Singapore Style Bihun Noodles…


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.


19 Responses

  1. Home-made noodles always have my thumbs-up! You can always be sure it will be full of “sahog”. I do my Singapore noodles style with added ginger and tone down the curry as I got “umay” from it. :) I sprinkle toasted peanuts, nice big salad style togue and chopped wansuy on top.

  2. Asian style noodles are my weakness. I have to try make this. The picture makes me want to take a fork and spear into my computer screen. I can taste the curry.

  3. I know it could never compare with the original, but Chinese take-outs here have Singapore Rice Noodles on the is more expensive than the mei fun (bihon), and it has the curry flavor and is more yellowish in color..It is delicious, especially if the greasy-spoon take out has better short order cook. The one near our home is quite good..Food “critic” Yelp thinks so…hehe

    Maybe I’ll order later? The power of suggestion….

  4. I don’t comment often but I love your blog. When I open my google reader and if you have an entry I click on it first. This looks yummy. Do you use home made, canned or bouillon for chicken broth? Because making broth is such a bother I tend not to make food that calls for it. I tasted pancit once made with bouillon and it was delicious but can’t make myself use it when I read all the ingredients.

  5. one of my favorite Chinese take out here in NYC is Singapore Mai-fun. But I like your version better. I love the color and I’m sure taste 100 times better than my Chinese take out

  6. I bow deep to anyone who can cook fine rice noodle without making a dog’s breakfast out of it. A cousin took me once to the restaurant that catered to the first delegation of Mainland Chinese diplomats in NYC where she ordered a dryish dish of very fine rice noodles with nothing visible in it except lumps of crab meat. It looked like a very up-market bihun goreng with just a minute amount of light soy sauce going into it because it appeared almost colorless though remarkably intensely flavorful nevertheless. Being a slave to crab meat, I slaver at the memory even after forty years. Have been replicating it at home all those years but not quite so successfully.

  7. When it comes to beehoon, always read the ingredients list to make sure it’s 100% rice and not a mixture with added sago and tapioca. The latter gives you a mess.

  8. Khew… a lot of beehun today is made with cornstarch, which also tends to go mushy… I haven’t found my top beehun/bihon noodle yet, unlike the sotanghon noodle (Pagoda one) that I trust more than all others so far… Footloose I am intrigued by the crab bihun… will have to experiment. Perhaps just highly flavorful and concentrated crab broth was added to the noodles… joanie, I LOVED my neighborhood Chinese take-out place when I used to live in New York. They had a shredded szechuan beef recipe that was to die for. I ordered it as LEAST twice a week, with an extra order of rice! :) bijin, I used canned chicken broth, Swanson brand, sometimes the low-sodium version. I make my own stocks a lot, but truth be told, rely on good canned chicken and beef stocks when in a pinch… which is fairly often. :)

  9. Thank you for sharing this. Haven’t been to those parts of Asia and know only one kind of pansit to make. My daughter who likes anything flavored with curry would probably enjoy this.

  10. My favourite is a seafood beehoon made with prawn stock. The trick is to stirfry prawn shells till they are aromatic before adding in the water along with some old ginger and spring onions. Thereafter, use this to fry the beehoon et al and serve with cooked sambal belacan & calamansi. A more ethereal version is without any soy sauce but splash in a dash of brandy or shaoxing. Asparagus tips or broccoli florets for added ‘class’. This version is best with pickled green chillies with or without added light soy sauce.

  11. Bijin: There are commercially available all natural, gluten free and without MSG chicken broth that comes in boxes ready to be poured, or whenever I can, I debone my chicken for some dishes , keep the bones in the freezer and when in quantity, I boil them for broth. I then freeze the broth in small ziploc bags or use the broth frozen in ice cube trays ( the silicon ones are perfect for this) to drop in my wok for stir frying when needed. ( ala bettyQ). Just that ice cube trays seem to be vanishing with automatic ice makers almost standard in many refrigerators.

  12. I love Singapore. They proudly announced if they put lard, pork-by-products, or meat in their dishes at the hawker stalls. Clean and honest so that people with dietary concerns won’t have to guess. It’s good for the vegetarian and halal or kosher eating people. All fast foods are required to have halal meat. Nobody really starves in SG, hence you see NO fighting (insurgency, killings/murders – people do kill and steal for food, can’t think straight when you’re hungry or don’t know when or where your next meal would be)

    It’s good to learn from neighbors.

  13. Hi MM! Love bijon/bihun- I can eat it
    On another note, you meant “in Indonesia” (second
    statement), right?

  14. Hello Market Manila! So glad that I found your blog. I’ve read one of your post about where to buy mascarpone cheese? I am so looking for this kind of cheese I intend to use it to make the Tiramisu. By the way I am here at Dumaguete City. I wonder if you know someone or where that sells this kind of cheese. I can’t start without it.
    Anyway Thanks a lot for your time.

  15. In Fookien stir fry bihon, we first make humba with pork knuckles then the fatty sauce goes in the bihon. It makes it slightly sticky and utterly delicious! I’m not sure if Singaporean bihon uses humba broth or not.



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.