Noodles

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I came back from the Bang Bang Asian supermarket in Colindale two nights ago laden with all sorts of goodies, but I missed the most vital ingredient – noodles. I have this habit of buying bags and bags of them – Udon, Soba, Ramen Lo Mein and they then get stuffed into a cupboard and forgotten about. So this time I held back from buying any – I walked past aisle upon aisle of them, secretly wanting to buy them all but forcing myself not to, given the stash that was awaiting me when I got home. And so when Immie asked for Ramen yesterday, I was ecstatic – the perfect opportunity to use the fancy king oyster mushrooms and chines chives I’d bought just two nights ago while also using up a decent chunk of my noodle cache. Of course when I looked, I had no Ramen, no Soba, no Udon – in fact all I had was a small bag of super fine rice vermicelli – so this recipe is pretty much ramen without the ramen. Actually it’s probably closer to Pho. In reality, it’s neither, but It’s really good and ridiculously simple so I’m going to write it down anyway…

Noodles
Take a lemongrass stalk, peel off the outer layer and split it down the middle (you’re going to fish this out at the end), then slice a thumb of ginger, a red chilli, four cloves of garlic, the stalks of a handful of coriander leaves, a couple of large king oyster mushrooms (or lots of normal ones, or pretty much any white/pale mushrooms you fancy), julienne a carrot and stick everything in a large saucepan with a couple of litres of stock (chicken preferably), a few splashes of rice vinegar and fish sauce, a little salt and pepper (maybe even Szechuan peppercorns if you like) and bring it all to the boil. In the meantime, in a separate pan stick your preferred noodles in boiling water and heat them for a few minutes (check the pack for how long as they all differ).

When the noodles are ready, portion them into bowls and cover them in your broth along with a good squirt of lime juice and a handful of chopped coriander leaves. Add soy sauce to taste.

It’s hot, sour, savoury and spicy – perfect for a chilly winter’s day…

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