Who Said Noodles Were Boring?
The quick fix with the potential to evolve in your pot
Certainly not me, as over the years I have mastered a recipe that still gets me excited thinking of it. Looking for a spicy quick fix, long before the hunger pangs give you a beating, look no further. Our goal is to make spicy noodles. We will garnish with butter, prawns, gizzard, and mixed vegetables.
For a light eater, a pack of instant noodles will do. Heavier eaters will need more. The noodles are competing with lots of other things in the pot. You want to give each 'participant' a chance. My preference is usually the beef flavor. Any brand works. Some people prefer egg noodles. Though they cook longer; are heavier on the stomach and need extra seasoning.
Other ingredients are eight pieces of gizzard and 15 pieces of medium-sized frozen cooked prawns. We need a tablespoon of butter, a 350 ml bowl filled with pre-cut carrot, and green pepper. We also need baby broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and green peas. Finally, ground ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, dry crayfish, oregano, and sage. Yeah, that's quite a collection.
Firstly, the gizzard is spiced, cooked, and refrigerated at an earlier date. I tend to use frozen cooked prawns so all I need to do is get it out of the freezer and thaw the amount I need under tap water. The veggie mix has been chopped earlier and packed in Ziploc bags. These bags are refrigerated for future use. Another option is to use the frozen version sold in grocery stores. Squeezing the frozen bag helps the veggies come lose or one could defrost it under a running tap.
The first step would be to put some water in a pot. Usually, if you dislike soggy noodles, it’s best to be ‘miserly’ with the water. A good way to gauge is ensuring that the water does not cover the top of the noodles. The butter goes in next. This helps to give flavor. It also prevents the noodles strands from sticking together, which isn’t in favor of visuals. Another option is to use a tablespoon of cooking oil. The spices prepacked with the noodles go in next followed by what I call the household spices. These are half a level teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper, a teaspoon of ground ginger, and garlic. I sprinkle sage and oregano. I have also noticed that a level teaspoon of ground dry crayfish gives the noodles a nice flavor. My friends, this is the point to get creative. If there is any particular spice that tickles your fancy or you can’t live without, it should go in now.
Next are the gizzard and prawns. It is vital at this point so they soak in some of the flavors from the noodle sauce swimming with herbs and spices. The mixed veggies are usually the last to go in. If Some of the melted water from the veggies could provide added fluid. This ensures the noodles are not too dry. This is another reason why one is careful with water at the beginning. If you need more fluid, then add about 10-15 ml of water. The veggies should not be overcooked. If not, you end up with what I call ‘soggy chaff’. Besides, the general rule with most veggies is; cook less and keep nutrients. By the time your cooking has ended, your veggies should still be green. The way I see it, if they are brown, you have lost some of your money’s worth.
This cooking is usually over in less than 30 minutes. Being a smoothie fan, I either have that bottled in the fridge or I do a quick blend. My preference is a berry blast. I say berry blast as it is a mix of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Half a cup will do, which I blend with some water and ice cubes and pour into a glass cup. This berry blast is rich in vitamin c which helps in the absorption of iron from the green veggies. It is also a nice complement to this hot spicy meal.
There you have it, spicy noodles garnished with butter and prawns. In the mix, you have gizzard and mixed vegetables served with berry blast. Why is it perfect for your quarantine cookbook? A lot of us have bought and overstocked dry foods; like noodles in the pantry. Some of us have done it out of fear of not knowing when and how the pandemic will end. We have also stocked our freezers full of packaged foods of all sorts. While you are at it, why not get creative expanding your recipes?