Photos by Emily Caruso
I don’t cook with curry powder nearly enough, and I’m reminded of that fact every time I do use it. Because you’ve got so many spices mingling in one blend, it doesn’t take much else to make a dish delicious. That’s why I love Singapore noodles. Clarification: that’s why I love to make Singapore noodles. The fact that I love to eat Singapore noodles should require no explanation. I’ve ordered the dish dozens of times in restaurants, always thinking it had to be really complex, because it’s such an amazing array of flavors and textures. All that complexity is actually in the curry powder. One spice, which is actually a blend of a bunch of spices, all powdered up and ready to sprinkle on your food and transform it into something delicious. That’s what curry powder is, and that’s exactly what it does to these Singapore noodles.
Madras curry powder is the variety I opted to use in this dish. It’s a particularly spicy blend, resulting from the copious amounts of chili powder contained therein. I happen to like spicy, but if you don’t, I’m sure any basic curry powder would be equally delicious.
So, just how simple is this dish? It’s about as basic as a simple veggie stir fry. In fact, it is a simple veggie stir fry, just with noodles and curry powder. The noodles require just a short soaking time, so it doesn’t take as long as many other pasta dishes do. After soaking, they’re stir fried with the veggies and curry powder, along with a little garlic, ginger and soy sauce. I added a little turmeric, which, I’ll be totally honest and say was for the heightened yellow color it adds (because that’s the Singapore noodles trademark, right?). For the veggies I decided to go with napa cabbage for crunch, and red bell peppers for just a touch of sweetness, and for heft and protein I threw in some pan-fried tofu.
For a less spicy version, replace some or all of the Madras curry powder with a milder curry powder. For a spicier version, add a few teaspoonfuls of Asian chili paste.
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