Singapore Curry Noodles with Golden Tofu
If you’ve ever wondered why some of us find food fascinating long after the dinner dishes are cleared, look no further than the case of curry.
When I say curry, you might think of a leaf, a paste, or a powder. You might begin to crave savory Indian stews, dream about bowls of spicy Thai soup, imagine portions of sauce-smothered Japanese katsu, or salivate after thoughts of German currywurst. You might even think of Singapore Noodles, an entry in the dry–not stew-like–curry list. All are valid food fantasies. There are a lot of curries!
Historians chart curry’s beginnings to pre-historic India, when the combination of ginger, garlic, and turmeric first gave flavor to ancient mealtimes. Since then, curry has morphed into a complex and delicious hallmark of global cuisine. That’s because as humanity’s timeline surged forward and travel and trade carried Indian spices and Indian peoples across Asia and the west, generations of eaters went through the same process: they tried curry, left the region where they tried the dish, then continued to crave the stuff to the point where they turned their taste memories into new recipes. Eventually those gained popularity and acceptance too. Cuisines and sub-cuisines emerge in the kitchens of repatriated ex-pats, former colonists, and diasporas. That’s world history, all in one culinary journey–and that’s how our foodie interest lasts long beyond dinner.
Anyway, once you know about this historic and mysterious culinary march, the entire idea of authenticity stops being so important with curry. You don’t have to inquire so critically as to how noodles combined with vegetables, protein, and curry powder to become a dish named after a city (Singapore!) where by reports I’ve heard it never even appears. Rather, you can just embrace the fact that when you make this dish (Singapore Noodles!), you’ll be treating yourself to a truly enigmatic and mouth-watering lunch or dinner that’s easy to cook – and easy to throw together with leftover ingredients or from a hodgepodge fridge.
See, I used No Yolks Extra Broad Noodles in this rendition of the fabulous, fragrant, and utterly satisfying dish. The noodles always cook up right: smooth, firm, not at all sticky, and customarily. I adore them under a ladleful of warming beef stew or in kugel. But I figured you knew about broad noodles and beef stew, and so I wanted to talk about a completely different use for these toothsome, filling noodles.
When the noodles are left over (perhaps from yesterday’s yummy beef stew), their twists are especially primed to absorb the flavors of whatever you mix in. Here, in this eclectic curry dish, those flavors are, yes, curry powder, and also turnips, peppers, tofu, eggs, onions, garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and peas. I hadn’t eaten this dish in years before I made it this time, but the smell and flavor jogged my taste memory immediately and vividly. Funnily enough, Alex had the same reaction when he took his first bite of my leftovers: he’d been pining for this dish in the back of his mind but hadn’t even registered the desire. One bite and he was flooded with simultaneous craving and satisfaction. Curry’s just memorable and magical like that.
Compensation for this post was provided by New World Pasta via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of New World Pasta or AOL. Browse everyone’s No Yolks’ posts here. Thanks so much for supporting these occasional sponsored posts, which keep BGSK delicious!
- 2 ounces uncooked No Yolks Extra Broad Noodles, cooked, preferably ahead of time (about 1 cup cooked noodles)
- 3½ ounces firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- Canola oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon corn starch
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ medium onion, chopped
- ½ red pepper, cut into matchsticks
- 1 turnip, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 clove garlic, peeled minced
- ½-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh curry powder
- ¼ cup frozen peas (defrosted or not, doesn't matter)
- If the noodles aren't cooked, cook them until al dente in a big pot of salted boiling water. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Film the bottom with oil. When hot, add the tofu cubes. Cook, tossing every few minutes, until golden on most sides, about 10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel to drain, and sprinkle with salt.
- Add a little more oil, then pour in the egg. Sprinkle with salt. Tilt the pan to spread the mixture everywhere, as though you were making a very thin omelet. Pull the cooked edges in, then tilt again, to let the uncooked egg hit the pan. Repeat until fully cooked, then slide onto a plate or cutting board. When cool enough to touch, cut into thin strips.
- In a small bowl or mug, mix together the fish sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and ⅓ cup water. Set aside.
- Now, turn the heat up to high, and, when hot, add plenty of oil to generously coat the bottom. Add the onion, red pepper, turnip, clove garlic, and ginger, and cook until soft, stirring constantly, but letting the edges of the veggies brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, and cook til fragrant. Then add the noodles, sauce mixture, sliced omelet, golden tofu, and frozen peas, and cook until the mixture boils off and the noodles and veggies are coated. Taste for balance of flavors, adding soy sauce, salt, sugar, or more curry powder as needed. Serve immediately.