Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Singapore Noodles

Singapore noodles are an old family favourite but they are a bit hit-and-miss from takeaways. The ones I've made contain fairly average veg that a Uk fridge is likely to contain, rather than any specialist (expensive) ones, so they aren't exactly like ones from a good Chinese but they are tasty.

The guideline recipe I used is from "Chinese Food Made Easy" by Ching He Huang - a great book if you love a Chinese takeaway, but hate the heart-thumping, water gulping after effects.

I like to pre-prepare all of the spices and veg, so that the last thing to touch the chopping board is the raw meat. For the spices, you need a chopped red chilli, a few cloves of chopped garlic and a couple of generous tablespoons of turmeric. The garnish is chopped spring onion and a sprinkle of dried chillies. In addition to the veg, you're also going to need 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp of rice vinegar, some chicken and some bacon. Or use prawns if you have / like them.

The veg I used (and by no means feel bound by these, because I certainly didn't choose these ones based on any recipe!) were: one green and one red pepper, spinach, a cob's worth of sweetcorn and a carrot sliced into thin batons. I also had a jar of mushrooms preserved in olive oil which needed using up, these were really good in it.

Then you can chop up your chicken - this was the meat off two legs, as they are cheaper than buying a pack of four thighs or two breasts, and I always feel the breast is less tender anyway. The sad water-injected legs you'd get off a battery/poorly treated chicken won't cover this, at the very least a free range bird is needed, but I'd recommend organic for too many reasons to cover here. There are some notes on choosing chicken in this earlier post.

Pre-cook the chicken with nothing more than a little seasoning and some oil, then put the peices to one side. You also need to soak your rice noodles, hot water from the tap will do, for about 5-10 minutes depending on what the packet says.

In the same frying pan, heat up a little more oil and add the garlic, fresh chilli and turmeric (and mushrooms if using). Cook for at most a minute, then add the bacon and cook for a minute more. Tip all of the veg in and cook until tender, then add the soaked noodles, light soy, oyster sauce and vinegar.

Mix it all up, add the dried chilli and spring onions, and serve.

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