Pan Fried Salmon with Noodle Broth

Pan Fried Salmon with Noodle Broth (1)

I have unfortunately not been well the last few days – hence my absence from the blog – but I am feeling much better today and was ready for something nourishing and delicious to get rid of the last vestiges of my illness.

This is something I always crave when I’m not quite feeling right. The salmon is obviously wonderfully healthy, packed full of protein and healthy oils. The broth contains garlic, ginger, coriander and lemongrass – they also contain lovely, healthy things (I swear by ginger when I’m not well; I’ll chop fresh ginger and have it in a cup of boiling water – try it, it will cure anything). Mix this with noodles and coconut milk and you have a hug in a bowl.

Helpfully, the meal is also ready in 15 minutes, so perfect when you are tired.

This will serve 2, with extra broth left over.

Pan Fried Salmon with Noodle Broth (2)

Pan Fried Salmon with Noodle Broth

2 salmon fillets

2 tbsps olive oil

1 thumb sized piece ginger

2 cloves garlic

1 stick lemongrass

2 tsps tamarind paste

1 small bunch fresh coriander

400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp palm sugar

300g straight to wok style or pre-cooked noodles, any type will do

200g sugarsnap peas

Spring onions and peanuts, to serve

1. Start by finely chopping the ginger and garlic, and adding it to a large pan over a medium heat with half of the olive oil.

2. When it starts to sizzle, bruise the lemongrass with a knife and add this to the pan, along with the sliced coriander stalks and tamarind paste. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes, then add the coconut milk and the same amount again of water. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and palm sugar.

3. Bring the broth to a simmer then add the sugarsnap peas and noodles. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, while you cook the salmon.

4. To cook the salmon, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and add the salmon, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes, until the skin is crisp, then flip over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

5. Stir the chopped coriander leaves into the broth. To serve, ladle the broth into bowls and top with the salmon. Sprinkle over some chopped spring onion and peanuts. Enjoy!

Soy Glazed Salmon with Miso Noodle Broth

Soy Glazed Salmon with Miso Noodle Broth (1)

This is a very simple, and quick (it’s ready in 15 minutes), dish – but it will taste like you’ve spent hours slaving over the stove. It’s a Japanese inspired dish, and I love the savoury, sweet flavours this recipe has.

When you’re cold (we were threatened with snow today, but all we got was misty, relentless ice cold rain, which I would argue is worse), there is nothing better than a warming broth; and miso is such a comforting flavour. Paired with salty, sweet soy glazed salmon (say that after a couple of glasses of wine!), where the marinade leaks into the broth, this recipe ticks all of the boxes. Our plates were clean in 5 minutes.

The most important things to remember with this dish are 1) don’t overcook the salmon – try to make sure it’s still nice and pink in the middle and 2) don’t panic when the glaze bubbles up and turns black as ink – this is perfectly normal. Remember it’s bound to go like caramel – it has sugar in it – and this is what makes it so delicious.

This will serve 2 (with broth left over – I could drink it instead of tea!) and will take 15 mins.

Soy Glazed Salmon with Miso Noodle Broth (2)

Soy Glazed Salmon with Miso Noodle Broth

For the salmon:

2 salmon fillets

2 tbsps soy sauce

20g brown sugar

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

For the noodles:

100g miso paste

1 clove garlic

1 thumb sized piece galangal (ginger would work if you can’t find any)

300g medium noodles (the straight to wok ones work well)

2 pak choi

1 spring onion

1 small handful coriander

1. For the noodles, heat the miso paste in a large saucepan for 30 seconds, then add the sliced garlic and galangal. Add 1 litre water and bring to the boil, then add the noodles. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the pak choi. Simmer gently until your fish is cooked.

2. For the glaze, mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil in a small bowl. Put a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and add the salmon fillets, skin side down. Cook for 1 minute, until the skin starts to crisp, then pour the glaze over them. Cook for another 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 30 seconds – 1 minutes.

3. To serve, ladle the noodles into bowls then top with the salmon fillets. Sprinkle over sliced spring onions and coriander leaves, then let your taste buds enjoy a treat!

Vegetable Pad Thai

Sometimes, after the first day back at work, I need something to wake me up and kick me into shape. It can’t take long to cook – because all of those chores I was ‘going to do at the weekend’ need doing, and it needs to pack a punch with flavours.

I decided to go vegetarian for this because, with this dish, meat would be surplus to requirements. It’s all about the noodles and beansprouts. However, you could throw in a bit of chicken or a handful of prawns.

This recipe uses lots of beansprouts, and it means you can use less noodles. I’d recommend this for anyone looking to cut down on carbs – you could even make the dish with just bean sprouts and no noodles at all.

This will serve 2-3 and takes about 20 minutes to make.

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Vegetable Pad Thai

1 tbsp sesame oil

100g shallots

3 large cloves garlic

1 red chilli

4 spring onions

300g ribbon noodles (either straight to wok ones, or cooked and drained)

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp lime juice

3 tbsps light soy sauce

2 tbsps vegetarian oyster sauce

Handful coriander

Roasted peanuts, to serve

1. Finely chop the shallots, garlic and chilli. Halve the spring onions lengthways and then chop into 2 cm pieces.

2. Pour the oil into a wok or large frying pan and put on a high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, chilli and spring onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the noodles, soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar and oyster sauce. Cook for anther 2 minutes.

3. Add the beansprouts and stir fry for 5 minutes. Chop the coriander and add this. Take off the heat.

4. To serve, sprinkle roasted peanuts over each bowlful. Tuck in!

Thai Noodle Soup

There’s something about winter which makes me crave Thai food – the punchy flavours just make you think of sunshine.

I’ve put a couple of noodle soups with prawns on the blog already (Tom Kha Soup, Noodle Soup), but this one is particularly easy, fragrant and fresh.

The addition of tumeric makes the soup particularly bright and adds a distinctive, earthy flavour.

This particular soup is more similar to the Tom Kha Soup of the two I’ve previously cooked, but I’ve really stripped it back to make it seriously easy and quick to make.

This will serve 3-4 and takes 15 minutes to make.

Thai Noodle Soup

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 inch piece ginger

3 cloves garlic

1 green chilli

2 sticks lemongrass

1 handful coriander

1 tsp tumeric

1 litre vegetable stock

400ml coconut milk

300g rice noodles

250g raw prawns

2 pak choi

1 tbsp fish sauce

1. Finey slice the ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander stalks and add to a large pan with the sesame oil and bruised lemongrass. Put on a medium heat for a couple of minutes until it starts to sizzle and becomes fragrant, then add the tumeric.

2. Stir in the stock and coconut milk; bring to a simmer.

3. Add the noodles and prawns.

4. When the prawns have turned pink, chop the pak choi and coriander leaves and add to the pan. Add fish sauce to taste and you’re done!

Vegetable Chow Mein

This is a seriously simple little stir fry dish.

I’m not a fan of those sauces you can buy in supermarkets with stir fry kits – they tend to be (although there are exceptions) claggy, thick and very sweet – think about those hoisin or sweet chilli sauces. If you make a stir fry like this, it takes no more time and tastes fresh, light and vibrant.

This dish is vegetarian but you could easily throw in some prawns or chicken breast before the mushrooms if you fancy a kick of protein (and aren’t vegetarian…).

This takes 10 minutes to make and serves 4 (the leftovers make excellent lunches).

Vegetable Chow Mein

2 tbsps sesame oil

1 inch piece of ginger, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

200g mangetout

200g mushrooms, sliced

400g fresh egg noodles

2 tbsps dark soy sauce

1 tsp sherry vinegar

1 small pinch of sugar

4 spring onions, sliced

50g beansprouts

1 pak choi, chopped

Small handful peanuts, to serve

1. Heat the sesame oil in a wok over a medium high heat and stir fry the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds.

2. Add the mange tout and mushrooms, stir fry for another 2 minutes.

3. Add the noodles, soy sauce, sherry vinegar and sugar. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the noodles have loosened.

4. Stir in the spring onions, beansprouts and pak choi. Cook for a further minute and it’s done. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of peanuts.

Miso Soup with Noodles and Stir-Fried Veg

Today there is illness in the house and so I have decided to cook the one thing which is guaranteed to knock it out. The miso soup here is soothing and comforting but also packed full of ginger, which I have always believed gets rid of colds quicker than any sort of medicine. This may or may not be wishful thinking.

There are five different types of vegetable in the stir fry, which must go some way towards replenishing vitamins, and I put tofu in the broth too – which apparently cures almost everything; read the nutritional benefits here if you don’t believe me!

You can make this in about 20 minutes, and this will serve 4.

Miso Soup with Noodles and Stir-Fried Veg

1 large chunk ginger

2 tbsps miso paste

2 tbsps mirin

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic

70g seaweed

70g shiitake mushrooms

1 courgette

2 pak choi

200g sugar snap peas

3 tbsps soy sauce

4 spring onions

2 tbsps sesame seeds

350g tofu

450g udon noodles (the straight to wok ones work well)

1. Finely chop the ginger. Put a large pan filled with 1.5 litres water on the hob. Add the ginger, miso paste and mirin, stir, then bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok on a medium heat. Add the sliced garlic, fry for 15 seconds.

3. Tip in the seaweed, sliced mushrooms and sliced courgette. Stir fry for another minute, then add the sliced pak choi, whole sugar snap peas and soy sauce. Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.

4. Stir in the sliced spring onions and sesame seeds.

5. Chop the tofu into 1cm cubes and add to the soup along with the noodles. Bring back to the boil for 1 minute.

6. To serve, use tongs to lift a serving of noodles and tofu into each bowl. Top with a generous serving of the veg and then ladle over the soup. Enjoy!

Chicken Chow Mein

Surely everybody loves chicken chow mein? It’s the most popular dish at most Chinese takeaways and, I’m not knocking Chinese takeaways, but this is a fresh, healthy version which you could eat not just on treat nights!

Apart from the marinading (which actually only takes 20 minutes), this is an extremely quick stir fry dish – perfect for weekdays.

Once you’ve made it the first time, start mixing up the ingredients – baby corn, bamboo shoots, mushrooms etc would all go perfectly. Depends what you have in the fridge!

Chicken Chow Mein

400g chicken breasts

4 tbsps light soy sauce

4 tbsps rice wine

4 tbsps sesame oil

6 garlic cloves

200g mange tout

70g prosciutto or other cured ham

400g fresh egg noodles

8 spring onions

Sesame seeds, to serve

1. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and put in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons each of the soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then leave for about 20 minutes. You can leave for longer than this, but make sure you put it in the fridge if you do.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil to a wok over a high heat and tip in the chicken. Sizzle for 2 minutes, then add the crushed garlic.

3. After 10 seconds, add the mange tout and thinly sliced ham.

4. Stir fry for another minute, then add the noodles, remaining soy sauce and rice wine. Stir fry for 2 more minutes.

5. To finish, add the thinly sliced spring onions and remaining sesame oil and fry for another 30 seconds.

6. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of sesame seeds for a bit of crunch.

Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup

Japanese food and ramen noodle dishes in particular have become really popular in recent years. However, since they’ve become popular, supermarkets have been full of cheap ‘fast food’ ramen noodles – the type where you just add boiling water – and these are just so different to fresh, delicious ramen soup.

I won’t pretend that this is a traditonal Japanese recipe at all; rather it uses ingredients readily available to me and tastes fairly similar to the ramen noodle soup you can buy in Japanese restaurants.

It’s a beautiful, comfortingly savoury dish. It’s ready in 30 minutes at most and this will serve 2-3.

Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup

For the stock:

1 litre chicken stock

2 tbsps soy sauce

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

4 cloves garlic

1 inch piece ginger

1 tsp Chinese five spice

1 tsp mild chilli powder

For the soup:

2 large chicken breasts

1 tbsp ground nut oil

1 pak choi

4 spring onions

300g straight-to-wok medium noodles (I couldn’t find genuine ramen noodles – use them if you can get them though!)

10 pieces tinned bamboo shoots

1. For the stock, pour the chicken stock into a large saucepan and add the soy sauce and worcestershire sauce. Peel the garlic and ginger and chop into large chunks – add to the pan. Put the spices in too and stir. Simmer on a medium heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. Season the chicken breasts and put in a frying pan with the oil. Cook over a medium-high heat for approimately 5-6 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the breasts, until they are cooked through. Slice and leave to one side.

3. Slice the pak choi and spring onion finely.

4. Add the noodles to the stck and allow to cook.

5. To serve, lift a serving of noodles into each bowl. Top with a handful of pak choi and spring onions. Pile the chicken on top, then add the bamboo shoots. Finally, ladle a generous helping of the stock over the top.

Asparagus and Tofu Pad Thai

I must start by apologising for my silence over the last week or so, I have a good excuse I think – we’re getting married on Friday and so there has been a plethora of jobs to be done.

This will be my last entry for a good few weeks; after the wedding we’re going on honeymoon to Kos for a couple of weeks. I hope to come back with lots of delicious Greek style recipes to share with you all!

This last recipe is one which can be made vegan if necessary. It is a beautful, healthy version of a pad thai (the tofu has a very similar texture to the egg in a traditional pad thai, which is why I call it this), and guarantees to fill us both with vitamins before our big day!

Asparaus and Tofu Pad Thai

300g fresh rice noodles

349g pack of firm tofu

1 lime

1 tbsp tamarind paste (you should be able to get this from the supermarket, or an Asian store)

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tsp soy sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil

10 asparagus spears

6 spring onions

300g bag beansprouts

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

handful each coriander leaves and salted peanuts, to serve

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a wok. Cut the tofu into small cubes and fry for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Tip onto a piece of kitchen roll to drain.

2. Add the remaining oil to the wok and add the garlic, sliced asparagus, sliced spring onions and beansprouts. Stir fry for about 5 minutes until the beansprouts have wilted and the asparagus has started to soften.

3. Tip in the noodles and str fry until heated through.

4. Juice the lime, and mix the juice with the tamarind paste, soy sauce and chilli sauce. Tip into the wok with the tofu and stir well.

5. Serve topped with the coriander and peanuts. Delicious!

Super Easy Pad Thai

Firstly I must apologise for my absence for the last week – it was my hen party last weekend and inevitably this was followed by a week of exhaustion and illness, so the poor other half had to cater for me! And a very good job he did too.

This week we’re back on track and I’m starting off with a very fast Pad Thai dish. It’s delicious and a small bowl of it really fills you up so it’s great if you’re trying to cut down!

Super Easy Pad Thai

Groundnut oil

2 cloves garlic

225g frozen raw king prawns

2 eggs

Chilli flakes

300g rice noodles (the straight to wok ones are good for this)

300g bean sprouts

2 tbsps dark soy sauce

2 tbsps fish sauce

1 tsp palm sugar

1 tsp lime juice

1 large handful coriander

Roasted peanuts, to garnish

1. Chop the garlic and put into a wok on a high heat with a tablespoon of the oil.Throw in the prawns and stir fry until the prawns are cooked through, then transfer to a bowl.

2. Add a little more oil to the wok, then beat the eggs together lightly, season with salt and pepper, and tip into the wok, moving it around until it creates a thin layer. It won’t take long to cook, and once done cut it into small chunks using your wooden spoon and then transfer to the bowl with the prawns.

3. Add the chilli flakes to the wok – about three quarters of a teaspoon will make it moderately spicy, add more or less to your taste.

4. Add the noodles, beansprouts, soy sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice to the wok and stir fry until all of the ingredients are heated through.

5. Add the chopped coriander, prawns and egg and then stir through, then turn off the heat.

6. To serve, top each bowl with a little more coriander and a sprinkling of the peanuts. Yum!