Singapore-Style Rice Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables
One of the vegan cooking world’s most highly regarded chefs, Robin Robertson worked for many years in restaurants in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. In 1988, she left the restaurant business and rededicated her life to writing and teaching gourmet vegan cooking.
The author of nineteen vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, Robin is a 25-year veteran restaurant chef, caterer, columnist, cooking teacher, and food writer. Robin’s most recent cookbooks are Quick-Fix Vegan and her definitive vegan cooking resource, 1,000 Vegan Recipes. She publishes a frequently updated cooking blog.
Singapore mei fun is a popular dish found on virtually every Chinese takeout menu. Made with thin rice noodles, crisp fresh vegetables, and a touch of curry, there’s a lot to love about it. Problem is, it usually contains chicken broth and bits of meat, and asking for a vegan version can easily get lost in translation.
The solution is simple: make Singapore mei fun at home with this easy recipe. This vegan version is loaded with vegetables — and flavor — and makes a satisfying one-dish meal.
Instead of tofu, you can use seitan, tempeh, or even jackfruit. If rice vermicelli noodles are unavailable, you can make this with angel hair pasta instead (cooked al dente before adding to the skillet). Another way to personalize this versatile recipe is to change up the vegetables used (zucchini instead of broccoli, or green peas instead of snow peas, for example) and you can adjust the seasoning as well, adding more red pepper flakes (or a drizzle or sriracha) for more heat, or using more or less curry powder to taste.
- 8 ounces rice vermicelli (mei fun)
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into strips
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality curry powder (mild or hot)
- 1 small yellow onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin matchstick strips
- 1 small carrot, shredded
- 1 ounce snow peas, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 cups small broccoli florets, lightly steamed
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Soak the rice noodles according to package directions until softened. Drain well and set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until browned, adding 1 tablespoon of the soy and a sprinkling of curry powder sauce while cooking. Remove and set aside on a plate. Reheat the skillet with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and snow peas, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Stir in the remaining curry powder and stir-fry 10 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, along with the mirin, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes, stirring to mix well. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil over high heat.
Add the drained rice noodles and return to a boil, stirring to coat the noodles in the sauce. Add the steamed broccoli and reserved tofu, and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed by the noodles. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot sprinkled with minced cilantro.