I tried Singapore Rice Sticks for the first time at a little Chinese restaurant we happened to stumble upon in the midwest. We were going to order a curry rice dish and our server told us they had a much better version of the same dish, but that was not on the menu. Feeling like we had just been let in the back door of a speakeasy, we decided to go with the “secret” menu we were let in on. I’m so glad we did, because what came out was a huge bowl of Singapore Rice Sticks. They were full of bold flavors like curry and garlic, but were rounded out with the addition of fresh ginger and bell pepper. They were hot both in temperature and spice and stood out as the favorite of the entire meal … more over kung pao chicken!
When I decided to try to make this dish at home, I shied away a couple of times, because it seemed like a lot of work. But don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you! This dish may seem like a tall order, but keep in mind it is mostly stir frying, meaning that you are cooking things at a high temperature for a very short amount of time. What ends up on your plate is definitely worth a little extra prep time. And, like the best Chinese food does, it tastes even better the next day!
Singapore Rice Sticks
- 8 ounces rice sticks (fine dried noodles)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons hot curry powder
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 ounces medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 4 ounces raw lean pork, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
- 4 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
- 3 ounces Chinese barbecue pork or smoked ham, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 hot chili peppers, slivered thinly (or crushed red pepper to taste)
- 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
- 12 scallions
- 1 and 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- salt & pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and boil until tender, 1-2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Let the noodles air dry and firm in a colander for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Whisk together the eggs, 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder and the sesame oil until blended. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil into a wok (or heavy skillet) over moderately high heat. Pour in the egg mixture and immediately reduce the heat to low. Scramble the eggs until just set, transfer the eggs to a bowl and reserve.
Return the wok to moderately high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add the shrimp and stir fry until mostly cooked, about 1 minute. Remove the shrimp and reserve. Repeat the oil and stir fry process for the chicken and lean pork, cooking each for about 1 minute. Transfer each to a bowl and reserve.
Turn up the heat to high and when the the wok is very hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the ginger, garlic, chilies, and remaining curry powder. Stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add Chinese pork or ham, bell peppers and stir fry another 30 seconds. Splash a small amount of water (2 tablespoons or less) and cook until boiled off.
Push the vegetable and pork mixture to the sides of the wok and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the center. Add the scallions, bean sprouts and noodles and toss over high heat until very hot, about 30 seconds.
Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Return the shrimp, pork, and chicken to wok and add soy sauce. Toss well and add reserved egg mixture and salt. Serve hot.
I served our Singapore Rice Sticks over some simple white rice, but it would have been plenty filling on its own. We also decided to make it EXTRA spicy, by using 1/2 of a ghost pepper as our chili pepper. It was my first encounter with the “ghost pepper” and I was very glad I listened to the warning of our friend, who grew it, and only used half. It was hot! Nothing a few extra glasses of water won’t fix. Enjoy!