The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

vegan Singapore-style noodles

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Climate change brings unpredictability and instability to the environment, a major worry when it comes to growing food.

Plants which may once have thrived in a particular region may no longer do so if that region suddenly experiences significant fluctuations in temperature, or becomes subject to flooding or drought.

This uncertainty makes it all the more important to our survival to have a wide range of edible plant species available, some of which may be better able to adapt to climate change. The broader the range of seed varieties, and the broader the range of different characteristics within that range, the more chance there is that we will find crop varieties that can grow in a changed, more hostile environment.

Yet, at the very same time that we are most in need of greater plant diversity, the range available to humankind is shrinking. Worse still, the plant gene pool is being deliberately diminished by legislation designed to protect big businesses. The European Union, for example, levies a hefty charge on seeds registered for sale within the EU. Any seeds that are not registered in this way become illegal to buy and sell.

This reckless legislation has led to most seed “ownership” (through the device of intellectual copyright) ending up in the hands of three of the world’s biggest global corporations – Syngenta, Monsanto and Bayer (and the latter two are due to merge shortly).

Interestingly, these corporations can only copyright hybrid (F1) varieties and, of course genetically modified (GMO) seeds. They cannot intellectually copyright heritage varieties, which are “true” seeds (F1 varieties are quite literally useless over time whilst heritage seeds remain true to their inherited characteristics).

Thanks to seed legislation, however, it is these vital heritage varieties that are slowly disappearing – the very seed varieties that we most need if we are to survive the challenge of climate change.

Globally there are a number of initiatives to protect the wider gene pool through the use of seed banks (in the UK we have the wonderful Heritage Seed Library run by Garden Organic). We also have lots of small scale growers who save and sow much of their own seed and who therefore play an important role in protecting the seeds of the future. But as things stand, with more and more varieties disappearing for good, they are fighting a losing battle.

So, if you grow, or are thinking of growing, some of your own food please join the cause. Avoid using F1 hybrids and instead only sow heritage varieties. You will be playing a small but important role in protecting both posterity and our common future.

On to the recipe, which I have created in association with Suma Wholefoods Cooperative.

Under the terms of our arrangement, every couple of months I select products from the Suma Wholefoods range which Suma provide free of charge. From these I create an original recipe which appears on the Suma website as well here, on the Circus Gardener’s Kitchen.

This is a great tasting vegan comfort-food dish, with an Indian/Malaysian fusion of flavours.

It takes just a few minutes to cook, but a little longer to prepare. Make sure you have all the ingredients prepared and to hand before you put the wok over the heat, because once you start there is no stopping until the noodles are ready to serve!

vegan Singapore-style noodles


200 g rice vermicelli noodles
4 tbp soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp curry paste
1 onion, finely sliced
1 red pepper, finely sliced
100 g shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced
160 g marinated tofu pieces
50 g fresh peas (use defrosted frozen peas if fresh are not available)
6 spring onion, white and green parts, thinly sliced diagonally
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped (keep seeds in for extra heat)
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

toasted sesame oil, for frying


1. Soak the noodles in hot water for about five minutes, or until they have softened. Drain and rinse under cold water. Toss with a tablespoon of sesame oil (this stops the noodles sticking together, as well as imparting flavour). Set to one side.

2. Whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup and 2 tbsp of the sesame oil. Set to one side

3. Place a wok over a high heat. Once it is hot, pour in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. After thirty seconds add the sliced onion (but not the spring onion) and stir-fry for two minutes.

4. Next, add the mushrooms, pepper, spring onions peas, garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir fry vigorously for a further two minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn. Add the curry paste and quickly stir it through the other ingredients. Finally, add the tofu pieces, the noodles and the soy sauce mixture. Stir fry for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lime juice and chopped coriander and serve immediately.

Categories: dairy free, gluten free, vegan

Tags: , , , ,

42 replies

  1. What a lovely dish…for some reason i keep missing your posts. I have to go back to read them all. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe.
    Can’t wait to try it. You’re a star ⭐️

  3. I love Singapore noodles. Your recipe sounds delicious. Beautiful share.

  4. This looks delicious. And vegan! Bonus.

  5. This is my kind of deliciousness! I followed the legal battle the traditional growers of basmati rice had when Monsanto tried to claim ownership of the genetic material. It was bullyboy tactics at it’s worst. Thankfully they totally underestimated the intellectual might of the passionate Indians and commonsense prevailed.

    • Thank you Sandra. I haven’t checked out the Monsanto website for a while, but it used to proudly proclaim the number of lawsuits it had taken out against farmers for alleged copyright violation over use of their seeds.

  6. Such a valid point, as ever, The Circus Gardener. Plant diversity is key to survival and EU legislation on this issue is nothing short of criminal.

    • Thank you Katherine. Whatever the original intentions behind it, EU seed legislation has had the effect of bolstering the business interests of the multinationals whilst undermining smaller seed companies and individual growers. More importantly it has seriously damaged biodiversity. It’s incredibly short-sighted.

  7. You might like to look at the Australian Diggers club.
    They have a huge range of different plants. I always took my year nine class to one of their gardens to show them just how many vegetables we can grow.

  8. I prepared a similar recipe for a year now every now and then and never knew it was Singapore-style but I love it, the combination of flavours is amazing. Love the photos you posted 😀

  9. Recipe is great and your explanation makes it more delicious….waiting to taste it 🙂

  10. I can testify to having had this, too. Very simply it was as superb as it looks and sounds. Absolutely imbued with flavour. Cheers Pat

  11. Awesome! Definitely trying to keep up with the plant-based diet that’s currently trending – will check back for more awesome recipes from you! 🙂

  12. I could never be vegan no matter how hard I try, but this looks so delicious that I won’t hesitate on doing it as soon as possible.
    Kisses TDP

  13. Vegan noodles are the best noodles ever and that’s why I love Asian cuisine 🙂 I must definitely try your recipe! <3

  14. Mmm these look divine… can’t believe they are vegan! Definitely going to have these for lunch tomorrow 🙂 x

  15. Gorgeous pics and AMAZING post! I had no idea that the European Union levies a charge on seeds registered for sale within the EU! Ugh, the number of varieties we’ve lost is shocking. Not only are we more susceptible to climate change and all the dangers that are associated with that, but we’re also directly threatening our own health by narrowing the assortment of nutrients we consume. When will humans realize we’re shooting ourselves in the foot by catering to big business?

    • Thank you for your kind comments. In the absence of any sensible legislative change, the only viable long term solution to the seed crisis is for more of us to grow more of our own food and to use heritage varieties whenever we can. Steve

  16. Sounds so yummy definatley will try this 😊

  17. Wonderful photography! This sounds really lovely 🙂

  18. Oh wow!!! 😍 we will definitely be trying this here at GoVego!! Looks amazing!

  19. Omg this is so well written. Followed 🙂 I also aspire to spread awareness of neurological diseases through the love of FOOD in Singapore, Nigeria and other parts of the world 🙂 Do also check out my first post and read my blog at Here’s to a great friendship. Appreciate it ❤️

  20. This has won my heart! Thanks for sharing the recipe of my favorite Singaporean dish =D


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