Too cold for salads!
Finding it hard to find food inspiration in this transitional month? Me too. I cooked a Sunday roast that felt somehow too wintery but I’m not quite feeling the salad vibe just yet either. I’ve had my lightbulb moment though and am going to try this noodle recipe – perfect for the British spring I think, light enough not to feel stodgy, warm enough on a damp day.
It comes from Oodles of Noodles by Louise Pickford – I chose this recipe because it felt easy enough for me to cook (there are no hard to source ingredients) but it was a more interesting take than my usual stir fry attempts. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.
Stir-friеd fish and ginger noodles, by Louise Pickford
This is such a simple yet delicious dish, which I often serve with a side of simple stir-fried Asian greens. Traditionally, in Cambodia, the ginger would be far younger and fresher than the varieties we find in Europe, but it still works really well.
400 g fish fillets, such as snapper or bream
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice flour
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
8 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cm fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large red chilli, deseeded and chopped
50 g mange-tout, thinly sliced
a bunch of spring onions
200 g dried egg thread noodles
Remove any small bones from the fish using fish tweezers and cut the fillets into 3.5-cm pieces. Put in a shallow dish and pour over the soy sauce. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes
Remove the fish pieces from the marinade, reserving any leftover soy sauce, and dust with the rice flour. Set aside.
Whisk the fish sauce, sugar, shrimp paste, lime juice and any remaining marinade together in a bowl, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Heat all but 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the fish pieces and cook for 2–3 minutes, turning on all sides, until crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Discard the oil, wipe the pan clean and return to the heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
Add the ginger, garlic and chilli, and fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the mange-tout and spring onions, stir well, then add the sauce and 2 tablespoons water. Simmer for 1 minute, then stir in the fish pieces and warm through for 2–3 minutes.
Meanwhile plunge the noodles into a large saucepan of boiling water. Return to the boil and cook for 2–3 minutes until al dente. Drain well and transfer to a serving platter.
Arrange the fish and sauce on top and serve at once.
Oodles of Noodles, By Louise Pickford, over 70 recipes for classic, Asian-inspired noodle dishes. £15.99.