Necessity has been the mother of invention this week.
Our long-planned house build is now imminent, and in the ongoing balancing act between what we want to live in and what we want to eat, imagination has won. The wine tunnel is staying, as are the secret Narnia room and post-box laundry chute, but to allow for them all the food budget has to stay tight.
Fortunately, we’ve now got a cupboard full of basic ingredients that we mix and match, and having just made Spicy King Prawns we also had leftover bits of ginger, lemongrass and lime. This is the result - a quick and easy dish that didn’t cost the earth and still tastes delicious. Enjoy.
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
handful of chopped coriander
Generous slug of olive oil
400ml can of light coconut milk
400ml chicken stock
2-3 chicken breasts (depending on size), chopped
30ml fish sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
Juice of two limes, or bottled lime juice to taste
Handful of fresh baby spinach
Pitta bread to serve
1. Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions.
2. Lightly fry the garlic, chillies, ginger, turmeric, coriander and onions in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat, stirring all the time.
2. When the onion has softened, add the coconut milk, lemongrass and stock. Bring to the boil.
3. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and chicken. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through. This should only take a few minutes.
4. Remove the lemongrass and add the spinach, lime juice and prepared noodles.
5. Serve with pitta bread and beer.