Saturday, March 07, 2015

Vegetarian Singapore Rice Noodles



Cafe Drake HRV succumbs to many guilty pleasures but few are more fat and sodium-laden than the Singapore Noodles found on every Chinese take-out menu in America. Given the simplicity of the seasonings we set out to recreate a healthier version at home. The resulting recipe below is stripped down to the most basic elements of the dish - rice noodles, supermarket curry powder, a few veggies, soy sauce and eggs - but embellishments and alterations are encouraged and practiced at Cafe Drake HRV. Traditionalists might add the protein grab bag usually dotting the dish (shrimp, chicken and roast pork) and vegetarians with hardy appetites should try supplementing the noodles with tofu and/or roasted cashews. Vegans just leave out the eggs altogether.

Begin with 8 oz. of thin rice noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Stir to separate. Cook according to package directions, generally, 2-5 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse very well under cool running water, breaking up large clumps with your fingers. Set aside to drain again.

Now, in a bowl whisk together three large free-running hen eggs, 1 t. of curry powder, salt to taste and 2 t. sesame oil. Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over a medium-high flame for a minute before adding 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Pour in the eggs and scramble quickly until just set. Remove eggs from pan and set aside.

Add now 1 full tablespoon of oil to the pan and add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 1 T. grated ginger. Stir once and add 2-3 sliced green or red hot chilies. Cook for 30 seconds then add 1 thinly sliced onion and 1/2 each yellow and red bell peppers, cut into thin strips. Sprinkle in 2 T. curry powder. Stir fry for 3 minutes, adding a drop of water if the vegetables seem to be sticking.

Place the noodles in the pan and stir to combine with the other ingredients. Add 2 sliced scallions, 1/2 cup vegetable stock, 3 T. soy sauce or tamari and 2-3 T. dry sherry. Cook for another couple of minutes, over very high heat, until any liquid has been absorbed.

Season to taste with salt and lots of black pepper. Serve hot or warm topped with sprigs of cilantro or fresh pea shoots.

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