It’s rare that I receive a request for a recipe I’ve never heard of. But that’s exactly what happened recently when a reader wrote in requesting I remake her and her husband’s favorite takeout dish: Singapore noodles.
What? The description sounded amazing! How had I never known about this unique dish?
After trying it for myself, I’m an instant convert. Drop what you’re doing, and get on board. Let’s venture into uncharted (delicious food) territory together!
Singapore noodles isn’t necessarily a dish that originated in Singapore (it’s believed to have originated in Hong Kong). I liken it to one of the many Chinese restaurant menu items I order that likely aren’t traditional Chinese dishes at all.
No matter the origin or history of this dish, what you need to know is this:
It’s like a cross between curry and pad Thai.
It’s got noodles.
It’s got vegetables.
Its flavor comes from a tangy-sweet sauce + curry powder.
It’s insanely delicious.
Based on my research, there are some not-so-common ingredients in Singapore noodles like Shaoxing wine and fish sauce that I didn’t want to a) hunt down, and b) attempt to veganize.
So I crossed my fingers, tried making it without them, and (much to my surprise) discovered you don’t really need them at all.
With that being said, this is my inspired version. Since I don’t have an authentic version to compare it to, this might not match your favorite restaurant’s version. But, what I can promise is that this recipe is surprisingly easy, intense in flavor, and 100% delicious.
Speaking of easy to make, this recipe requires just 10 ingredients (11 if adding tofu!) and about 30 minutes to prepare. Another perk? You likely have the ingredients in your kitchen right now:
Rice noodles (thin or vermicelli)
Soy sauce (or tamari)
(Tofu – optional)
While most of the recipes I found included pork or shrimp, I kept mine vegan by simply leaving these out. But I must say, the addition of my crispy, baked tofu adds extra protein and texture and takes this recipe to a whole new level of awesome.
I think you guys are going to love this dish! It’s:
Keep this recipe on hand for easy, fast weeknight meals. I also think it’d be great for entertaining a crowd, especially if you have vegan and gluten-free friends.
If you do try this dish, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Note: recipe updated 05/13/21 to address reader issues with flavor balance and clarity.
Vegan Singapore Noodles
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 cloves yield ~1 Tbsp or 6 g)
- 2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
- 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar (to taste)
- 2 Tbsp lime juice (~1 medium lime)
FOR SERVING* optional
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu (pressed dry and cubed*)
- Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- 2 stalks green onions (thinly sliced)
- See notes if adding tofu!
- Add rice noodles to a large bowl and cover completely with boiling water. Let cook for 5-10 minutes (or according to package instructions), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Drain and set aside.
- In the meantime, make the sauce by adding minced garlic, tamari or soy sauce, maple syrup or coconut sugar, and lime juice to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Then taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You’re going for a savory-tart sauce with a bit of sweetness (adjust to taste). Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) toasted sesame oil (adjust amount if altering number of servings), onion and red bell pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onion is soft and translucent.
- Add snow peas, 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce (adjust amount if altering number of servings), and curry powder, and stir. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then remove from pan and set aside.
- To the still-hot skillet, add remaining 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil (adjust amount if altering number of servings), cooked rice noodles, and sauce. Sauté for 1 minute, tossing frequently with tongs to disperse sauce.
- Add back in the vegetables and toss to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, then remove from heat.
- Taste and adjust as needed, adding more curry powder for curry flavor or more maple syrup to balance the curry flavor.
- Serve with desired toppings. This dish benefits greatly from a little hot sauce, such as sriracha!
- Best when fresh, though leftovers keep for 2-3 days covered in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat.
*Recipe requested by a reader, and adapted from Serious Eats!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without tofu and with the lesser amounts of rice noodles, curry powder, and maple syrup.