Friday, December 12, 2014

Vegan Singapore Noodles (Bonus: Also Gluten-Free!)

The Singapore-style noodles we order from Chinese takeout seem to be unique only in that they involve rice not wheat noodles (like lo mein or chow fun), have some curry powder and contain every animal product in the kitchen . . . shrimp, roast pork, chicken. Cafe Drake HRV's version is lighter and fresher with only veggies in the mix and a few, basic ingredients. Definitely a weeknight supper, easily a one-dish meal and still a dinner you'll be happy to serve to guests. We start with about 4 cups of chopped veggies, whatever you like and have on hand. On the particular night above we used orange bell peppers, carrots and broccoli. Because that's what we had. String beans, mushrooms and sweet potatoes all work especially well in this first step. Toss the veggies with 2 T. vegetable oil, 1 T. soy sauce, a dash each of powdered ginger and cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt and 1-2 T. plain old curry powder. Roast on a large baking sheet (or two smaller ones), in a single layer, for 30 minutes in a 400 degree F. oven or until the veggies are soft and done to your taste. Give the veggies a hasty stir now and then in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

While the vegetables roast prepare 8-12 oz. of rice noodles according to package instructions. Cooking times vary depending on brand and noodle size. When the rice noodles are cooked (usually less than 5 minutes) drain into a colander and rinse very well with cold water. Set aside.

This is the only ingredient that may require a trip to the Asian market. It's worth it. Non-vegetarians can pick up a bottle of regular oyster sauce at almost any grocery store. On with the recipe! Heat 1-2 T. vegetable oil in a wok or your largest skillet, preferably non-stick or cast iron. Over high heat add 1 sliced onion, 3 cloves of chopped garlic and about 2 cups shredded cabbage (or boy choy). Stir fry furiously for three minutes and then add the drained and rinsed noodles along with the roasted vegetables.

Drizzle over everything vegetarian (or regular) oyster sauce and stir quickly, incorporating the sauce and veggies fully into the rice noodles. The amount of oyster sauce used depends entirely on taste preferences. Start with about 3 T., check for seasoning and add more if desired.

Remove the noodles and veggies from heat and toss in a handful of roughly chopped cilantro, reserving some as a plate garnish. Those with spicier palettes should now add a few sliced hot green chilies and/or a drizzle of chili oil.

Totally optional and non-vegan accessory: a fried egg.

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