Category Archives: Noodles

Lemon Chicken Noodle Salad

So I’m finally back blogging full time again- and I’m officially a part qualified accountant! All my exams are done, and college is finished. Although, it did take about 4 weeks longer than I’d anticipated to wrap up all my exams and assessments- hence why my blogging break was a little longer than I thought it would be. Also my laptop broke- moment of silence for that please! However I’m back, and excited to get back into it. I also have been working on some new ideas for the blog, but I’ll probably be getting that into action in a month or two, as it requires me upgrading my computer and purchasing some specialised software. I will be shortly updating the look of the website too, but I’m still deciding on the layout, colours, and navigation. Anyway, onto the good stuff and enough of my rambling!

I had the idea for this Noodle salad after a particularly hot day, where I wanted something a bit filling but without the heavy sauce or rich ingredients. I based this recipe very loosely on an old Ken Hom one I found in my parents (huge) bookshelf of cookbooks. I changed it up a lot, but I feel the need to always give credit. (Large rant on said subject was deleted from here for your sanity!)  I would also have used whole-wheat noodles, but in our local supermarket these seem to be considered something of an exotic delicacy, so plain had to do. The same goes for the ginger- I would have used the fresh stem ginger, but again, they only carried ginger paste. I love the lightness of the noodles, which I think is achieved by the lemon & ginger mix, then the spice of the chilli. It’s also a very easy recipe, suited to any skill level. So for this, you will need:

1.CNS.Ed

2 cloves garlic

1 small chunk ginger, equivalent to half a teaspoon of ginger paste

1 Medium chicken breast

1 Chilli (type can be any, depending on how hot you like your food)

1 Lemon

1 serving of Medium Egg Noodles- I used Asda’s own brand (Can be any noodles you fancy)

Serving of Salad Leaves of choice (I used a rocket and babyleaf mix)

Pinch of coarse sea salt

Oil of choice (Groundnut or Coconut are my personal favourites)

Optional:

Some lemon zest for garnish

The first step is to cook the chicken and do the prep. By prep, I mean cutting up the garlic, chilli, ginger (if you didn’t use paste), chicken, and juicing the lemon. When juicing the lemon, get as much as you possibly can out of it, and if you have a juicer then great- but if not then twisting a fork round gets the job done too. With the chillies, if you are making this in summer as I usually do, and you suffer from pollen allergies, don’t use your finger to rub your itchy eye after chopping chillies. Because that burns. A LOT. Anyway… lesson learned!

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The chicken should be cut up into equal bite sized chunks, and added into a frying pan with a small amount of oil. I used groundnut, but was tempted by a new chilli cooking oil in the supermarket (seriously they sell chilli oil but not fresh ginger or whole-wheat noodles? Okay I’m going to stop moaning about that now), however you can use any one you want. Boil the kettle so you have the water for the noodles ready and waiting.

When the chicken is part cooked, toss in the garlic and ginger. The heat should be low at this point, so you don’t scorch the garlic- as it can be temperamental. A lot of people like to add garlic at the beginning, before the chicken, but it is really dependant on what your personal preferences are. You can try the recipe both ways and decide what works best for you. After a couple of minutes, I toss in the chillies with the chicken, and then in a separate pan- put the noodles and boiled water in to cook.

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Cook them for as long as they require (mine took roughly 4 minutes), then drain and add them to the chicken with a tiny bit of oil- so they don’t stick together. The oil also stops the horrible ‘dry stringy noodle’ problem when they go claggy and are unpleasant to eat.

Add 3/4 of your lemon juice to the pan, along with a good pinch of the salt. You can add pepper if you’re mad for spice, but I find the chilli enough! Turn off the heat and mix together well, ensuring everything is coated in the lemon juice. While still in the pan, toss in as much salad as you like. I like to add the salad into the pan to wilt it slightly. Turn out and serve, adding the remaining lemon juice evenly. Garnish with a bit of grated lemon zest if you fancy.

Note: If you like more lemony goodness, then zest more of the lemon and mix in. You can vary the amount of lemon juice  to suit your taste.

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Miso Soup – The Winter Edition

As it’s now well into winter, I’ve been wanting my meals to warm me up as well as being filling & healthy. Sort of like a type of healthy comfort food. I thought Miso would be perfect for this, as it’s something I’ve always enjoyed eating- but also it’s very quick to prepare. Traditional miso soup usually consists of having simply the soup itself, with some tofu and spring onions. However I needed something more substantial- so I used shredded chicken (in place of traditional tofu) along with langoustines as I had a heavy day in the gym planned (Muay Thai night!) so was requiring a solid dose of protein. Also the langoustines were reduced and I was too tempted.

I actually think this is brilliant for using up veg in your fridge, or using up reduced price veg- as really it’s totally customisable depending on your preferences. I didn’t use Dashi to make this, even though it’s traditional, as I wanted this to be something that was really easy to make. In Scotland Dashi isn’t something that you can pop down to the shops to pick up, unless of course you’re lucky enough to have a stockist nearby.
The ingredients needed are:

Ingredients.Miso.Ed

1 x Nest of Whole-wheat noodles (any thickness is fine)
1 x Chicken Breast- of medium size (or bigger if you’re particularly hungry!)
2 x Spring Onions
½ Long Slim Red Pepper
2 Baby Leeks (Or roughly ¼ of a regular leek)
Serving of chickpeas (I used this as I had some leftover, you can substitute with whatever you have)
5 x Langoustines
2.5 Heaped/Generous teaspoons of Miso paste.
Pepper to taste. (Miso provides the saltiness, but extra salt can be added if you prefer)

The first part of the recipe is to cook the chicken breast (grilled or steamed) so it’s just done. Then taking two forks, shred it into rough pieces. It’s important not to shred the chicken too finely, otherwise it tends to “get lost” in the soup. This should be set aside for now. The spring onions and red pepper should be chopped into the size you prefer at this point, so they are ready to be added later.

Next, cook through the raw ingredients. At this point, the quantity of water needed should be the amount needed to cook- not the amount for the quantity of soup needed. Boil the water in a pan, and add in the noodles first. After they are part cooked, add in the Langoustines, leeks, and chickpeas. Boil these for a minute or two- not long at all- as they will continue cooking when you turn off the heat.

Leeks.Ed.

Once nearly cooked, turn off the heat so you’re ready to add the miso. The heat is turned off, as you shouldn’t add miso to boiling water, but also you don’t want anything to be overcooked & rubbery. I like to add the pre- cooked shredded chicken here, as it heats it up nicely.

The Miso paste is next, however the excess water in the pan should be drained out to reach the volume of water required for your serving of soup. Make sure your langoustines are still covered by the water, so the residual heat cooks them through perfectly.

Miso.Ed

I stirred the miso paste into the water until it dissolved, but the traditional Japanese way works better- using a sieve to dissolve it into the hot water to ensure there are no lumps. At this point I like to add some coarse ground black pepper too, but this is optional. You could also add a sliced chilli if you wanted something a little hotter.

Lastly, add the spring onion and red pepper, and serve immediately!

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Note: Click on the images for larger version in more detail.