This is a vegetarian version of that popular Hong Kong dish called Singapore noodles. These light and subtle rice noodles are an ideal foil for the spicy sauce. A bonus is that it is easy to make. As this is a vegetarian meal, I use a lot of coconut milk to make it really tasty. This recipe is equally delicious served with a fish or meat dish. It is also wonderful cold and makes a lovely and unusual picnic offering.
Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of warm water for 25 minutes. Then drain them in a colander or sieve.
Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Then drain them and squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard the stems and finely shred the caps into thin strips.
Put the peas in a small bowl and let them thaw. Finely shred the Chinese leaves.
Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic, ginger and chillies and stir-fry the mixture for 30 seconds. Then add the salt, pepper, water chestnuts, mushrooms, Chinese leaves and spring onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the rice noodles and peas and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes. Now add all the sauce ingredients and continue to cook over a high heat for another 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Turn the noodles on to a large warm platter, garnish with the coriander leaves and serve at once.
© 1996 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.