Tag Archives: rice noodle

Purple carrot spaghetti

27 Oct

Purple carrot spaghetti

After a bit of a jog on a very cold October morning, I found myself in the supermarket looking for something inspirational for lunch.  And what did I find?  Purple carrots!  I assume, given the rather colourful packaging, that this product was aimed at children, to try and encourage them to eat vegetables and piggy-backing on the commercial wonderland of Halloween.  Nonetheless, i was sucked in.  Well done marketers.  Cartoons and bright colours obviously work in our supermarket aisles.

I have seen a couple of recipes recently profiling the “vegetable spaghetti”, so I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for me to give it a whirl.  I chose  to add some rice noodles as well to mix the dish up a bit, but you could use (gluten free) spaghetti instead, or even try some other veggies to “spaghetti”.

Now I used sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil to finish this off, but you could use pine nuts or other such ingredients.

The ingredients:

1 regular orange carrot

1 purple carrot

1 clove of garlic

1 red chilli (if you don’t like spicy food, only add ½ a chilli)

A good glug of good quality olive oil/rapeseed oil (maybe 5 tbsp)

Salt and pepper

A small sprinkling of Sesame seeds (optional)

1 tsp Toasted sesame oil (optional)

Fresh Basil

150g rice noodles (fresh, or dried, but if you use dried, make sure you have cooked them according to the packet instructions before use)


The Recipe:

  1. Cut both carrots into long thin sections.  I used a mandolin to get them all uniform (ish) so it was quite fast, but if you don’t have a mandolin, this could be quite a lengthy process, but a good excuse to practice your knife skills!
  2. Thinly slice the chilli and crush the garlic.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chilli and garlic and fry for about a minute, make sure the garlic doesn’t burn
  4. Add the carrot spaghetti and toss to coat in the oil and fry until the carrot has softened.  This will take maybe about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add the rice noodles and toss to mix in with the carrot, chilli and garlic.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the toasted sesame oil.
  7. Serve and sprinkle with a couple of sesame seeds and fresh basil.

Vietnamese mushroom dumplings in a noodle broth

10 Jul

Vietnamese mushroom dumplings in a noodle broth

Now I tried making dumplings in broth before, and though it was really yummy, the dumplings had a tendency to disintegrate as I softened them in hot water.  This time, I softened them in cold water and they remained much more robust.

The little bit of crunchy peanut butter in the dumplings was (ah-hem, modesty alert), a touch of genius!  And in the words of my dining companion, it sent the “yum factor” through the roof!

It is a bit of a long list of ingredients, so don’t let that put you off.  This meal is worth it.

The ingredients (serves 2):

For the broth:

2 pints of boiling water

1 carrot

1 onion

2 sticks of celery

3 cloves of garlic

1cm ginger

1 small chilli (deseeded)

Gluten free soy sauce (to taste – I used quite a lot!)

Fresh coriander, chopped

1tsp vegetable bouillon (powder)

Sweet chilli sauce (~2tbsp)

Sesame seed oil (~1 tbsp)

Rice noodles (as much as you require, I used about 100g of dried noodles for 2 people)

The dumplings:

2 handfuls of mushrooms

1cm ginger, crushed

1 small chilli, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 carrot

Splash gluten free soy sauce

1 tsp soft brown sugar

1tbsp Rice wine vinegar

3 large tsps Crunchy peanut butter (I like to use whole earth peanut butter as it is pretty much 100% peanut)

3 Rice paper wrappers (I use ones about the size of a dinner plate)

The recipe:

1.       The broth:

Chop the onion, carrot and celery into large chunks and throw into a large heavy based  saucepan with the water.

Add the cloves of garlic (whole), ginger, 1 small chilli, chopped coriander, a very large splash of soy, and the vegetable bouillon.

Cover and leave to simmer whilst you prepare the rest of the meal.  We’ll come back to this later.

2.       The dumplings:

Take the cabbage leaves, cut out hard stems and discard, thinly slice the leaves and steam for 3 mins

Chop mushrooms into small pieces; throw into hot oil and sauté until lightly brown.  Add crushed ginger, chilli and garlic.

Add julienned/matchstick carrots

Lightly sauté for 5 mins

Add large splash of soy sauce, soft brown sugar, rice wine vinegar

Continue to sauté for another 5 mins.

Soften rice paper wraps in cold water until soft and pliable, place on chopping board and cut in half with a sharp knife.

Onto each hemisphere of the rice paper wrap add a little bit of cabbage, 2 tsp of the mushroom mix and ½ tsp of crunchy peanut butter

Carefully roll the rice paper wrap, tucking in the edges to make sure there are no holes in the dumpling

3.       The noodles:

Cook the rice noodles according to the packet

4.       Back to the broth:

Add a splash of sweet chilli sauce, the sesame seed oil and a bit more soy sauce to taste

Strain the stock to remove the vegetables etc

5.       To serve:

Place the rice noodles into serving bowls, sprinkle over any leftover steamed cabbage and place on the dumplings.

Carefully pour the stock over the noodles and dumplings

Ho Chi Kim

18 Jun

Ho Chi Kim









Cucumber, Mango and Green Bean Rice Noodle Salad

What is the inspiration for tonight’s nights dinner, Ho Chi Kim?

We were indulging in an episode of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls River Cottage Veg at the weekend, and that combined with my love for Vietnamese food gave me the inspiration for tonights dinner.  (Also the left overs will be fabulous for lunch tomorrow, however due to Tupperware circumstances beyond our control we are now precariously transporting it in plastic food bags…?)

And feedback from Mr. Meat-and-two-veg?

I didn’t believe that such complexity of flavour can come from such a simple dish!  I really didn’t think you could knock flavour together in 5 minutes and this dish proves you don’t need to invest 40 minutes to get a tasty dinner.

there’s the hype, now here’s how she did it!

Serves 3-4 people (but we made twice as much to cater for tomorrows lunch!)

The ingredients for the dressing:

Juice and zest from 1 lime

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Large splash gluten free soy sauce

Little dash of Rice wine vinegar

1 tsp brown sugar

Pinch of chilli flakes/1 fresh chilli (add more or less if you are sensitive or love chilli)

Couple of tsp Toasted sesame oil

The ingredients for the salad:

300g rice noodles/rice vermicelli/mung bean vermicelli

1 mango

1 cucumber

100g green beans

A big handful of cashew nuts

A big handful of mint and basil leaves


The recipe:

  1. Put all the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl and mix (or into a jam jar – I find it quite therapeutic to shake it like this).  Add additional soy sauce or sesame oil to get a flavour you like.  Put aside
  2. Cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions, then drain and leave to cool
  3. Lightly toast the cashew nuts in either a dry frying pan or in the oven until they start turning nicely brown.  Crush the nuts roughly (leaving some whole)
  4. Steam the green beans for 3-4 minutes
  5. Ribbon/thinly slice the cucumber and mango
  6. Roughly chop the mint and basil leaves
  7. Put the noodles, mango, cucumber, green beans and herbs into a big bowl and mix (you might find it easier to get your hands involved here as the noodles can be quite tricky to mix with spoons!)
  8. Pour the dressing over the noodles and toss again

To serve, just sprinkle the crushed nuts over the salad