If I am not sure what I want to have for dinner and perhaps I am feeling a little tender and need something restorative in a bowl to eat, I fairly regularly think of noodles. There are always noodles in the cupboard. Noodles are quick to cook. They are (generally) healthy. Everyone likes noodles. A noodle dish is a dish with so many possibilities.
I like to buy organic dried asian noodles, there are so many kinds : soba, ramen, green tea, egg. But at the moment I have a certain fondness for mung bean vermicelli. It could be that they are made from beans and I love beans and beans are good for you.
I once went to a lot of trouble to find a recipe to make my own noodles. Perhaps I am a little slow on the up-take but I was surprised that all the recipies for noodles - in the Asian sense - were the same as the recipies for pasta - in the Italian sense. I still have no idea why I thought they would be different. Isn't it amazing how the accompanying flavours - tomato, garlic and cheese vs. chilli corriander and fish sauce - can cause you to percieve something that is essentially the same as being completely different. Well I find it amazing!
I understand that it is believed that Marco Polo brought noodles back from china to Italy - so it all begins to make sense . . .
One of my favourite recipes for a whipped up store cupboard dinner is this :
Prepare a broth from chicken stock, tom yum paste from a jar (no MSG thank you!), bashed lemongrass stalks, corriander root and stalks, sliced chilli, kaffir lime leaves and what ever else you fancy. Bring to the boil and simmer briefly. Poach some chicken or seafood in the broth, or reheat some left-over cooked meat. Fish out the lemongrass, lime leaves, and corriander roots at this stage if you like. Add the noodles and when they are almost cooked add vegetables - quartered mushrooms, quartered tomatoes, asian greens - anything you have on hand, even frozen peas would do. Serve piping hot in large bowls with chopsticks and chinese spoons for slurping.