Gok Cooks Chinese is a lovely book (bar the page where he is pictured eating noodles doing a variety of inane poses) and was the perfect Christmas present as the recipes are simple, healthy, clean and inexpensive to make. January was looking pretty bleak, we had no money and I was feeling bloated and fat, but we made it through to payday with the help of Gok.
My favourite recipe, yet the most simple, was the Easy Traditional Noodles. Gok says: "If this dish had arms it would wrap itself around you and give you a huge hug". Bloody Gok, but it's true! I started to make this dish all the time and I'd made it so many times that it did start to evolve a little bit - I decided to make it a bit more spicy, a bit more garlicky and a bit more soupy and I also prefer the spring onions to be a bit softer so give them a bit of 'steaming' time at the end but other than that it's quite faithful to the original recipe. We've also experimented with loads of different types of noodles from various Manchester Chinese supermarkets and our favourites are by far those cheap EZ-Cook ones you get in the bumper packs, but you could use any really.
So this Easy Noodle Soup is now one of our favourite cheap dinners, it takes no time at all to make, it fills you up and is quite low calorie I'd have thought, although maybe a little short on the 5-a-day but never mind. Gok, you may be a bit annoying but you know how to write a cracking cookbook!
Largeish chunk of ginger
3 garlic cloves
Large pinch of chilli flakes
1300 ml of chicken stock
2 packets of noodles (we like the EZ-Cook ones you get in Chinese supermarkets!)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
4 spring onions
Peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger. Add the chicken stock to a large Chinese soup pot and add the garlic, ginger and chilli flakes to the stock. Put the lid on the pot and bring the soup to the boil over a fairly low heat.
Once the soup has started to boil, add the noodles and put the lid back on the pot. Cook the noodles for three minutes.
Meanwhile, finely chop the spring onions. After the three minutes, add the soy and oyster sauces to the soup, stir and turn the heat off.
Sprinkle the spring onions into the soup on top of the noodles. With the heat still off, put the lid back on the soup and leave for one minutes for the spring onions to soften up a bit. Transfer the noodles and broth to bowls and serve! Easy as that.