A lovely summer supper which is quick and easy, using cupboard staples and leftovers.
I usually buy my Chinese noodles in bulk, without any little soup flavour packs, but occasionally they appear anyway. Since I can’t read Chinese, I don’t know what flavours these are. The outer packet said ‘soup mix, flavoured oil and chilli powder’. I decided to be only slightly adventurous and use one of the flavoured oils and the chilli powder on this occasion. Another time, I might make an actual noodle soup and use a ‘soup mix’ packet to find out, or just open one up and carefully taste test to see how I can use it like a stock cube.
My full recipe here will serve four to six people for a main course, or more as a side dish. It is easy to cut quantities for a smaller household. The dressing can also be mixed up and refrigerated for a fairly long period, much like commercial salad dressings. Shake well and use only as much as desired each time.
|3 blocks||Assorted Chinese noodles|
|2 ounces||Butter or margarine|
|1/2 cup||Sesame seeds (Buy these in a catering supply store where a pound of seeds will cost about the same as a little glass jar with an ounce or two in a grocery store.)|
|1 ½ tsp||Minced ginger root|
|1 head||Romaine /Cos type lettuce|
|1 handful||Assorted stronger flavoured leaves such as spinach or cabbage|
|6||Spring onions (green onions) or thinnings of garden onions, including the green tops|
|1/2 cup||Vegetable oil|
|1/2 cup||Granulated sugar|
|1/4 cup||Cider vinegar|
|1 tablespoon||Soy sauce (I use light)|
Final (optional) ingredient (not for vegetarian version!):
|Up to 1 cup||Shredded or very small cut pieces leftover roast beef|
- Cook the noodles according to package instructions. This will probably entail boiling (or standing in boiling water, depending on the type of noodle) for about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Melt butter or margarine in a LARGE, deep frying pan or wok.
- Add sesame seeds, ginger root and cooked noodles. Stir well and cook on moderate heat for a few minutes. It will all glom together at first, but gradually the fat will disappear, and the noodles will begin to be separable.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- While noodles are cooling, shred the lettuce by slicing across the head. Shred your other leaves to a similar size. You will want to have 6-8 cups of leaves altogether.
- Slice the onions finely, to make at least 1/2 cup.
- If using beef, flash fry in its own fat (or any left behind from the noodles) to make the pieces a little bit crispy. This will provide a texture contrast for the noodles.
- Mix all dressing ingredients together. Stir well to dissolve all the sugar.
- Toss noodles gently to separate.
- Add vegetables and dressing (and beef, if using) to noodles. Toss until well distributed.
- Serve using tongs.