Recipe: Make-ahead satay noodles

For the past four weeks I have had a sausage roll with salad for lunch at work every day. Every single day. For four weeks.

But I do this with food. I go through a period where I can eat endless amounts of one meal and never get even slightly bored. And then one day I’ll wake up and just won’t fancy it any more.

The granola phase for example, where I ate maple and pecan granola for breakfast every day and quite a few dinners as well. I sampled all different brands of maple and pecan granola and ranked them out of ten so I could remember for years to come which was my favourite (Waitrose own brand, the clear winner, if you were interested). And then one day I wanted toast for breakfast and that was that. I’ve still got two half eaten packets of granola sitting unloved in the cupboard.

I’m trying to preempt that happening with sausage rolls. And because I was a bit bored on Monday I thought I’d dedicate my time to making a healthy, filling lunch to see me through the week. I even put aside time to google ideas, which turned out to be completely unnecessary because the first suggestion I came across was satay noodles and I was sold. I love satay and I had all the necessary ingredients – perfect.

Satay noodles in a wok

I really do pride myself on my ability to make a satay sauce. It’s one of the few things I can make from memory, and just knock up with whatever ingredients are to hand. I made it once for my ex-boyfriend’s siblings and they loved it so much they both actually acknowledged my existence long enough to tell me they liked it (teenagers!). His mum even rang me a few days later to ask for the recipe because they were still talking about it. Yep, it’s a satay sauce worthy of legends.

Now I’ve way overhyped it because it’s nothing out of the ordinary. It’s the cumin that makes all the difference if I’m honest. My no-longer-so-secret ingredient.

Satay noodles in lunch portions

Serves three for lunch, two for dinner

Ingredients for the stir fry

1 tbsp cooking oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

1 red chilli, chopped

5 mushrooms, sliced

1 tin of water chestnuts, sliced

 

Ingredients for the sauce

3 heaped tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter (or 2 heaped of smooth and add a handful of peanuts to the stir fry)

1 tsp honey

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp cumin

Juice of half a lime

 

Ingredients for the noodles

2 nests of egg noodles

1 vegetable or chicken stock cube

 

Method

Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat.

Once hot, add the onions, pepper and carrot and fry for twenty minutes, stirring regularly.

Mix the satay sauce ingredients together.

Add the mushrooms, chilli and water chestnuts to the wok and fry for another five minutes.

Cook the noodles in a large pan of stock for the time given on the packet.

Tip a good splash of the noodle broth into the satay sauce to thin it to a silky texture that will coat the noodles.

Drain the rest of the broth away and mix the noodles, sauce and vegetables together (mixing anything into noodles is a trial so you’ll need a lot of patience. Tongs work slightly better than a regular spoon).

Divide into three containers and leave to cool.

Once cool, store in the fridge for up to three days and microwave for 3 minutes before eating.

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