Fakeaway – Singapore Noodles
While eating out or getting a plant-based take away is getting easier by the day, options can be limited especially if you are also looking for something gluten free. Satisfying alternatives for burgers, pizza and kebabs sometimes feel like a distant dream on a gluten free plant-based diet. While meat substitutes are getting better all the time, many of them have wheat in them. Indian and Chinese cuisines offer the most choice, but you need to get all the details from your restaurant to ensure your food really is plant-based and gluten free. Often stock, noodles, soy sauce and sauces have meat, dairy, eggs and wheat that you may not even think to ask about.
Making a takeaway at home means you can have all the magic of a take away but it’s cheaper, you know exactly what’s in it and it’s quicker. Singapore Noodles with its South Asian fusion of spices, noodles and mixed vegetables is a great favourite that you rarely see in vegan form, so it makes an extremely satisfying plant-based gluten free fakeaway experience. If you have the ingredients already then it’s just a level up on your usual mid-week stir fry with the bonus of being as tempting as a takeway without the calories.
This dish would normally be made with chicken so your favourite chicken substitute such as quorn will work well, but you can also use tofu (cubes as well as any left-over scramble), cashew nuts and seeds or a combination of these for a full spectrum of plant-based protein. Chinese leaf, peppers, onions, carrots and almost any other stir-fry vegetables can be combined – it’s a good way to use up the veg that’s past it’s best. Rice vermicelli noodles (the skinny ones) are now easily available in dry ‘nest’ form or ‘ready to wok’ – soak the dry nests of noodles in if you are using the dry noodles then soak cold water for 15-20 minutes before sir-frying. This dish also keeps well for a delicious lunch the next day.
Plant-Based Singapore Noodles
Time: After the ingredients are prepared it takes about 15 minutes to cook – if using dry noodles soak these in cold water while you prep the veg and measure out the ingredients (for about 15 mins before you begin to cook).
Makes enough for 2 hungry people, or 3-4 people as a smaller lunch/supper
Oil for frying – 2-4 tbsp
Rice Noodles – 4 small ‘nests’ or 2 long ‘nests’ soaked in cold water for about 15 mins before you start cooking
200g ish of your favourite Plant-based protein – Some plant-based ‘chicken style pieces’ are wheat free – M&S Plant Kitchen for example. Firm Tofu or Tempeh is the go-to vegan gluten-free option (you can even throw in some left-over tofu scramble for an ‘egg fried’ quality). If you can eat wheat, Vegan Quorn is also very good in this if you like that.
Stir-Fry Vegetables – suggestions (add what you like):
½ medium Nappa/Chinese Cabbage shredded
1 carrot – julienne or thinly sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
½ red pepper, sliced
Purple sprouted broccoli or sliced florets of broccoli, mushrooms and courgette also work well
2 tbsp Madras Curry Powder (yes, tablespoons – trust me)
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine a.k.a. Chinese rice wine (or use same amount of rice wine, Sherry or cooking wine)
½ tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
½ tbsp Tamari or Gluten Free Soy Sauce
¼ tsp white pepper
- If using dry noodles, soak these first in cold water. Have your vegetables and seasonings ready, as the dish doesn’t take long to cook.
- Heat some oil in a large wok or deep frying pan on a medium to high heat. Start by frying off your protein until it’s a little crisp at the edges.
- Add the prepped veg and stir-fry until tender. If you find the veg are taking a while to cook through you can add a couple of spoonful’s of water to the wok to create a little steam, this will help the veg to cook faster.
- Once the water has boiled off you can add more water a couple of spoonful’s at a time until the veg are cooked. Add the seasoning ingredients and turn through the veg for 10-20 seconds then add the rice noodles directly, lifting them from the bowl of water (the drips will help it steam), ‘ripping’ or cutting them into smaller noodle pieces as you add them in.
- If you are using ‘ready to wok’ noodles you might need to add a tablespoon of water to get it all combined nicely.
- If you are adding left-over tofu scramble or other ‘egg’ substitute, or using nuts or seeds add them now.
- Keep the stir-fry moving and off the bottom of the pan while the noodles steam cook for about 2-4 minutes – add a little more water if it needs a bit of steam but the result should be a dry dish.
- When the noodles are pliable and easy to cut through, they are cooked.
- Serve immediately and cool any leftovers for a tasty lunch the next day.
Plant Based Foods