28 September 2012

Monday Asian Noodle Supper

"I don't like Mondays....." 

Boomtown Rats 1979

Let's hope this one will make Mondays a little more passable for Bob Geldof and his eponymous vermin from Boomtown. What to do with the left over cold meat? This is a conundrum we all face from time to time usually on a Monday when the sad and weary bones of the Sunday roast are still peeking out at us forlornly from under a blanket of tin foil on the middle shelf of the fridge. Too much to just throw in the bin without pangs of guilt but not quite enough to make up the number of portions required without appearing parsimonious. Well here's a suggestion that's fun, tasty, economical, healthy and will magically stretch a small amount of cooked meat to almost infinite quantities to feed all. Almost any cold meat would be good but chicken, turkey, pork, duck and beef are ideal. Cooked prawns also work well in this dish. (By the way if you are using roast chicken or duck don't forget to boil the bones for stock once you've scavenged the carcass for all usable shreds of meat.)

How about fishing out the chopsticks and venturing eastwards for an egg noodle supper? Why egg noodles in particular? Well no reason really apart from convenience - rice or "glass" noodles would do just as well - but in recent years egg noodles have become easily available with most supermarkets selling the vacuum packed ready to use variety. If you can't get these however try the de-hydrated types which just require either soaking for a short length in hot water or boiling and straining prior to adding them to the rest of the ingredients. The directions will be on the pack. The beauty of the ready to use brands is precisely that! They are ready to use. The down side is they have a limited fridge life whereas dried noodles will last almost indefinately. In 2002 Chinese archaeologists discovered an earthenware pot full of identifiable noodles over 4000 years old!! We don't recommend keeping them that long however. Probably best to observe the best before date!

Ingredients (Serves 4)
500 g egg noodles
2 carrots (Julienned)
Roughly torn coriander or mint
4 Spring onions (chopped)
250 g Mange touts
Half cucumber  deseeded and (sliced to batons)
300 g Cold cooked meat (chopped into strips)
Crushed Peanuts

1 tbsp Sesame oil
3 tbsps Rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tbsp castor sugar
1 Chopped chilli (deseeded)
2 cms ginger cut to matchsticks
1 tbsp soy sauce

Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl ensuring the sugar is dissolved and set aside to blend. Taste and adjust if necessary. You are looking for a balance of sweet, sour and fragrance.
Prepare the noodles as per pack instructions and put in large mixing bowl. Meanwhile blanch all vegetables apart from the spring onions. Drain and add to noodles with the meat.  Add  the Asian dressing and toss well. Turn into a serving bowl and sprinkle  coriander and crushed peanuts over and serve.

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