Chinese cooking technique with a not-exactly South Asian spice mix (there is no curry in South Asia, in case you didn’t know). Sounds like the kind of fusion dish that Singapore has plenty of.
Surprisingly, you can’t find this dish in Singapore. Story has it that the dish originated in Hong Kong. It’s delicious though whatever its nationality. And, for the home cook, tweakable enough so you can use bits and pieces you can gather from your fridge.
Start by softening the noodles in hot water for a couple of minutes. Drain and leave to allow excess water to drip off while you saute the spice base and stir fry the vegetables.
The spice base consists of shallot, garlic and curry powder. Cook them gently until aromatic and the shallot slices are starting to soften.
Now, the stir frying begins. Turn up the heat, add the vegetables and cook, stirring and tossing, for about a minute.
Stir frying the vegetables was limited to a short time because we added mushrooms to the dish. Fish sauce is drizzled in after the mushrooms have been added.
Mushrooms take a shorter time to cook than the vegetables used here so the goal was to stir fry everything together and have them all cook at the same time. With the mushrooms and vegetables almost done, the drained noodles are added.
Soy sauce is drizzled in and the stir frying continues until the noodles are cooked through and all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
You may serve the curry bee hoon at this point. I did set aside a bowl for my older girl, Sam, who eats no mammals.
To the remaining stir fried noodles and vegetables in the wok, chopped crispy pork belly and slices of Chinese sausage were tossed in.
Singapore noodles (curry bee hoon)
- 120 grams bee hoon (thin rice noodles)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 shallot peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
- 1 small carrot peeled and julienned
- 1 cup finely sliced white cabbage
- 8 green beans trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper deseeded and julienned
- 200 grams fresh mushrooms (white and brown shimeji are used here) root ends discarded
- fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Chinese sausage lightly fried then thinly sliced into rings
- 1 ½ cups chopped crispy pork belly
- 2 tablespoons lime juice or lemon juice
- Plunge the bee hoon in a pan of hot water for two minutes. Drain and rinse under the tap. Leave in a colander to drain some more while you cook the vegetables.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok.
- Sautee the garlic and shallot for half a minute.
- Add the curry powder and continue sauteeing for a minute.
- Turn up the head and add the carrot, bell pepper, green beans and cabbage.
- Stir fry for a minute.
- Add the mushrooms.
- Drizzle in a tablespoon of fish sauce and stir fry for another minute.
- Add the drained bee hoon.
- Drizzle in a tablespoon of soy sauce and stir fry until the coloring is even.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce and continue stir frying until the noodles are soft but not soggy.
- Taste and add more fish sauce, as needed.
- Drizzle in the lime juice and toss a few more times.
- Add the Chinese sausage and crispy pork belly.
- Stir fry until the pork belly and sausage slices are heated through and evenly distributed.
- Serve your curry bee hoon at once.