Eating for £2 a day, part two: noodles

2 Jul

Ching-He Huang’s chilli chicken noodles

Second in a series of posts on cheap eating in which I feed two adults (including myself) different things that taste good, on a budget of about £2 each per day.

I never used to cook much Chinese food at home – sauces out of sachets and jars are often bland, gloopy or insanely sugary, and I mistakenly believed that making stuff from scratch would either require buying lots of expensive ingredients, or be very time-consuming, or both.

Eating food made by a friend who’d lived in China, and being bought Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy (which the following recipe comes from) persuaded me otherwise. Invest in some soy and five-spice and you’ve got the store-cupboard staples for a range of simple budget recipes – which will last months. At about £3.50 for two, this is the most expensive meal I’ll be looking at – because it’s got chicken in it.

Ching-He Huang’s chilli chicken noodles

You will need:

  • 250g chicken (I used thigh fillets – cheaper and taste better), sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 courgette, sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 250g noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
  • 2 spring onions, sliced

And for the sauce:

  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2.5cm ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 chilli, sliced
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sugar

To prepare:

  • Put the sauce ingredients in a blender and whizz them up smooth, then set aside.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan or wok until hot, add chicken and stir fry until browned.
  • Add the red pepper and courgette and stir fry for two minutes.
  • Put in the cooked noodles and sauce and bring to the boil.
  • Season with soy sauce and serve topped with sliced spring onion.

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