Singapore Fried Noodles are a popular restaurant dish from South East Asia. Traditionally, rice stick noodles are wok tossed with garlic, green onions, and vegetables, then coated in a spicy, savory sauce. I’m all for making exotic dishes accessible to the average home cook. So in lieu of rice stick noodles, I used thin spaghetti. I found that, when cooked right, they can be a workable substitute. For the sauce, I used a combination of curry powder, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce.
The first step is to horizontally slice a block of extra firm tofu down the center. Take one half and begin slicing it, resulting in one-inch strips. Then wrap the tofu in paper towels and gently weight it with a plate to drain excess liquid. Do this thirty minutes prior to cooking. Once you’ve cooked the noodles in heavily salted water until al dente, drain and toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil. After the tofu has drained, it’s time to begin frying. Heat up 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok and add some crushed red chili flakes and curry powder. Allow the flakes to toast and turn slightly darker in color before adding tofu. Then fry for about five minutes, until tofu is toasted and golden brown.
Once the tofu is fried, set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Then fry sliced red peppers for about five minutes and reserve. Add some more oil and toast some more chili flakes with a 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder. Then fry garlic and green onions for about thirty seconds before adding chili garlic paste and soy sauce. Return noodles to the wok and begin tossing to coat.
Once noodles have cooked, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and green onions and serve!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
7 oz extra firm tofu (1/2 a package)
1/2 lb thin spaghetti
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes plus 1 teaspoon more
1/4 teaspoon curry powder plus 1/2 more
1 tablespoon soy sauce plus 1 tablespoon more
1 red pepper (julienned)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 green onions (whites and part of greens-reserve some for garnish)
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
Begin by slicing tofu in half (horizontally). Take half and begin slicing into 1 inch long, 1/4 inch thick pieces. Wrap pieces in paper towels and gently weight with a plate and maybe a few pieces of fruit in order to help drain the tofu. Do this thirty minutes prior to cooking. Then boil spaghetti in heavily salted water for about 6-8 minutes, or until al dente. (For every six-seven cups of water I use 3-4 teaspoons salt). Drain pasta and mix with 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Reserve.
To fry tofu, heat up 2-3 tablespoons canola oil in a large wok at medium temperature. Toss in 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes and 1/4 teaspoon curry powder. Fry for about a minute, or until curry powder has “bloomed” and chili flakes are darker. Then toss in tofu and fry for a few minutes until tofu is firmer, golden, and toasted on the outside. Then drain on a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Fry red peppers in the same wok for about 5 minutes, until softened, seasoning with a pinch of salt. Set aside and reserve. Then add a little more oil to the wok as well as another teaspoon of crushed red chili flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder. Go through the same process again, this time adding garlic and green onions and frying for about 30 seconds before adding chili garlic sauce and soy sauce. Immediately toss in cooked spaghetti and begin tossing with tongs. Fry for about a minute or two before removing from heat and folding in tofu and red peppers. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and remaining green onions. Enjoy!