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Using your noodle
  |  First Published: March 2013



I’m not talking two-minute noodles. I’m referring to the varieties of high quality, neutrally flavoured carriers for tasty sauces and seafood used in the following recipes.

As well as helping the sauce and seafood complete their journey from plate to tastebud, noodles also add texturally to these recipes. The softness of the noodles partners the smoothness of the sauce, the crunch of nuts in the Kung Pao Prawns or the squish of the peas with the soba noodles with crab meat.

Kung Pao Prawns

The Kung Pao sauce is a richly flavoured, spicy sauce that partners with most types of seafood. I have used green prawns in this version, but you could substitute fish, scallops, crab meat, calamari or a variety of seafood. Likewise, you could also use cashews instead of peanuts in this recipe.

Any type of noodles, such as udon, soba or vermicelli, will be excellent for your Kung Pao Prawns. I have even used angel hair pasta for this recipe on occasion.

Ingredients

375g udon or vermicelli noodles

3-4 red chillies, seeds removed (or 2tbsp chilli paste)

250ml (1 cup) chicken or vegetable stock

2tbsp cornflour

3/4 cup soy sauce (salt reduced is fine)

1/2 cup dry sherry or Chinese cooking wine

2tbsp red wine vinegar or Chinese black vinegar

2tsp sesame oil

500g green prawns, peeled and deveined

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup roasted nuts

6 green shallots, finely sliced

Steps

1. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the packet. When cooked, drain the noodles well and place to one side.

2. If you are using fresh red chillies, either pound them to a paste in a mortar and pestle, or process them in a food processor until very finely chopped.

3. In a bowl, thoroughly whisk together the chicken (or vegetable) stock, cornflour, soy sauce, sherry or cooking wine, chilli paste, vinegar and sesame oil. Then place the bowl to one side.

4. Heat a tablespoon of the cooking oil in a wok or frypan over a medium heat. Sauté the prawns (in batches) until they are pink and just cooked. Transfer the cooked prawns to a bowl.

5. Reduce the heat under the wok or frypan to a low heat.

6. Add the remaining tablespoon of cooking oil to the pan and sauté the garlic until it is fragrant. This will only take a minute. Now give the stock mixture in the bowl a quick stir before pouring it and the nuts into the pan containing the sautéed garlic.

7. Stirring the contents of the pan, bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to simmer until the mixture has thickened to a sauce-like consistency.

8. When the correct consistency has been reached, add the cooked noodles and the cooked prawns as well as the green shallots to the pan. Toss well to coat the noodles and the prawns thoroughly with the sauce.

Your Kung Pao Prawns are now ready to enjoy.

Soba Noodles with Crab Meat

I like to use large chunks of crab meat in this recipe to give heaps of texture to the finished dish. I have used green peas, however you could also use small pieces of fresh green asparagus as an alternative.

You could also substitute mascarpone cheese or even natural yoghurt for the cream. If you switch the cream for yoghurt, then consider omitting the lemon juice otherwise it maybe a little too tangy.

Ingredients

2tbsp butter or alternative

2 cloves garlic, crushed

500g cooked crab meat

100g cooked green peas

375g soba noodles

1 cup low fat cream

Splash of lemon juice

100g fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Steps

1. In a large frypan, heat the butter over a medium heat. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until the garlic has softened and become fragrant. Gently place the crabmeat into the garlic butter in the pan and tumble gently to coat the crab meat with the butter. Add the peas and/or asparagus to the pan, cover with a lid and set to one side while you cook the noodles.

2. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain the noodles gently, reserving 3-4 tablespoons of the cooking liquid.

3. Gently toss (cooked soba noodles are very soft) the noodles together with the crab mixture. Add the cream to the noodle mixture and stir carefully to avoid breaking up the crab meat too much. Squeeze the lemon juice over the noodles and then add the grated Parmesan.

4. Stir the soba noodles with crab meat together carefully and then serve in individual noodle bowls.

The seafood in these recipes was supplied by Bay and Ocean Seafoods ph (07) 3390 4472.

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