This recipe comes from my dad, who spent part of his childhood in Singapore when my grandad was in the army. I love hearing my dad’s tall tales of life in Singapore some 50+ years ago. One of my favourites is about him walking through the jungle with his friend, when a lizard jumped out from the trees to grab him by the throat (his buddy saved him by striking the killer lizard in mid-air with the machete he happened to be carrying…).
Of course his time over there gave my dad a real taste for the spicy, saucy noodly/rice dishes Singapore is famous for, and he came back with a repertoire of lip smackingly good dishes that he still cooks all the time.
I’ve been trying to figure out the authentic name for this dish. It started out as Mee Goreng with spicy gravy (a fried yellow noodle dish) when my dad first talked through his recipe. Then we moved on to Mee Siam, which is a fried dish of very thin (vermicelli) noodles. When I actually made it myself, I was told that I had actually made a version of Kway Teow due to the fact I’d used flat noodles (I actually used fettuccine rather than the rice noodles in the original dish). So, whilst I’m completely confused, I’m also looooooving the complex taste of this dish. I’m just gonna call them Saucy Asian noodles
You can be pretty inventive with what you add into this dish. I opted for some leftover cooked chicken, chorizo, crispy bacon and some tiny garlicky prawns (along with some veg). Pork belly, leftover cooked beef/ lamb, ham or clams would all work brilliantly too. Of course, you could also go meat free by using some tofu fried in some garlic and soy sauce and upping the veg content.
Strange as it sounds – given that it’s pasta – this dish also freezes remarkably well. It just needs a bit of additional liquid adding to it when reheating.
So here’s the first from my dad’s childhood. I’ll be sure to pester him for some more, so let me know if you have any requests!
Saucy Asian Noodles (Serves 5-6):
- 500g dried fettuccine
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 5 rashers or streaky bacon
- 80g chorizo, chopped into small chunks
- 5 mushrooms, sliced
- 150g small prawns
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 60 ml soy sauce
- 100ml tomato ketchup
- 2 tsp castor/granulated sugar
- 70ml sweet chilli sauce (try my sweet chilli jam)
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 250g cooked chicken meat, shredded
- 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped into wedges
- Chopped chillies
- Chopped spring onions/scallions
- Start by cooking your fettuccine as per the pack instructions in a big pan with plenty of water
- In another wok (or large pan), heat up the vegetable oil and fry the onions gently for a few minutes. Take the onions out of the pan and add in the streaky bacon. Fry on high until the bacon starts to go brown and crispy. Add in the chorizo, mushrooms, prawns and garlic and stir. Take out the bacon, and put it in the bowl with your onions. Give the bacon a rough chop with some scissors.
- In the wok, add in the soy sauce and stir for a minute. Next add in the ketchup, sugar, sweet chilli sauce, lemon juice and chicken. Heat until bubbling and then add in two ladles of boiling water from the fettuccine pan. Leave to bubble gently.
- Once the fettuccine is ready, drain it (reserve some of the pasta water in case you want to add more to your sauce) and add it to the wok along with the onions and bacon to heat through. Give everything a good stir so that the pasta is coated in the rich sauce. Add a bit more pasta water if it’s looking dry at all.
- Serve, topped with some wedges of hard boiled egg, chopped chillies and chopped spring onions/scallions.
Tip Any leftovers (apart from the egg) can be quickly cooled and frozen. Defrost thoroughly and reheat in a wok with a little oil. Add in a splash or water and soy sauce to loosen the pasta up gain and cook until piping hot throughout.