Saturday, 14 July 2012

Udon noodles with broad beans and fresh greens in a ginger and coriander sauce

Good one this. Very low fat too as there's very little frying involved. Here's the plan...


Dried udon noodles
2 large carrots, sliced
200g spring greens
100g broad beans
Sesame seeds to garnish

And for the sauce:

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 tsp root ginger, grated
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp mirin or sugar
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
2 tsp cornflour, mixed in around half a cup of water


Get the sauce ready as everything else goes really quickly! In a smallish saucepan fry the garlic and ginger to release its flavour and to take out some of the garlic's after burn effect, after a minute or so add the soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and mirin, cook for a couple of minutes and then add the coriander and cook for just a minute or so. Now add the cornflour and water mix and stir constantly until you've got a nice smooth sauce. Set to one side.

Now I cooked the noodles (for five minutes) in the base of a steamer over which I steamed the vegetables. After five minutes check that the carrots are just about done, then remove from the heat, rinse the noodles really well and then stir the vegetables and noodles together, introducing the sauce and mixing through. Plate up, and then sprinkle with sesame seeds and a little fresh coriander to look dead posh.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Spicy Lentil and Peanut Butter Soup

'Warming Soups' should not really be the order of the day at this time of year but as we appear to have broken the sky, melted a load of ice cap and shoulder-barged the Atlantic Jet Stream off course, hearty soups are here! This one is a proper keeper... I was thinking of doing a big batch of lentil soup, then saw the peanut butter standing there and bingo, in it went.


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, mashed up
2 tsp root ginger, similarly mashed
3 dried chillies, crushed up into small chunks
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
3 tsp soy sauce
1 litre vegetable bouillon or stock
250g red lentils


In a large saucepan fry the onion for a minute or so, and then add the red pepper. Fry for a couple of minutes further and then add the garlic and ginger. Give this just under a minute to release its flavour and then add the coriander, peanut butter and soy sauce. Cook through for a couple of minutes and then add the bouillon or stock, and the red lentils. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes and then serve with a big dollop of fresh coriander on top. Yum.