I think finding something delicious to cook for dinner midweek is one of my biggest challenges. I love these coconut chilli prawn noodles because the basic recipe can be adapted to suit so many different tastes. If you’re a meat eater, you can swap the prawns for chicken, and if you’re a veggie you can leave them out and add things like mushrooms, sliced peppers and sliced green beans (of course, you can still do that anyway). That’s the beauty of this dish. It’s also fab for using up leftovers as you can basically bung any old thing in and it will still taste delicious. It’s also one of those recipes where most of the ingredients can be kept in the cupboard and/or freezer for when you’ve got nothing in. When I buy red chillis, I’ll often freeze any that I think I won’t use and you can basically grate them straight into the dish. The same goes for ginger too. Here’s the basic recipe:
Coconut chilli prawn noodles
1 pack (250 g) fine egg noodles
Optional: 1 pack (300 g) frozen prawns, defrosted (or fresh chicken or prawns if you prefer)
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp honey or brown sugar
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1/2 tin coconut milk
200 ml chicken or veg stock (cube is fine)
Pak choi or Chinese cabbage, sliced
2 carrots, peeled, then cut into fine strips with the peeler
Spring onions, finely sliced
Green beans, finely sliced
2 tbsp salted peanuts, crushed
Fresh coriander and mint, chopped
So firstly, make sure you’ve got all the ingredients ready to go: prepare any veg, juice the lime, make up the stock and gather any bottles you might need. Mix the lime juice, soy, fish sauce, honey and peanut butter until completely combined.
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions (generally, that’s just dropping them into boiling salted water, then turning the heat off and leaving them until they’re cooked).
Heat your wok or saucepan and add in the oil . Add the garlic and chilli into the pan, (if you’re using anything that needs frying, like mushrooms, onions, raw chicken or prawns, now is the time to cook them. I use defrosted cooked prawns so add them at the end otherwise they’re like little bullets!)
Next, pour in the mixed wet ingredients. Bubble away a little bit, then add the coconut milk, stock, and sliced veg. Cook briefly, but not too much that the vegetables go soggy. Add in the defrosted prawns and make sure they’re warmed through. Finally tip in the drained noodles. Toss everything together and serve immediately, garnished with the chopped fresh herbs and peanuts.
Et voila! This really is a recipe that you can make your own. You could add leftover shredded meat, a tin of crabmeat, different veggies, firm white fish… whatever takes your fancy. If you prefer your noodles more soupy, maybe use the whole tin of coconut milk, or up the amount of stock. Do let me know if you give it a go and how you put your own twist on it!