Lately I have had some pretty strong food cravings. Singapore style bihun noodles was one of them, and I haven’t eaten them in what seems like years. Mrs. MM and I were officially residents/based out of Singapore for many years in the early 1990’s, and though we were in Indonesia and elsewhere in Asia most of the time on work projects, we returned to Singapore at least once a month to clean out our apartment and get our required fix of Hainanese Chicken Rice, roast or barbecued pork, chili crabs, hawker food, and sometimes, these curry flavored bihun noodles. Singapore has grown leaps and bounds since that period some 15-20 years ago, and while the food remains terrific, the city is so much larger, vertical, urban and first world.
Purists will probably cringe at this version of singapore bihun. But I made it with ingredients we had at home, and somewhat without a really good recipe that I had used before. Some of the vegetables I added make this seem more like our own bihon guisado, but wait till you see the seasonings… :) To make, take a 500gram pack of good bihun and soak it in tap water for 10 minutes and drain. Cut up the noodles a bit if you want them in more manageable lengths. In a wok, add some vegetable oil, and saute some onions and garlic, half a kilo or more of peeled shrimp, and several kinds of vegetables like julienned red capsicum, snow peas, green beans, etc. Add about a teaspoon of curry powder and after just a minute or so, remove onto a plate and set aside. We had several pieces of leftover onglet left over so I julienned that and added it to the mix as well. You can add chicken or bits of pork if you like. Others add mushrooms instead of meats.
Into a bowl, add 2-3 tablespoons of rice vinegar, several tablespoons of hoisin, several tablespoons of soy sauce and one heaping teaspoon of sriracha. Have several cups of good chicken broth ready to add to the wok. Heat up the wok again, add the liquids including say 2-3 cups of stock and bring this to a simmer. Add the bihun noodles and toss well to mix. Add 3-4 teaspoons of curry powder and all of the veggies and shrimp and season with salt and pepper to taste. We added some shredded pechay or bokchoy as well. This should be done in a flash. You may need a cup or two more of chicken broth if it seems too dry. This batch turned out a bit more “stuff-laden” than commercial examples in Singapore, and far less “one-dimensionally curry-like” in flavor. It was very satisfying and certainly met the hankering for Singapore style noodles. This recipe could easily feed 6-8 hungry folks.