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singapore noodles


This post is dedicated to those of you who are vegetarian or vegan, including but not limited to, new(er) blogging friends, M-R and Susan.

M-R, you know, is a published author, of the on-its-way-to-The New York Times Bestseller List-or-its-Australian-equivalent, And Then Like My Dreams. I’m looking forward to reading the book. If her blog is any indication of how she writes, then I’m a fan already. I enjoy reading the comments she leaves, on her blog as well as others’. Comments are sometimes the best part of a post! M-R’s particularly, display her quick wit and humor.

She’s planning a short sabbatical from blogging in less than two weeks from now, which is not a bad idea. A break from blogging every now and then might very well be what I need myself, as blogging does take much of my free time. Plus, I can only sit in front of a computer for so long. And then, of course, there’s that boredom I feel from looking at my own blog. Gasp! Don’t tell anyone I said that!

M-R is a vegetarian, or in her word “vego.” I just have a hunch that she enjoys tofu and noodles, so I hope she likes the recipes and find them useful. Even in a sabbatical, one still needs to nourish one’s body. Oh my, did that line just make me sound smart?

Susan, on the other hand, is a vegan. Her blog is full of wonderful ideas for clean and healthy living. She is also the originator of a “Congraduation” cake. I won’t be surprised if I’ll start seeing greeting cards emblazoned with the word, as well as such a cake coming out of bakeries everywhere from now on. But we all know who started it, don’t we?

Susan graciously featured my blog recently as part of her blog tour, even though I’m not a vegan or one with particularly healthy lifestyle. Thank you, Susan. While I find it difficult to continue the chain, I deeply appreciate the gesture. I hope I’m showing it through this post.

The two recipes below feature tofu and non-wheat noodles, and no meat. One is mistakenly, so I heard, credited to Singapore, while the other definitely belongs to Korea. They are also essentially gluten-free, if gluten-free soy sauce is used. So, if you’re vegan or vegetarian or GF or DF kind of person, this is for you!

singapore rice noodles

Singapore Rice Noodles

  • Servings: at least 4
  • Difficulty: easy, but make sure ingredients are ready to go prior to stir-frying (mise en place).
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The noodles
8 oz dried rice vermicelli
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Place noodles in a large bowl.
2. Pour boiling water to cover, and let steep for no more than 2 minutes.
3. Rinse noodles in cold water, drain well, and toss with the oil to prevent sticking and clumping. Set aside.

The sauce
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp coconut milk (optional, substitute with vegetable stock, if preferred)
1/3 cup water or vegetables stock

The vegetables stir-fry
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 block of tofu (about 4x4x2 in), cut into small pieces
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup bean sprouts

1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
2. In a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook tofu pieces until slightly crisp and golden. Remove tofu and place on a plate lined with paper towel.
3. Turn up heat to high. In the same pan, sauté garlic and ginger briefly, adding more oil if necessary. Add onion slices and continue to sauté until they’re wilted. Add the rest of the vegetables in this order: carrot, bell pepper, broccoli, and bean sprouts. Add tofu pieces.

(Btw, M-R, you can easily toss everything at this point with some soy sauce or hoisin sauce and have yourself a nice stir-fry, perfect with a bowl of rice. But if you want Singapore Noodles, move on to step 4.)

tofu and vegetables stir fry

4. Add noodles and sauce. Using a pair of tongs, toss everything to coat with the sauce, and cook until sauce has evaporated. Remove from heat, sprinkle with chopped green onions or cilantro.

All the vegetables used in the above recipe can also be used in the second recipe below. If you plan ahead, you can cut up all the vegetables at once, and then refrigerate half for later use, when you’re ready to make the other noodle dish.

Korean sweet potato noodles

Korean Japchae

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy, but just like the previous recipe, best to get all the ingredients ready before cooking
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The sauce
2-3 tbsp soy sauce (this may seem a lot, but trust me, these noodles are bland and you need to season them well, but adjust amount to your preference)
1 tbsp warm water or vegetable stock
1 tbsp sugar or 1 tsp sugar substitute
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

The noodles
6 oz sweet potato noodles (Korean “glass noodles” aka dangmyeon)
2 tbsp sauce

1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil, and boil noodles for about 6-7 minutes. Test a strand to see if it’s cooked to your liking.
2. Drain noodles well, cut into manageable pieces with kitchen shears. Place in a large bowl.
3. Toss with about 2 tbsp of the sauce. Set aside.

The vegetables stir-fry
1 block of tofu (about 4x4x2 in), cut into small pieces
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
1 cup broccoli florets
1 bunch of spinach
1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
Olive oil
Extra soy sauce and sesame oil, if needed

1. In a non-stick skillet, fry tofu with a little bit of oil, until slightly crisp. Remove and transfer to a bowl, drizzle about 1 tsp of the sauce, toss, and add to noodle bowl.
2. In the same skillet, sauté onion until translucent. Remove, transfer to a bowl, toss with a little bit of the sauce, add to noodle bowl.
3. Prepare the rest of the vegetables in the same manner, except for the spinach. Boil or steam spinach, let cool, squeeze out as much liquid as possible, cut into pieces, toss with a little sauce and add to noodle bowl.
4. When all the vegetables are cooked and added to the noodles, sauté garlic in a little oil briefly and add the all the noodles and vegetables. Add the rest of the sauce (there will be about 1 tbsp left) and toss to combine. You can add more soy sauce and sesame oil at this point, if needed.
5. Remove from heat. Garnish with more toasted sesame seeds. May be served warm or cold.