Living on a diet of two-minute noodles could almost be cliché to you, and may have even been acceptable as a student.
However, you now live in the real world, my friend – you have to start eating your noodles like an adult.
Asian food is pretty hipster at the moment and incredibly tasty to boot. Stir fried noodles are as quick and easy to whip up as they will be on your budget. Plus, they are a great way to up your veggie intake and clear the fridge drawer of the remaining few carrots and green beans from last week’s shop.
Top Stir Fry Tips:
• Stir fries are traditionally done in piping hot woks, but frying pans work just as well. However, to regulate temperature until you’re ready to handle the heat, start off with your pan on high heat and turn down to medium heat when you add the meat and veg.
• Marinating your meat can add such flavour, do this the night before to allow the flavours to properly soak in. Marinating your meat will also tenderise and soften tougher cuts.
• Make sure to slice all components into similar sized pieces – this will speed up the cooking process and prevent some from drying out while others remain un-cooked.
• Add your noodles at the end, along with the sauce to coat in all the flavours.
• Mix it up. Use what you have and enjoy new combinations.
• Shake things up. Stir fries are completely versatile and a great canvas for experimentation. Google new sauces like peanut or sweet and sour sauce and be bold enough to buy weird and wonderful veg at the shops to surprise your palate.
• Veggie-tales: Vegetables have many of the necessary vitamins and minerals that keep immune systems strong during icy winters and rain-soaked flu season – try up your dosage of fruits and vegetables during winter to prevent getting sick.
• Believe it or not, red meat should only be eaten twice a week. This is because red meat contains saturated fats and too much could lead to your body being in a “pro-inflammatory state”. Pro-inflammatory state is the exaggerated response of the immune system which promotes damage to tissues and will prevent your body from healing itself. It could also have negative effects on allergies, asthma, arthritis etc.
• Chicken, fish and vegetable proteins like beans and lentils should be eaten on most days and will help keep your immune system in check.
Egg Noodles with Beef Stir Fry
Cost p/portion: R23
160 - 200g Beef Strips/Chicken
60ml Soy Sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp ginger, grated
1 red chilli, chopped
½ onion, sliced
1 large carrot, julienned
¼ red cabbage
100g Egg noodles
1 tsp sesame seeds
Cashew Nuts (Optional)
Equipment: Frying Pan/Wok
1. Night before: Make a marinade for your meat by mixing the soy sauce, sugar, crushed garlic, ginger and red chilli.
2. Place the sliced onion and meat into the marinade and refrigerate.
3. When you are ready to stir fry, chop your vegetables into similar sized pieces - julienne carrots, slice broccoli into smaller florets, chop cabbage into ribbons, onion into slices and green beans into halves.
4. Heat 15-25 ml of oil on a high heat. Once the oil is hot, turn down to a medium heat.
5. Remove the meat from the marinade - keeping the marinade aside for later - and fry for 2-4 minutes until mostly cooked. (Once vegetables have been fried, the meat will be re-heated and finish cooking.)
6. Remove meat from the pan and keep aside.
7. Add a splash more oil if necessary and then flash fry the vegetables - starting with the largest pieces, adding the next lot after 30 seconds of cooking.
8. Once all the vegetables are in the pan, make sure not to overcook - you will want to keep a bit of crunch. If the veggies are done, take the pan off the heat and keep aside.
9. Prepare egg noodles to packet requirements: place in boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
10. While noodles are cooking, return the veggies to the heat along with the meat and marinade. Reheat.
11. Once the noodles are done, throw them into the wok and toss altogether.
12. Serve in bowls while hot - sprinkle with sesame seeds or cashew nuts for extra crunch and protein.