1 sheet of egg noodles, any thickness, depending on preference (approx 60g)
2 spring onions
1/2 chilli pepper
1 garlic clove
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon chilli sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine/sake/dry sherry (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 portion of meat or fish (optional, see below)
This is an easy and filling, if not very exciting looking, dish that I use for a number of things. It can be used as a meal in itself, or as a side dish. If cooking as a side dish, leave out the meat or fish, and half the remaining ingredients.
Wash and slice the mushrooms. Any type of mushroom will do.
Trim and wash the spring onions. Cut into pieces about 0.5-1 cm long.
Remove the seeds from the chilli and chop it. Any colour will do, but I often use 1/4 of a red and 1/4 of a green to add a bit of colour variation.
Crush or slice the garlic clove.
Chop the root ginger. You want about a teaspoon of chopped ginger.
If cooking as a main meal, slice one portion (equivalent to a chicken breast fillet) of the meat or fish. If using shellfish like prawns, leave them whole.
You will need a saucepan big enough to cook the egg noodles in, preferably a sieve to drain them and a wok or frying pan.
Cooking instructions for egg noodles may vary, but usually you will need a saucepan of boiling water - boil the water in a kettle first if you want to save time - and, although you should check the instructions on your packet, boil the noodles for three minutes and then drain.
Gently heat the oil in the wok or frying pan. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry for 1-2 minutes.
Add the Chinese five spice, soy sauce, chilli sauce and, if using, alcohol. Add the mushrooms and onions, or any other vegetables you may be using, and cook for a few minutes more.
If using uncooked meat or fish, add that and gently fry until cooked. If using something like cooked peeled prawns, just stir through until hot.
Add the drained noodles to the wok, and stir everything together. Add some more soy sauce if required.
Serve onto a warmed plate.
Both the root ginger and the chilli peppers can be frozen, so you can have them on hand without keeping them in the fridge. Garlic keeps a long time in the fridge. Both ginger and garlic can be bought in jars pre-chopped, but they have to be kept refrigerated after opening and have a short life.
Dried mushrooms will work if you don't have fresh. Dried will keep a long time in the cupboard.
With the exception of the spring onion, everything else can be kept for weeks or months in the freezer, fridge or cupboard. Normal onion can be used as a substitute, although it has a stronger flavour. Slice finely.
The recipe is very flexible. It will work with pretty much any meat or fish that can be chopped or sliced, or with shellfish. I often use frozen cooked peeled prawns, something I always have in, which I defrost and warm through in the pan rather than cook.
Other vegetables can be added, depending on what you have in, especially for colour, as the dish when had by itself can be somewhat bland looking. Baby sweetcorn work well, but you could try water chestnut, beansprouts or even peas.
The dish cooked was made with red and green chilli, cooked peeled prawns and chopped baby sweetcorn.