Georgina Hayden’s Favourite Quick Noodle Bowl
This is probably the meal I make most often when I’m home on my own. It takes less than 10 minutes, and for something with so few ingredients, it is well tasty. It does rely on you having my Addictive Roasted Chilli Oil in the cupboard, but it’s worth having, to pimp up most dishes. Having a cracking chilli oil recipe up your sleeve is a must. It can transform the most simple of meals, acting as a dressing for steamed veg, for finishing pizzas, for drizzling over soups … This is my pimped-up version with a wonderful heat and slight nuttiness. I urge you to give it a go.
For the Addictive Roasted Chilli Oil (makes 500ml)
2 fresh red chillies
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp dried red chilli flakes
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp sesame seeds (a mixture of white and black would be ideal, but if you can’t get black just use white)
500ml flavourless oil (rapeseed or groundnut are best)
For the dish
75g medium egg noodles
1 spring onion
a few sprigs of soft herbs (coriander, chives, mint and basil work well)
30g baby leaf spinach
60g leftover cooked meat or tofu (I particular love shredded ham hock, though any protein will work)
2 tbsp addictive roasted chilli oil (see below)
1 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
a ripe avocado
First, make the chilli oil. Remove the stalks from the chillies and roughly chop. Peel the garlic cloves. Place them both in a food processor along with the dried chilli flakes, Szechuan peppercorns, salt and black pepper and blitz until finely chopped. Spoon into a saucepan with the sesame seeds and pour in the oil. Place on a low heat and gently sauté for 10 minutes, until everything is lightly toasted and golden.
Leave to cool completely, then pour into a clean bottle and seal. It’ll last for months.
Put a medium-size pan of salted water on to boil on a medium heat. As it comes to the boil, trim the broccoli and cut into even-size florets. Add the broccoli and noodles to the pan and cook for 4 minutes.
While they are cooking, trim and finely slice the spring onion. Pick the herb leaves and finely chop. Roughly chop the spinach, if you like, and shred or cut your chosen protein into bite-size pieces.
As soon as the broccoli and noodles are ready, reserve a splash of the cooking water, then drain in a sieve or colander and return them to the dry pan. Stir in the spinach, chilli oil, soy sauce and sliced spring onion. Squeeze in the lime juice, and use a teaspoon to scoop in nuggets of the avocado. Add the chopped herbs and stir everything together for a minute, adding a little of the reserved cooking water to loosen – you want the avocado to break down, resulting in a spicy, creamy dressing. Tuck in straightaway.
Extracted from A Week of Stirring Slowly by Georgina Hayden (Square Peg, approx €24), out now