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May 24, 2011

Recipe for curry noodle soup with tofu

Curry noodle soup

A couple of weeks ago, my friends Ron and Joel visited from New York, and we went to our favorite pan-Asian restaurant for dinner. Ron ordered Singapore noodles, extra spicy, and the three of us could not stop eating them. I always have rice noodles in my pantry, along with broth (chicken or vegetable), and curry powder, so I took inspiration from those Singapore noodles for this soup. A package of cubed extra-firm tofu replaced the shrimp and chicken that's often in the noodles. I use Penzeys hot curry powder; Madras curry powder, available in the supermarket, can stand in, though you might want to add a few red pepper flakes if you like spicy curries. Add a bit of Napa cabbage to make this a gluten-free meal-in-a-bowl.

Curry noodle soup with tofu

Serves 4; can be doubled.


8 oz rice noodles (vermicelli or banh pho)
2 tsp canola oil
1 thin slice ginger root, minced
1 tsp hot curry powder
1 shallot, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 oz cubed extra-firm tofu
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
5 cups water, vegetable broth or chicken broth
6 oz coconut milk
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste


Soak the noodles in a large bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes.

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the minced ginger for 30 seconds; add the curry powder, and stir to combine with the oil. Add the shallot, red pepper and tofu to the pot, and stir to coat all with the curry oil. Continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in the sugar and soy sauce, along with the drained noodles. Toss until the noodles turn yellow. Then, add the liquid (water or broth).

Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir the coconut milk into the soup, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Taste, and season with salt and plenty of black pepper, to taste.

Note: if you refrigerate leftovers, the noodles will likely soak up all of the liquid. Add more water or broth when you reheat, or serve them as noodles rather than soup. They'll be delicious either way.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: susan g | May 24, 2011 at 08:57 PM

We just came back from a Chinese restaurant dinner, where I had Singapore noodles, leaving me with a warm glow. I was going to look for a recipe, only here it is, only better!
And, just finished a book by Cheryl Tan, who goes back to Singapore to learn her family recipes, and to make Singapore street food -- wonderful how the pieces fall together.

Posted by: Jeanette | May 25, 2011 at 06:34 AM

I used to love Singapore noodles - haven't had them in a long time, but now I prefer soup noodles to stir-fried noodles. Love coconut and curry together in this vegetarian, gluten-free recipe!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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