The Vietnamese have put their own
particularly delicious stamp on Singapore noodles, which are popular
throughout South East Asia. In Saigon, the noodles are standard street and
cafe food, an ideal meal for anyone feeling a little peckish. At the
Singapore noodle stalls, batches of cold, cooked noodles are kept ready to
add to the delicious concoction cooking in the wok. At home, you can make
this dish with any kind of noodles - egg or rice, fresh or dried.
Onion, finely chopped
Garlic, finely chopped
Green or red Thai chilies, seeded and finely chopped
Fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
Spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
Skinless chicken breast fillet, cut into bite-size strips
Pork, cut into bite-size strips
Tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
Water or fish stock
Fresh rice sticks (vermicelli)
Ground black pepper
Fresh basil and mint, stalks removed, leaves shredded
Nuoc cham, to serve
Heat a wok or heavy pan and add the oil.
Stir in the onion, garlic, chilies and
ginger, and cook until they begin to color. Add the spring onions and
cook for 1 minute, add the chicken and pork, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Then stir in the shrimps.
Add the tomatoes, followed by the tamarind
paste, nuoc mam, lime juice and rind, and sugar.
Pour in the water or fish stock, and cook
gently for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the noodles in a pan of
boiling water and cook for a few minutes until tender. Drain them and
add the chicken and shrimp mixture.
Season with salt and ground black pepper
and serve immediately, with plenty of basil and mint scattered over the
top, and drizzled with spoonfuls of nuoc cham.
There are endless variations of this
classic dish - the only key is to keep the sauce dry, cut the meat and
fish into small pieces and, most importantly, toss in the noodles at the
last minute. The addition of fresh basil and nuoc cham lends a distinct
Vietnamese flavor but you may also add strips of squid or slices of
Chinese sausage to the mixture in the wok.