, pepper strips, hot pepper, and scallions and cook and stir until the peppers and sprouts have wilted, about 4 minutes.
6. Add the noodles and cook and stir until they’re coated with the curry mixture, about 1 minute. Stir with tongs instead of a spoon to make sure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Serve right away.