Wednesday 25 July 2007

Quick and spicy noodles

This is a weeknight dinner that I thought looked quick and easy. Most of the ingredients were in my kitchen - all I had to buy was spring onions and accompanying vegetables. It is one of those recipes that I only noticed recently despite the many times I have poured over my Anne Marshall cookbook in hope of inspiration.

Recipe books are like that. I read them so many times and yet depending on mood and available ingredients, some days they surprise you with a recipe. I sometimes start novels a few times before I race through them. I think recipes are like this too. When I was a student we called this the reciptivity theory - which is sort of a bit like Hemmingway saying if it feels good, it is good, but in this case it is a matter it is right if it feels right at that moment in time (aah, student days when we had time and energy for such discussions)! Anyway, sometimes I am just not ready for recipes and then one day I find that they are just what I want and need and can do. So it was with this recipe. After lurking in the shadows for years, it jumped out at me.

I was attracted to the unusually addition of tahini in a spicy Asian sauce which did indeed add a certain creaminess which would probably be welcomed by those with nut allergies. The recipe has cashews but I used the chopped peanuts that I have had hanging around the pantry for some time, but it would be equally tasty without nuts. I added mushrooms and carrot which sort of disappeared in the sauce but no doubt added some flavour. It probably could have a bit more spices – Anne Marshall calls for 2 tablespoons each of garlic and ginger but as I don’t usually measure either garlic or ginger this way, I suspect I underdid it. E still added Tabasco sauce (and he even added some tomato sauce so he is just the hoi polloi!)

Best of all, it was pretty quick. Monday night I served it with Brussels sprouts, baby spinach and corn on the cob. Tuesday night, I served it with a variety of stir fried veggies (carrot, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, red capsicum, snowpeas) and tonight I had the leftover stir fried veggies with rice. I love leftovers during the week!

Spicy Noodles
(adapted from Anne Marshall’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chilli paste
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
2 stalks spring onions, thinly sliced
100g button mushrooms, sliced
1 carrot, grated
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup vegetable stock
250g Chinese noodles (use rice noodles for gluten free)
Handful chopped peanuts or cashews

Stir fry chilli, garlic and ginger in oil for about 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Add spring onions, mushrooms and carrot and stir fry another 2-3 minutes. Add chilli sauce, tahini, soy sauce and stock and stir another 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile cook noodles in boiling water and drain. The recipe says to serve noodles in a bowl and then pour sauce over but I omitted to read that bit and mixed them together before serving. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

On the Stereo:
Greatest Hits: Happy Mondays


  1. I must say that those noodles looks very delicious. The idea of using tahini for added richness is brilliant, especially for people like me who seem to find allergies in almost just about everything creamy.

  2. Just what the winter-wearied palate needs. Fresh and light too!

  3. This is a lovely recipe! I love noodles, and can never get enough of it.

  4. these flavours sound like they'd be fabulous together and the dish looks beautiful!

  5. thanks Victoria - I agree tahini is great for allergy-free creaminess

    thanks Lucy - it was a nice change to have noodles in the midst of winter stodge

    thanks Anh - I agree with you about noodles - they are such comfort food

    thanks Truffle - I liked the warm spiciness of the flavours without the overwhelming bite of chilli

  6. Love the spicy noodles. And anything quick, light and healthy is totally on my future menu. Delish pix, too.

  7. While the recipe looks (really) good, I most identify with your remarks about re-reading certain recipes until they "hit" you because you are ready for them. I've found some of my favorites that way, after skimming through them several times.

  8. thanks Kleopatra - if only more of my meals could be quick spicy and light!

    thanks Annie - isn't it great when a recipe jumps out and inspires you?

  9. oooohhh.... delicious! But I can't find tahini where I live :(

  10. thanks cooking ninja - that's terrible that you can't get tahini - would you be able to make your own by sticking sesame seeds and a bit of oil in a food processor!


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