CURRIED MAI FUN WITH VEGETABLES (meatless Singapore mai fun, for six)
Singapore mai fun is seasoned with curry powder, which explains its beautiful yellow color and its name: Singapore is strongly influenced by Indian cooking. It traditionally is made using leftover Cantonese roast pork (usually available in Chinese markets) and shrimp, but the vegetarian version given below is useful as a side dish. The note at the end gives instructions for adding the pork and shrimp, if you’re so inclined.
1/2 pound mai fun (thin rice stick noodles, also called rice vermicelli), soaked in cold water until pliable (about 30 minutes)
3 medium carrots, (about ½ pound) cut on diagonal into ¼ inch slices and slices cut lengthwise into thin strips.
1 bunch broccoli, cut into small 1-1/2 inch flowerets (about 3 cups), reserving stems for another use
white and pale green parts of 1 medium leek, cut lengthwise into 2 inch long julienne strips
1 medium red onion, sliced thin lengthwise (about 2 cups)
For the sauce:
½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh gingerroot
1 tablespoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric, if desired, for brighter yellow color
4 scallions, cut lengthwise into 2 inch long julienne strips
- Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat and cook the noodles until tender yet firm, about 10 seconds. Drain well in a colander.
- In a vegetable steamer steam broccoli, covered, 1 minute. Add carrots and leek and steam, covered, 1 minute. Add onion and steam, covered, 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl stir together the sauce ingredients in the order given until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Heat a wok over high heat until hot and add the oil. Heat oil until a whisp of white smoke appears and stir-fry the garlic and gingerroot until fragrant, about 5 seconds. Add curry powder and tumeric and stir-fry 5 seconds. Stir sauce and add to curry mixture. Bring curry sauce to a boil, stirring.
- Add noodles, scallions and steamed vegetables to curry sauce and gently stir-fry until noodles are coated well with sauce.
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, March, 1996
NOTE: If you want more protein, add 6 ounces diced Cantonese roast pork (or a thick slice of diced ham) and 24 small tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined, with the noodles in step 5. Stir-fry until the shrimp is done and the noodles are heated through, about 5 minutes. The dish can be made ahead of time and reheated. A second protein possibility is to grill a butterflied pork loin with char siu (Cantonese barbecue sauce) marinade.