It was starting to rain as I made my way to the super-sized supermarket on the edge of my neighbourhood. It always seems to rain on Sundays, and Sunday afternoon is the worst time to go grocery shopping, anyway. Yet, I only ever seem to find the time to go shopping then, and if I’ve nothing to do it gives some shape to the day’s otherwise emptiness.
The paths were slippy with rainwater as I made my way downtown, and crowds huddled at the bus stops beneath umbrellas. It was Chinese New Year, and even the somewhat jaded Chinese restaurants that lined the highstreet, with their salmon-pink napkins arranged in fans on clothed-tables, were full. Only by chance did I look up whilst walking past a take-away and decide that maybe today was a day for a stir-fry, after all. I had gone with the intention to stuff an aubergine, but another day.
Noodles are an ultimate comfort food, much like the way pasta doused in cream and flecked with cheese and black pepper is. This takes minutes to make, but I don’t recommend rushing as that can result in over-cooked prawns or charred peppers, which takes from the delightfulness of the dish.
And needless to mention, a runny egg over hot noodles and buttery, spicy prawns is truly the sun to brighten any rainy day.
The quantities here are just for one.
A handful of raw, peeled king prawns
150g medium noodles
A thumbnail-sized piece of ginger
Half a small red chilli, deseeded
Half a red pepper, sliced
1 tbsp of soy sauce
A few stalks and leaves of coriander, chopped
A tsp of Tikka spice mix
½ tsp of chilli flakes
A squeeze of lemon (or lime)
A generous knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Slice the ginger and chilli very finely and add to a hot, oiled pan. Cook for a minute or so to release flavour.
Add the prawns to the pan with the butter, sprinkle over the Tikka spice mix, chilli flakes and some of the coriander. Season with black pepper and a pinch of salt. Fry until the prawns are cooked pink. If the pan is hot enough this should only take about a minute or two.
Transfer the prawns to a dish, squeeze lemon (or lime) juice over them and leave aside. Add sliced red pepper to the pan and fry for a few minutes. Then, add the noodles. I used straight-to-wok medium noodles for convenience, but I am sure there must be better alternatives out there. Add the soy sauce and allow the noodles to unravel and cook. Make sure there is enough oil or soy sauce in the pan so that the noodles don’t stick.
In a separate pan, fry an egg. Make sure to not overcook as the runny yolk is the perfect liquid to moisten noodles.
Return the prawns to the pan and heat through. Tip the stir-fry into a dish and top with the runny egg. Garnish with the remaining coriander leaves.