I remember a friend telling me that once she gave her husband a Wok for Christmas, it was pretty much Wok-around-the-clock from that point on. As I remember, he was one of the first men I knew who’d taken over the kitchen and cooked almost everything his family of 5 ate. Since he worked full time, I am sure he was as time-pressured as the rest of us and the Wok must have been a gift from heaven via his wife. Stir-fries really can save the day. Aside from much chopping, slicing, dicing and peeling, no cooking technique is as quick to yield delicious meals in very little time. In fact, you have to really organize your ingredients since they are used at lightning quick speeds. And what I really like is that you don’t need a wok to make these dishes. Any large skillet can work on a stir fry. And this particular recipe really gives you a curry in a hurry, a one-dish wonder that we paired with some kale. Next time, we’ll likely go with spinach as the kale was not a success around our table.
The recipe I used came from a Bon Appetit magazine published in March 2004. I had no problem finding any of the ingredients. Even the Udon noodles were readily available at my Fairway. Have you seen the boneless lamb in the vacuum pack in the supermarket? It’s labeled boneless butterflied lamb. It comes in at about 2 lbs. which is the perfect amount for this recipe if you are serving 4 people. Cut it in half and freeze the rest if you are cooking for two. The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of mild-flavored, light molasses. Now I am not a cook who is going to go out of his way to add 1 tablespoon of something he does not have and likely will find little use for in the future. It was easy enough to substitute kicap manis, that delightful dark dense soy sauce that I keep on hand for making ‘Nasi Goreng’ (link). Or leave it out entirely. Nobody is going to miss one tablespoon of anything. Here is the recipe:
Recipe for Singapore Lamb Curry with Stir-Fried Noodles
8 ounces dried chow mein udon noodles (Asian-style spaghetti)*
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons dry Sherry
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mild-flavored (light) molasses or kicap manis (optional)
2 tablespoons canned unsweetened coconut milk*
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce*
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 jalapeño chiles, seeded, chopped
1 lb leg of lamb meat, cut into 1×1/2×1/4-inch strips
2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
3/4 cup matchstick-size strips red bell pepper
3/4 cup matchstick-size strips green bell pepper
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot and mix in 1 tablespoon oil. Do this very quickly as the noodles will stick together.
Stir Sherry and cornstarch in small bowl to blend. Mix in next 5 ingredients.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add ginger, garlic, green onions, and chiles. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add lamb, cabbage, and all bell peppers.
Stir-fry until lamb is just cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Stir Sherry seasoning mixture and add; simmer until sauce thickens, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add noodles to lamb sauce in pot. Toss over medium-high heat until noodles are heated and coated with sauce, about 2 minutes. Mix in 2 tablespoons cilantro. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cilantro.
Serves 4. Halve for 2 people.