Singapore noodles (Singapore Mei Fun)
This Singapore Noodle Recipe is simple to make and actually quite quick to make once you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. These wonderfully flavoured curry noodles are loaded with chicken, shrimp and char Siu pork along with some stir fried veggies and aromatics. These ingredients really build layers of fabulous flavor in this dish. You will never want to do take out again once you have tried and tasted this recipe. It’s quite versatile - the noodles and sauce ingredients stay the same but you can adjust and swap out the proteins and veggies for whatever you like to customize your noodles. It’s a noodle dish I always crave and can’t get enough of!
What are Singapore Noodles?
Singapore noodles (also known as Singapore Mei Fun) are a curried rice vermicelli dish loaded with veggies and protein. Despite the name Singapore noodles came from Hong Kong in the 1950’s or 1960’s. At that time Hong Kong was a booming hub for transportation and trading during the time it was a British Colony. There were lots of cuisines happening from all over and likely heavily influenced by the many different spices and ingredients available from the previously British ruled India. That is the most common info that everyone can agree on regarding the origin - further details are debatable. Their origin may confuse some who may think Hong Kong noodles are the same as Singapore noodles because of the location of their origin - but the difference really is that Singapore noodles are made with vermicelli noodles and curry and Hong Kong noodles are made with thicker noodles - egg based noodles and mainly soy sauces. There are so many variations of this wonderful dish and this in my rendition - a simple straightforward recipe that yields some super tasty noodles.
Singapore Noodles Recipe Ingredients
- Noodles: Rice vermicelli noodles are classically used in this dish and they come in different thicknesses - feel free to use whatever thickness you prefer. They are naturally gluten-free which I love. If you don’t have rice vermicelli noodles you can use very thin pasta like angel hair pasta cooked according to package instructions
- Vegetabes: I like to use carrots, red bell peppers and bean sprouts but feel free to use any stir-fried vegetable like mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, snow peas, celery etc…
- Meat/Protein: I like to do a blend of chicken (either chicken breast or chicken thighs) shrimp (I use peeled and deveined) and char Siu pork or Chinese style bbq pork which you can purchase in Chinatown and almost any Chinese restaurant. If you have a good homemade recipe feel free to use that. Some people like to use alternatives like chopped thicker cut ham, thick cut smoked bacon or lap cheong/Chinese sausage (which I love) or for a meatless version you can use tofu. You can also use leftover chicken or turkey or rotisserie - no need to cook it (obviously if its precooked) just add it in when you add the bbq pork to get all the flavours from the pan
- Eggs: You will need 3 eggs for this recipe
- Shallot & Garlic: I love the mellow sweet flavor of shallots and I use them often in cooking - feel free to use red onion or yellow onion if you prefer and as much or as little garlic as preferred as well
- Green Onions: They add loads of flavour to the dish - larger slices get stir fried and thinner slices are used to garnish noodles after
- Vegetable Oil: Use whatever you prefer - I use canola oil most times because that is what I always have on hand but you can also use peanut oil or grapeseed oil - they are neutral and thinner oils great for stir frying. Some like to finish the dish off with a little sesame oil but I usually don’t but feel free to if desired
- Curry Powder: I used Chief brand curry because that is the curry I always have on hand for all my Trinidadian curry dishes - it’s a dry curry. Feel free to use any curry you like - whether its a ground dry curry or a paste - use one you love the flavor of as it will come through quite a bit in these curried noodles
- Ground Turmeric: This is an optional add in but it really enhances the colour on the noodles - most curries already have turmeric in them but if you want an extra punch of colour to your noodles it doesn’t hurt to add a pinch more ground turmeric
- Soy Sauce: I usually use a blend of whatever I have - regular, light soy sauce or dark soy sauce, for a less saltier soy use a reduced salt or low sodium soy sauce. The darker the soy the darker your noodles will be
- Fish Sauce: Fish sauce amplifies the savory flavors in anything you add it too - I do recommend it for this dish and many more. Leave out if making a veg or vegan version
- Oyster Sauce: Oyster sauce adds a dark caramel color and lots of savory flavour to any dish. Hoison sauce is a good alternative if you are making a veg or vegan version - they are not a direct swap but they are the same consistency - the hoisin will add a more sweet warm spice fragrant flavor to your noodles where oyster sauce adds a salty briny with a hint of sweetness and loads of Unami - so not an easy direct swap for it
- Sugar: Just a touch of sugar or honey is added to add a bit of sweetness to balance out the flavours. Optional but recommended
How to Make Singapore Noodles
Singapore noodles are quite easy to make and the dish comes together quite quickly once you have all your ingredients prepared. Here is a breakdown of how to make this tasty dish (full instructions in recipe card below):
- Prepare Sauce: Whisk together sauce ingredients together in a small bowl then set aside
- Chop Vegetables: Slice and chop all your veggies and set aside
- Slice Chicken & Pork: Thinly slice your chicken and pork and set aside
- Cook Noodles: Cook noodles according to package instructions then drain and set aside - I like to spread mine out on a cooling rack to prevent them from sticking or clumping together.
- Stir Fry Eggs: Gently whisk eggs together in a small bowl then add them to preheated wok or non stick skillet and scramble them until cooked through then remove and set aside
- Stir-Fry Remaining Ingredients: Stir fry the chicken adding in the shrimp and char Siu then set aside. Then stir fry the vegetables along with the garlic, shallots and green onions
- Toss in Noodles: With the veggies in the wok add the noodles and toss gently to loosen them up
- Toss in Sauce: Stir sauce and drizzle over noodles tossing them gently
- Toss in Eggs, Chicken, Char Siu & Shrimp: Toss in the rest of the ingredients gently until combined
- Garnish & Serve: Serve while hot garnished with more sliced green onions
Tips For Making Singapore Noodles
- Don’t overcook Noodles - this is a bonus step but really helps prevent noodles from clumping together - once cooked remove them from the hot water and spread them evenly out over a cooling rack over a Sheetpan to cool
- Don’t overcook the protein - because chicken is sliced thin, shrimp cooks in no time and char Siu is already cooked there is no need to overcook the meat. As soon as it is cooked through remove from pan and set aside
- Don’t overcook the veggies - no one wants soggy veggies - tender crisp is ideal. They should have a slight bite for best texture unless you prefer yours softer then cook as long as desired
- Do season to taste - If you think you would like more soy sauce or fish sauce in your noodles please feel free to add more as needed and that goes the same for the curry powder - feel free to adjust anything to taste.
- Do make sure to have all your ingredients out and ready to go - so that means sauce made, veggies chopped, chicken thawed and sliced, shrimp thawed and pat dry, noodles cooked and drained because this meal comes together in no time once the wok is heated
Singapore Noodles Storage & Make Ahead Instructions:
- STORAGE: Leftover Singapore noodles can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a wok or skillet with a touch of oil and sort of give them a good toss and enjoy! Of course fresh off the wok is always best and I doubt there will be any leftovers
- MAKEAHEAD: Like I said this dish comes together quickly but there is some prep involved. Because all the ingredients sort of get tossed in together in the end you technically can prepare and store most of the ingredients in the fridge up to 1-2 days ahead of time. The EGGS can be scrambled and stored separately in an airtight container in the fridge. CHICKEN and SHRIMP can be cooked and cooled then stored in a sealed container in the fridge. VEGGIES (shallots, carrots, pepper, bean sprouts, garlic and green onions) can be sliced and stored in a sealed container in the fridge - no need to cook them before. The NOODLES can technically be cooked and drained and stored in an airtight container in the fridge - although they have a high chance of sticking together so feel free to toss them in a little sesame oil or vegetable oil before storing them. The SAUCE can be whisked together and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Once you are ready to cook remove all items from the fridge and cook as usual starting wth the veggies since all the rest have been cooked through already.
If you Loved This recipe You Will Love These:
For the Singapore Noodle Sauce
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon curry powder - or curry paste hot or mild
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric is optional for colour
For the Singapore noodles
- 300 grams (or 10-11 oz) vermicelli Rice noodles
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 3 eggs, whisked
- ½ lb chicken thighs sliced thin
- ½ lb shrimp peeled and Deveined
- ½ lb of char Siu bbq pork (homemade or storebought), sliced
- 1 shallot peeled and sliced
- 1 small carrot peeled and julienned or sliced into thin strips
- 1 bell pepper sliced thin
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 green onions slices into 1.5 inch pieces plus more for garnish
- Prepare noodles according to package directions soaking them in hot water - usually 2-5 minutes - then drain and set aside or spread noodles onto a cooling rack to help prevent them from sticking together
- In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients and set aside
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large wok or large non stick skillet over medium heat to medium high heat then pour in the eggs. Working quickly, scramble the eggs until they are just set (you can leave it in large chunks, no need to break it up into small pieces at this time) and then remove from the pan immediately and set aside.
- Place the same wok or skillet back on high heat. Add another tablespoon neutral oil and add the chicken and cook until halfway cooked then add the shrimp and cook the two together unitl cooked through then add the char Siu and cook just until warmed through and the flavours have combined. Remove from pan and set aside
- Add another tablespoon or so of oil to pan and add the onions, garlic and rest of the veggies and beans and Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until everything is crisp-tender (soft, with a bit of a bite).
- Bring the drained noodles into the pan and pour the sauce all over, toss gently but well to combine.
- Add the pork, shrimp and eggs, back into the wok and gently toss everything together.
- Serve with extra soy sauce, hot sauce like sriracha and sliced scallions and enjoy while noodles are hot