The nights are drawing in and the challenge was set. Could I create something healthy - and by this I mean four of your five-a-day healthy, filling and most of all quick. Well, turns out I can. The posh pot noodle, or posh noodle.
THE INGREDIENTS: Task one was to spiralize pretty much everything in the bottom drawer of the fridge. Carrots, courgettes alongside some spring onions that I attacked with the negi slicer from the Japanese edit. Having put this together in various quantities, I worked on the basis of one carrot, one courgette and two to three spring onions per person, although I am guessing that the exact ratios are not critical.
I tried various combinations and pretty much any vegetables that are quick cook and can be finely chopped also work... pak choi, spinach, kale, mushrooms. I did find that the key was getting the balance between vegetables with some crunch and the more leafy varieties to avoid a too slimey concoction. A note on the noodles: I experimented with both fuku bean vermicelli and gueyteow rice noodles. The vermicelli cooked a treat in about five minutes and were pretty much perfect for this dish. The gueytow, less so. They took closer to ten minutes, longer than the vegetables, and the longer shape made it harder to get the noodle covered.
THE METHOD: The receptacle of choice was a kilner jar, the 700ml size. Kilner jars can hold boiling hot water but other glass jars are not able to and will crack. I squeezed a sachet of miso soup and added grated ginger and garlic and a pinch of sliced red chillies. The noodles can take quite a lot of flavouring so I then added either a level tablespoon of thai curry paste or a second miso soup sachet. I then packed the jar full of the noodles and vegetables - these reduce down a lot so I did fill right to the brim.
The jar below was the litre kilner jar, in hindsight probably a bit big and tricky to get your chopsticks to the bottom of the jar.
I then poured the jar half full of boiling water, fastened the lid and waited. The combination of the steam and the water get things cooking. I gave it about five minutes shaking a couple of times and giving it a swirl with the chopsticks at about the half way point. In my limited experience, I reckon that this recipe is actually quicker than your average pot noodle which always seem to take forever to cook and remain hotter than the sun when you want to eat them.
THE GARNISH: Finally I pimped the pot. I added prawns at this stage to warm through and piled on the coriander and a few stray spring onions. I reckon that left over roast chicken would be easily as good and, next time, will push out the boat and add a few toasted sesame seeds.
THE RESULT: Clean jars all round. Satisfying slurpy and left me feeling smugly healthy.