Servings: 4 Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins Total: 30 mins
When I was younger, I worked in a sort of strange restaurant. It seemed to want to be all things to all people, serving a wide range of high end foods, including ingredients like sea urchin and goose liver, while also offering ornate bar foods in the expensive, cold and fancy social gathering area, where beautiful people would ignore the sporting events on the walls. Our menu had both pizza and sushi.
Good food … weird place! While it was a hopping joint at the time, I believe it’s the only restaurant I’ve ever worked in that doesn’t still stand, today.
In any event, we had a few sushi chefs on hand. They had a boss … the lead sushi chef, whose complicated name was a challenge to pronounce. He was lovingly dubbed “Tamale Cauliflower” by the crew. Tamale was a dutifully honorable and stoic Japanese man. His sushi and his creations were well above any I’ve ever seen. I learned A LOT from Tamale. He could do things I’ve never seen duplicated by any other chef, and he knew it. Between orders, he would sit and read the paper, which would get you fired in most places. Tamale was the only man I’ve ever known, in any kitchen, anywhere, who could not only get away with sitting and reading a paper while working, but … could make it look like it was part of his job description. He could sit and quietly read, while emanating a paradoxically strong busy demeanor!
Somewhere, somehow, I’d managed to convince Tamale that he shouldn’t isolate himself so much and that he should contribute to the team. It’s not that Tamale was standoffish. Tamale was an incredible guy, but he just radiated something tough to penetrate. He lived his own rules. I somehow managed to reach in there and convince him to cook dinner for the staff, if even only occasionally.
Once a month, Tamale made “Singapore Noodles” for a group of about 40 people. He’d show up early and quickly, quietly, calmly and effortlessly float around, gathering the ingredients. Then he would methodically slice everything into perfect little strips, ribbons and cubes. He’d sort the ingredients into perfectly lined rows, set up on a bamboo tray. He’d carry the tray to the Wok station, crank the massive industrial Wok to high and then Tamale would … dance! That’s the only way I know to describe it! Between working the water flow with his knees, shucking and jiving, while tossing the ingredients into a thousand degree Wok hovering above a rocket engine; Tamale’s whole being just grooved into this amusing/amazing 12 minute burst of curry powder, shrimp and vegetables. It was really quite a sight to see from a man who never smiled, never frowned, never showed any kind of display … of any kind.
Yet, once a month … Tamale would dance and give us “Singapore Noodles”. They were good, too!
Singapore-Style NoodlesPrint Rate
- 16 ounces tofu shirataki noodles angel hair (non-tofu is fine, too!)
- 1 lbs boneless chicken cut into strips
- 16 each large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tbsp yellow curry powder divided
- 4 each garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 4 large whole eggs
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 large bunch broccoli including stalks, cut into florets
- 1 small red bell pepper seeded and sliced very thin
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1/2 medium onion very thinly sliced
- 1/4 bunch cilantro washed and large stems removed
- 2 whole green onions (scallions) cut lengthwise into thin strips
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Rinse your Shirataki noodles under warm water, for about 2 to 3 minutes, to wash off liquid from the packaging. Set in a strainer to allow them to drip dry. Many people, including myself, like to sauté these in coconut oil, for about 5 minutes, prior to doing anything with them. It tends to tighten them up and dry them out. The end result is, in my opinion, a more appealing "noodle" from both a taste and texture perspective. This step is optional, but one I recommend. Saute over high heat, until dry and "squeaky". Set aside.
- Another optional step ... I personally like my broccoli a bit on the undercooked and crunchy side. I stir fry raw florets into this and find the end result to be quite tasty and crunchy, but if you like your broccoli cooked through, boil some salted water and add your broccoli. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, then strain out and set aside. Your broccoli will be about halfway cooked, and it will finish in the stir fry, later.
- Mix together your chicken, shrimp, garlic, ginger and one-third of your curry powder in a bowl, with a little salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs with about one-third of your curry powder and a little salt and pepper. Set aside.
- (Note: I might suggest splitting all your ingredients into two halves and either doing this in 2 hot pans at the same time, or in 2 quick batches. It goes quick and will help keep things hot and moving) Heat a large sauté pan or wok (if you have one), over high heat. The hotter the better. The next few steps are going to be hot, fast and smoky. Be ready with your chicken/shrimp and vegetables, all cut and ready to throw in the pan.
- First, start by adding coconut oil to the pan and swirl it around. Immediately add your chicken/shrimp pieces. Sprinkle them around the bottom of the pan, to create a flat, single layer of meat. Let the pan sit for about 2 minutes, letting the ingredients turn nice and brown on one side.
- Add your broccoli to the pan. Toss it into the chicken/shrimp and allow to cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add your thinly sliced bell peppers, bean sprouts and onions. Toss these into the pan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and then allow to cook for about 1 minute.
- Add your eggs and mix to scramble the eggs around the ingredients. Allow it to sit and cook, then toss, sit and cook, then toss. You want little pieces of egg visibly cooked onto the ingredients. If you over mix, it'll just stir in and get lost.
- Add your noodles and toss. Add your remaining curry powder. Taste and adjust seasoning with a bit more salt and pepper.
- Divide the mixture between 4 plates or bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro and thinly sliced green onions.
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