Singapore Noodles (星洲炒米粉)

Learn how to make this delicious Cantonese classic at home!

Prep Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Yields
4 servings

A Recipe by Daddy Lau

My dad's been cooking Chinese food for over 50 years - as a kid fending for himself in Guangzhou, as the head chef of his own restaurant, and as a loving father in our home.

Hopefully, by learning this recipe, you'll get to experience some of the delicious joy we felt growing up eating his food!

- Randy

Singapore Noodles are a Cantonese classic that's popular all around the world... but not in Singapore.

Why are they called Singapore Noodles?

When we announced that we were doing this dish on Instagram and Patreon, we got a lottttt of comments from our friends in Singapore that they'd never heard of this dish.

And, of course, I went digging.

According to the renowned Singaporean chef, Damian D'Silva, the dish actually originated in Hong Kong in the 50s and 60s. At the time, Hong Kong was still a British colony and a booming international trade hub. Spice powders and curries from previously British-ruled India were abundant, which inspired more than a few chefs to start tossing them into their stir-fried noodle dishes.

The name seems to be coincidental, as the chefs felt it might add some mystique or exotic appeal to the dish. It was a favorite amongst the many cháhchāantēngs 茶餐廳, or Hong Kong-style cafés, and quickly gained popularity overseas as Hong Kong chefs fanned out across the world.

Even though Singapore noodles are definitely not from Singapore, some Singaporeans would say that the dish is a good metaphor for the eclectic mashup of all of the different cultures and cuisines that Singapore has become famous for.

Ingredients

Weight: US
oz
g
Volume: US
cup
mL
Servings
4
    Main Ingredients
  • 8 oz rice stick noodles
  • 3 oz char siu (

    see our recipe to make your own

    )
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 oz chicken breast
  • 10 pieces shrimp (

    size 31-35

    )
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 0.50 yellow onions
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 oz carrot
  • 3 oz bean sprouts
  • 2 pieces green onion
  • Chicken Breast Marinade
  • 0.50 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Seasoning
  • 1 tsp curry powder (

    for a mild, less yellow starting point - use more if you'd like.

    )
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp corn oil

Selecting the Right Noodles

We talk A LOT about this throughout the video, but we'll be using rice stick noodles. They prefer Hsinchu, which is a Taiwanese brand of noodles that tend not to break or stick as much to the wok when cooking.

On Curry Powder

The technique of grinding up spices into powders dates back at least 4000 years in India, and spice trade played an enormous role in the world's economy and balance of power over the millennia.

The western word "curry" is an adaptation of the Tamil word kaṟi, which means 'sauce', and over time, countless varieties of curries and curry dishes emerged all around the world.

Curry powder is absolutely essential for Singapore noodles. With so many options, the type of curry powder you use for this dish really impacts the final flavor profile, so you might want to experiment with several options until you land on something you love. If you don't have any, I've included a few curry powder options to start with:

Finding Asian Ingredients

Some of these ingredients are hard to find in a typical grocery store.

If you don't live near an Asian market, most or all of what my dad uses in this recipe can be found on Amazon:​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

I've also included some other Chinese kitchen essentials, used in many of my dad's other recipes.

These links are affiliate links, which means that if you use our links to purchase these ingredients, Amazon pays my family a small amount for the sale - at no extra cost to you. If you use these links, we really appreciate the support!

Alternatives to Oyster Sauce

If you're vegetarian or need to stay away from gluten, we have three alternatives for you!

Vegetarian Oyster Sauce

Since oyster sauce is made out of oyster extract, here are some alternatives that have a similar taste without using the actual oyster:

Gluten Free Oyster Sauce

Wok Mei has a gluten-free oyster sauce, but it still contains oyster extract, so it's not vegetarian friendly.

Vegetarian + Gluten Free Oyster Sauce

Unfortunately, we don't know of a vendor that sells an oyster sauce that caters to both dietary restrictions, so you'll need to DIY the sauce.

Mix equal parts gluten free soy sauce and gluten free hoisin sauce. This isn't exactly the same as oyster sauce, but it's pretty close.

Other Supplies + Tools

You'll need a good wok, which provides a ton of versatility for the classic Chinese cooking methods: steaming, stir frying, deep frying, and etc.

First, we'll bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the noodles (8 oz) for about 1-2 minutes, and work to spread the noodles apart with chopsticks the entire time.

Then, we'll drain the noodles into a colander. The goal is to get the noodles to be pretty dry, so shake the colander a few times to get excess water. Continue separating the noodles with chopsticks for 30-60 seconds.

Cover the colander with a plate. This helps the noodles get to the perfect texture, allowing them to cook a bit longer without introducing excess moisture.

DO NOT rinse them afterward in water - this leads to soggier, stickier noodles.

For the chicken:

  • Cut the chicken into little strips
  • Place the strips in a bowl
  • Marinate the chicken with cornstarch (0.50 tsp) and water (1 tbsp).
  • Using our hands, we'll mix and massage the bowl for 20-30 seconds.

For the char siu (3 oz):

  • Cut into strips
  • Singapore Noodles is often served with strips of char siu, but if you don't have any on hand you can also use ham, lap cherng (Chinese sausage), or just skip it. We also have a recipe and video on how to make it!

For the eggs (2):

  • Crack and beat the eggs, mixed in with a dash of salt.

For the shrimp (10 pieces), as long as they're peeled and deveined, we don't have to do anything to them.

After washing our vegetables, we'll be cutting carrots (2 oz), onions (0.50), and celery (2 stalks) into slices and strips.

For bell pepper (1), my dad is using about a third of several different colors of bell peppers, but if you want to keep it simple, you can just use an entire, single bell pepper.

Chop green onions (2 pieces) into roughly 1 inch pieces.

We'll also be adding bean sprouts (3 oz) later as well.

The amounts and types of vegetables are really up to you. Anything goes with Singapore Noodles (with some caveats):

  • Try to avoid veggies with higher water content (like bok choy), since this will lead to a more soggy dish.
  • Try to avoid having an excessive amount of vegetables, since even lower water content vegetables will leak out water.

We'll create our sauce by mixing curry powder (1 tsp), oyster sauce (1 tbsp), salt (1 tsp), sugar (1 tsp), and water (2 tbsp).

As written, the amount of curry powder my dad uses is pretty mild, so if you want a stronger flavor and/or more yellow finish, feel free to increase the amount of curry powder.

Curry powder is absolutely essential for Singapore noodles. With so many options, the type of curry powder you use for this dish really impacts the final flavor profile, so you might want to experiment with several options until you land on something you love.

If you don't have any, I've included a few curry powder options to start with:

When cooking this dish, along with other noodle stir-fries, we'll want to get our wok really hot before adding oil.

Heat the wok for 2-3 minutes on high heat. While we wait, we'll continue loosening up our noodles.

Once the wok is hot enough, add 1-2 tsp of corn oil.

Another sign that both our wok and oil are hot enough is when we can see the oil shimmering, or forming ripples across the surface.

Now, we'll be putting all of the pieces together!

Pour in the eggs: My dad is cooking the eggs very gently, leaving the first side intact for 20-30 seconds before starting to flip and scramble the eggs. We want the eggs to be really soft. In total, we're cooking the eggs for about a minute here, and tossing them back in later.

Transfer the eggs onto a plate, add oil: Next, we'll add another tablespoon of a high smoke point oil like corn oil, and roll it around the pan.

Cook the chicken + shrimp: We'll be cooking the chicken now, so remix the chicken + marinade around with chopsticks for a few seconds. Cook the chicken for 30-45 seconds before adding the shrimp. Add the shrimp, and cook both meats until the shrimp starts to turn orange, and the chicken starts to turn white.

Transfer the meat onto a plate, add 1 tbsp of oil.

Cook the vegetables (minus the bean sprouts) for about 60-90 seconds.

Transfer the vegetables onto a plate, add 1 tbsp of oil.

Cook the noodles for about 1-2 minutes before flipping them. After flipping, cook the noodles for another 2-3 minutes, occasionally moving them around with your chopsticks.

Add the sauce and cook the noodles for another 2 minutes before adding everything else back in.

Add everything else in: Over the course of about 2 minutes, we'll be progressively adding the vegetables, followed by the chicken and shrimp, the char siu, bean sprouts, and lastly, some eggs. Evenly mix the ingredients in well with the noodles.

Add sesame oil (1.5 tbsp), and mix everything for another 30-45 seconds.

We're just about done! Try it out and see if it needs more flavor or any adjustments.

IMPORTANT: if you're adding more curry powder, you'll want to stir it with some water before adding it to the noodles. We want to be able to EVENLY distribute the curry powder and not have it stick to a small subset of noodles.

Transfer the noodles to a plate and call your loved ones over!

Summary

Singapore Noodles (星洲炒米粉)
Learn how to make this delicious Cantonese classic at home!
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
    Main Ingredients
  • 8 oz rice stick noodles
  • 3 oz char siu (

    see our recipe to make your own

    )
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 oz chicken breast
  • 10 pieces shrimp (

    size 31-35

    )
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 0.50 yellow onions
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 oz carrot
  • 3 oz bean sprouts
  • 2 pieces green onion
  • Chicken Breast Marinade
  • 0.50 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Seasoning
  • 1 tsp curry powder (

    for a mild, less yellow starting point - use more if you'd like.

    )
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp corn oil
Step 1 - Prepare noodles↑ Jump to details

First, we'll bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the noodles (8 oz) for about 1-2 minutes, and work to spread the noodles apart with chopsticks the entire time.

Then, we'll drain the noodles into a colander. The goal is to get the noodles to be pretty dry, so shake the colander a few times to get excess water. Continue separating the noodles with chopsticks for 30-60 seconds.

Cover the colander with a plate. This helps the noodles get to the perfect texture, allowing them to cook a bit longer without introducing excess moisture.

DO NOT rinse them afterward in water - this leads to soggier, stickier noodles.

Step 2 - Prepare chicken, char siu, prawns, egg↑ Jump to details

For the chicken:

  • Cut the chicken into little strips
  • Place the strips in a bowl
  • Marinate the chicken with cornstarch (0.50 tsp) and water (1 tbsp).
  • Using our hands, we'll mix and massage the bowl for 20-30 seconds.

For the char siu (3 oz):

  • Cut into strips
  • Singapore Noodles is often served with strips of char siu, but if you don't have any on hand you can also use ham, lap cherng (Chinese sausage), or just skip it. We also have a recipe and video on how to make it!

We'll also crack and beat eggs (2). For the shrimp, as long as they're peeled and deveined, we don't have to do anything to them.

Step 3 - Prepare veggies & aromatics↑ Jump to details

After washing our vegetables, we'll be cutting carrots (2 oz), onions (0.50), and celery (2 stalks) into slices and strips.

For bell pepper (1), my dad is using about a third of several different colors of bell peppers, but if you want to keep it simple, you can just use an entire, single bell pepper.

Chop green onions (2 pieces) into roughly 1 inch pieces.

We'll also be adding bean sprouts (3 oz) later as well.

The amounts and types of vegetables are really up to you. Anything goes with Singapore Noodles (with some caveats):

  • Try to avoid veggies with higher water content (like bok choy), since this will lead to a more soggy dish.
  • Try to avoid having an excessive amount of vegetables, since even lower water content vegetables will leak out water.
Step 4 - Create sauce↑ Jump to details

We'll create our sauce by mixing curry powder (1 tsp), oyster sauce (1 tbsp), salt (1 tsp), sugar (1 tsp), and water (2 tbsp).

As written, the amount of curry powder my dad uses is pretty mild, so if you want a stronger flavor and/or more yellow finish, feel free to increase the amount of curry powder.

Curry powder is absolutely essential for Singapore noodles. With so many options, the type of curry powder you use for this dish really impacts the final flavor profile, so you might want to experiment with several options until you land on something you love.

Step 5 - Loosen noodles, heat wok & oil↑ Jump to details

When cooking this dish, along with other noodle stir-fries, we'll want to get our wok really hot before adding oil.

Heat the wok for 2-3 minutes on high heat. While we wait, we'll continue loosening up our noodles.

Once the wok is hot enough, add 1-2 tsp of corn oil.

Another sign that both our wok and oil are hot enough is when we can see the oil shimmering, or forming ripples across the surface.

Step 6 - Cook everything↑ Jump to details

Now, we'll be putting all of the pieces together!

Pour in the eggs: My dad is cooking the eggs very gently, leaving the first side intact for 20-30 seconds before starting to flip and scramble the eggs. We want the eggs to be really soft. In total, we're cooking the eggs for about a minute here, and tossing them back in later.

Transfer the eggs onto a plate, add oil: Next, we'll add another tablespoon of a high smoke point oil like corn oil, and roll it around the pan.

Cook the chicken + shrimp: We'll be cooking the chicken now, so remix the chicken + marinade around with chopsticks for a few seconds. Cook the chicken for 30-45 seconds before adding the shrimp. Add the shrimp, and cook both meats until the shrimp starts to turn orange, and the chicken starts to turn white.

Transfer the meat onto a plate, add 1 tbsp of oil.

Cook the vegetables (minus the bean sprouts) for about 60-90 seconds.

Transfer the vegetables onto a plate, add 1 tbsp of oil.

Cook the noodles for about 1-2 minutes before flipping them. After flipping, cook the noodles for another 2-3 minutes, occasionally moving them around with your chopsticks.

Add the sauce and cook the noodles for another 2 minutes before adding everything else back in.

Add everything else in: Over the course of about 2 minutes, we'll be progressively adding the vegetables, followed by the chicken and shrimp, the char siu, bean sprouts, and lastly, some eggs. Evenly mix the ingredients in well with the noodles.

Add sesame oil (1.5 tbsp), and mix everything for another 30-45 seconds.

Step 7 - Plate & taste↑ Jump to details

We're just about done! Try it out and see if it needs more flavor or any adjustments.

IMPORTANT: if you're adding more curry powder, you'll want to stir it with some water before adding it to the noodles. We want to be able to EVENLY distribute the curry powder and not have it stick to a small subset of noodles.

Transfer the noodles to a plate and call your loved ones over!

Step 8 - Take pictures
Whip out your camera (1). Begin taking photos (1,000,000). Pick your favorites!
Step 9 - Share and tag us on Instagram @madewithlau #madewithlau!
Did you have fun making this recipe? We'd love to see & hear about it. (Especially my dad. He would be THRILLED!)

Enjoy!

We have many, many happy memories of enjoying this dish growing up.

Now, hopefully, you can create your own memories with this dish with your loved ones.

Also, I cordially invite you to eat with us and learn more about the dish, Chinese culture, and my family.

Cheers, and thanks for cooking with us!

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the recipe.

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About Made With Lau

We started Made With Lau to honor and share the legacy of our wonderful parents, Jenny and Chung Sun Lau.

Our hope is that these posts give you (and our future generations) a glimpse into how great they are!