VEGGIES AND RICE NOODLES
For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons chilli jam, or 4 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
- 300ml heated vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
- 6 tablespoons coconut milk
- For the noodles and vegetables:
- 3 bundles flat rice noodles (approx. 400g)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus more for the noodles
- 125g baby sweetcorn, cut into pieces, or 150g tinned or frozen sweetcorn
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 125g green beans, chopped
- 150g broccoli, broken into small florets
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- chopped peanuts and coriander, to serve (optional)
This noodle dish is totally moreish. It’s spicy, peanutty and irresistible as either lunch or dinner. If I have friends round for dinner I like to serve the Corn Fritters (see p.82) as a starter and then the Coconut Rice Pudding with Chocolate Sauce (see p.206) for dessert. The main thing is to not to overcook the rice noodles as they will get heated again when you warm all the ingredients together at the end.
Put all your sauce ingredients into a mixing jug, and mix together well, so that the heated vegetable stock softens the ingredients together. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
Cook the rice noodles following the packet instructions (but maybe a minute less than they suggest), then drain them in a colander and toss them in a little sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together. You do not want the noodles too soft, but still al dente, as they will be heated again in the vegetables and sauce at the end.
To prepare the vegetables, heat the 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large frying pan with deep sides (or use a wok or big saucepan). Stir-fry all the vegetables together with the garlic for about 3 minutes on a medium to high heat, until the vegetables are just starting to soften slightly.
Pour the sauce onto the vegetables in their pan and simmer gently for 4–5 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through but still have a good bite to them and are not too soft.
Now stir in the cooked rice noodles. Mix together well and heat through. I serve this hot, and sometimes garnished with chopped peanuts and chopped coriander.