This dish came about after I flicked on the television one lunchtime to find Jamie Oliver spooning wheat noodles into little gem lettuce cups, filled with chicken, a sweet sauce and veggies (on 15-Minute Meals, by the way).
I bet that could be adapted to be vegetarian, I thought. And gluten-free, too. And it could. The rice noodles are gluten-free, and it's the egg here, rather than the chicken, that gives you your protein kick. All the lovely vegetables give colour and flavour as well as the classic Singapore noodle spices or curry powder and turmeric. I've added mushrooms for their meatiness, red pepper for colour and a handful of beansprouts for crunch. Perfect.
They're a bit fiery (add a chopped chilli if you like a bit more heat) but the cool, crisp lettuce calms the flavour down - just roll them up and tuck in. There's also less washing up, as you eat with your hands (hurray!).
I hope you like them.
Vegetarian Singapore Noodle Cups
Makes about 10 cups
2 little gem lettuces
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves
1cm piece ginger, grated
2 spring onions, washed, trimmed and chopped
half a red pepper, chopped
3 chestnut mushrooms, washed and chopped roughly
1 tsp curry powder
half a teaspoon turmeric
2 eggs, beaten lightly
150g fresh rice noodles
1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce (Kikkoman make one)
splash of water
1 lime, cut into wedges
First, wash your little gem lettuce, breaking off the leaves to form little 'cups'. Pat them dry gently with a tea towel and lay them out on a board, packing them snugly together so they don't fall over. Your Singapore noodles will take just minutes to cook so it's best to get these ready first.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and stir-fry the garlic, ginger and spring onions until just softened. Add in the rest of the vegetables and keep stir-frying until just cooked. Add the spices and stir well, coating all the veggies. Push everything to one side and then pour in the beaten eggs, leaving them alone for a while to semi-set. Turn them around with your spoon or spatula and break up the eggs, incorporating them into the rest of the dish.
Throw in the noodles and add the soy sauce along with a splash of water. Cook for 2-3 minutes until everything is piping hot. Lift the stir-fried noodles and the veg out with tongs and fill up the cups on your board. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.
Not vegetarian? Add some prawns, chicken, turkey, beef or pork (or a mixture) when you fry the ginger and garlic.