Friday, 8 January 2010

Asian Cabbage and Fish Noodles

Happy belated 2010 readers.

2010 brought a milestone to yours truly's door on 1st January when the grand old age of 40 was reached. And looking at my tired, overindulged face and frame on that morning I certainly knew the day had arrived. Time to put things straight at the risk of another broken resolution, or just carry on as normal?

The new year is always a time of false starts and bruised beginnings and I for one am guilty of many a resolution that has failed to stand the test of time. And this year I've decided to skip it completely and carry on as normal. Why? Because I'm happy. Simple as.

One 'change' I will be making on the food front though is to consume more food from South East Asia. It is quickly becoming my favourite world cuisine by far, even surpassing my love of British puds and meaty casseroles. I adore the simplicity of the food that covers this vast continent that amazingly packs in so much flavour. Always hot, sometimes sour, usually salty with a little bit of sweet. It shakes you up from taste buds to toes and makes you feel happy to be alive. 40 or not 40.

This is one of those recipes that can be tweaked according to what vegetables that you have in your fridge along with any leftover meat for a weekend supper to please all. As in this recipe, crunchy cabbage and a piece of fish keep it light, fresh and wholesome. Add the heat of the chilli after serving to your little ones and it becomes family friendly.

Asian Cabbage and Fish Noodles

Feeds 4

1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
1 tbsp onion seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
1 thumb size of ginger, grated
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced finely
Half a large cabbage, sliced thinly
100ml water
2 fillets of salmon, sliced thin
A portion of cooked noodles
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
Milk of one coconut or 100ml coconut milk
Half a coconut, finely grated
Juice of 1 lime
A handful of fresh coriander

1 - Heat the oil in a wok and add the cumin and onion seeds. Cook for 1 minute until they crackle then add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli. Stir fry for 2 minutes until softened.
2 - Add the cabbage and water, stir thoroughly, bring to the boil and place a lid onto the wok. Steam for 5 minutes until the cabbage has slightly softened.
3 - Remove the lid and stir in the salmon. Cook for 2 minutes then stir in the noodles, fish sauce, coconut milk, fresh coconut, lime juice and coriander. Heat through. Taste for seasoning - you want a nice blend of heat, salt and sourness from the lime.
4 - Serve in bowls with more fresh coconut, coriander and lime wedges.