Singapore Noodles are a Cantonese classic that's popular all around the world... but not in Singapore.
Why are they called Singapore Noodles?
When we announced that we were doing this dish on Instagram and Patreon, we got a lottttt of comments from our friends in Singapore that they'd never heard of this dish.
And, of course, I went digging.
According to the renowned Singaporean chef, Damian D'Silva, the dish actually originated in Hong Kong in the 50s and 60s. At the time, Hong Kong was still a British colony and a booming international trade hub. Spice powders and curries from previously British-ruled India were abundant, which inspired more than a few chefs to start tossing them into their stir-fried noodle dishes.
The name seems to be coincidental, as the chefs felt it might add some mystique or exotic appeal to the dish. It was a favorite amongst the many cháhchāantēngs 茶餐廳, or Hong Kong-style cafés, and quickly gained popularity overseas as Hong Kong chefs fanned out across the world.
Even though Singapore noodles are definitely not from Singapore, some Singaporeans would say that the dish is a good metaphor for the eclectic mashup of all of the different cultures and cuisines that Singapore has become famous for.
Check out a quick story summary of our recipe!