Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fun Playing With Singapore Noodles

Inspired by a recent post by fellow Cleveland food blogger Maybelle's Mom, I made Singapore Noodles for dinner Saturday night. I was overly generous in scaling my ingredients, so I also made it for breakfast this morning. Savory fried noodles are common breakfast food throughout Asia.

Singapore Noodles, called by this name in every corner of the world except Singapore (according to cookbook authors Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman), are named for the use of curry in the dish (Singapore is known as "Star Country" - though the connection with the curry is unclear, according to the late, great Barbara Tropp). After reading Maybelle's Mom's post earlier this week, I just started craving the dish. Then, I stopped at Heather's Heat & Flavor to replenish a number of spices, and resupplied our curry powder jar. While most good cooking authorities will tell you to make your own curry powder, the product at Heather's is as good as mine - which is why I no longer make it myself!

We had a bit of sauteed Kielbasa left over from the previous night's dinner, which had come from Mazullo's Market in Aurora. And, despising all forms of processed shrimp, I took a chance on some frozen bay scallops from Giant Eagle in Solon, after the fish counter lady, of her own initiative, showed me the box they came in that said "dry" (she had no idea what "dip" or "wet pack" or "dry pack" meant; it was my question about this that prompted her to offer to fetch the box - thank you!). And I have to say - they weren't the best scallops I ever ate, but they didn't smell or taste of chemicals, either.

Bay Scallops Tossed With Cornstarch and Crisped

I had picked up a red pepper, freshly packed mung bean sprouts, and surprisingly crisp snow peas at Heinen's, which had been my first Saturday shopping stop. [And - here's a "Not Fun" to you, Heinen's - the fish filet I almost purchased smelled horribly of chemistry, so I gave it back.] The scallions were better at Giant Eagle. I also chopped up half a roasted Garden acorn squash from Friday night's dinner, and gave that a saute in some rendered pork fat. Yes - the flavor did improve. I also chopped some carrot from the fridge, and onions and garlic, and two yellow hot peppers from our garden/freezer.

Once I organized my mise, I realized that I had enough food for two full woks. To avoid overloading the wok (and our stomachs) - I decided to split things in half, and make the second half for breakfast today. I decided this once all the veggies (except bean sprouts) were in the wok, Bogarting the space:

This was the second, Sunday morning breakfast mise:

The tub at 10 o'clock is the rendered pork fat. At 9 o'clock is some chopped banana, which I decided to add this morning because the banana wanted to be eaten, and I thought another sweet note would be a nice counterpoint for breakfast. The sauce is a combination of dark and light soy sauce, prepared curry paste, sesame oil, chicken stock, sherry, and a little sugar. The small plastic cup to the left of the bowl of noodles contains curry powder, tumeric and cayenne pepper.

Soaked Rice Noodles

Bean Sprouts

Friday Night's Finished Dish, With A Wedge of Lime

Saturday's Breakfast


Even though I'm normally not a big fan of savories for breakfast - for Curried Noodles, I'll make an exception!


  1. glad you made them--and I am very excited about the bananas. Yum.

  2. @ Maybelle's Mom - the left over roasted winter squash also lent a pleasantly sweet counterpoint to the fiery curry - I cubed and sauteed it, then set it aside, then added it at the end.

  3. lol after reading your article on Koko's I searched your blog a bit and found this. Well, its true. There are no Singapore noodles in Singapore. However, the curry connection is quite clear. Singapore is a multicultural country, and with Indians and Malays being the second largest racial/ethnic groups in the country, thery're culinary presence is strong. We eat curries or curry gravies quite often (not the standard curry powder formula found in the UK and US), but not noodles with curry powder. It probrably started in Hong Kong by a chef looking to sell a novelty item, and like the bakeries, spread like wildfire overseas throughout Westernised Chinese take out restaurants. The potatoes you use though is different from the restaurants. There are a few noodle dishes in Singapore that have potato chunks, such as "Mee Goreng" which is a fried spicy/sweet noodle dish usually sold by Muslim-Indian hawkers. =)

  4. @ rotiprata6 - thank you for reading and offering knowledgeable commentary! Love Mee Goreng - I make that sometimes, but I've never put potato into it - I'll have to try that next time.