Hearty and moreish, pretty, popular with everyone and really easy!
Takes <10 mins to prepare and <20 minutes to cook, easily feeds a family of 4, or 3 super greedy buggers! Costs about £5 depending on brands, higher welfare meat etc. Replace your Saturday night takeaway with this and your bod will thank you for it the next day at practice! Plus, if you have kids- it’s got watermelon. Winner!
Essential ingredients are in bold
- Wok (ideally non-stick) on high heat
- Tongs (ideally two pairs, or one pair washed between meat and veg encounters!)
- Kettle (boiled!)
- Heatproof bowl or medium casserole dish with lid or a cover
- Sharp paring knife
- Sharp cook’s knife
- Clean cooking scissors
- Chopping board for raw meat or a sheet of cooking parchment or foil
- 1-2 tbsp sesame oil into hot wok (Or olive or sunflower…)
- 6 chicken thigh fillets (or 400g prawns or tofu etc)
- 1 htsp grated fresh or chopped frozen garlic
- t htsp grated fresh or chopped frozen ginger
- 2 big handfuls of frozen peas
- 2 htps chopped frozen onions or 1 finely chopped onion
- 1 htbsp chinese five spice
- 1 htbsp Bart’s Creole seasoning if you can get it coz it’s ace!
- big pinch of roughly ground sea salt (unless you need to lower your salt!)
- big pinch of roughly ground black or szechuan pepper
- Big squirt of bottled lime juice, or a squeeze of fresh lime (bottled works fine for me!)
- Dash of low salt soy sauce
- glug of sweet chilli sauce
- Half a watermelon, roughly chopped (pick the seeds out if you wish)
- 1 large or 2 small Little Gem lettuces (pak choi if you prefer but I think little gem is easier to manage, is cheaper and tastes good!)
- 3 nests of fine rice noodles (follow packet instructions, but usually it’s 3 mins in boiled water in a covered boil) An even quicker version of this recipe involves microwave brown rice sachets!
- Chopped fresh or frozen coriander if you have it but not essential
- Sesame seeds if you have them
- Put your wok on a medium-high heat dry (add oil later so it doesn’t smoke and catch!) and dust a plastic meat chopping board or parchment paper with al your dry ingredients (add more if you think it won’t cover the chicken.
- Roll the chicken thighs in the spices so they’re coated and use the scissors to snip them into 1cm strips. They cook really well anyway, but if you cut across the grain they stay extra tender.
- Glug that oil into your hot pan and follow it up with the chicken, ginger and garlic
- Chuck your three noodle nests into a heatproof bowl, cover with boiled water from your kettle and stick a lid on. They usually take only a few minutes to soak, but if you’re super lazy, this recipe works fine with the ready to use rice noodles you can get in the salad chillers at the supermarket for about £1. When these are done, use your tongs to lift them out and stick them on a few layers of kitchen paper while you wait to use them.
- Keep turning the chicken until it’s browned all over and cooked through (it’s quite hard to overcook thighs, they usually stay quite wobbly, just like my thighs!), then add the peas and onions to cook off- the peas will soften but stay quite bright green, don’t want sad peas.
- While that stuff is simmering (turn the heat down if it gets scary) chop the whiter “hearts” of the lettuce(s) off as we only want the leaves really and then quarter them lengthwise with your big ole cook’s knife or cleaver if you’re having a Sweeney Todd moment. Oh that’d be a flick knife I suppose…
- Also, use your paring knife to cut one quarter, then another out of your watermelon (easier and less messy than trying to work with half at once) and score it, noughts-and-crosses-wise, and tip all of the chunks into a big dish/platter. Stop eating the watermelon chunks. No really, wait until later!
- Go back to your wok, chuck the sauces and juice in and toss it all around, adding the noodles and making sure they’re really coated. Keep it all moving, because those noodles will want to stick because of the starch. Worst case, add a tiny bit more oil to the bottom of the pan, let it heat up and get it all moving again for another 3 or 4 minutes.
- Toss the whole lot together in that platter with coriander and sesame seeds if you have them, but not worries if not, chuck in more of the sauces if you think it needs it, and otherwise, enjoy!