10-Minute Peanut & Sweet Chilli Noodles

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This quantity makes a good solo adult lunch, or two portions for my five year old daughter. This is her favourite lunch, and has been for a long time. I don’t mind at all – it’s super easy to make and packed with protein from the peanut butter (choose a good one, like Whole Earth) and the edamame. I tend to mostly use decent dried egg noodles here, but you can use plain noodles for a vegan-friendly option. Whatever you do, don’t use flavoured ‘instant’ type noodles! If I’ve got some stir-fry veggies in the fridge (like baby corn and sugarsnap peas) I will use them instead of frozen peppers and corn, but more often than not, I use frozen veggies, as I always have a stash! As much as this dish really appeals to little ones (I think slurping the noodles has got something to do with it), it’s not exclusively aimed at children – add a pinch of chilli flakes to crank up the heat if you like. Now that my sweetie is only at home for lunch on weekends and school holidays, I tend to alternate between egg-based lunches and this, for a yummy big protein boost.

This is one of the rare occasions I’ll use cups and measuring spoons rather than weighing stuff out, but I’ve listed the approximate weight conversions below.

For the noodles:
You’ll need about 200g frozen mixed veg. You can use what you’ve got, but this is what I always use:
1/2 cup edamame (80g)
1/3 cup mixed peppers (60g)
1/3 cup sweetcorn (60g)
1 x nest of dried noodles

For the peanut sauce:
2 rounded tbsp smooth peanut butter (50g)
2 rounded tbsp sweet chilli sauce – I use Sharwoods, in the glass bottle. (40g)
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp soy sauce
Optional, for adults: A fat pinch of chilli flakes
Approx 2-3 tbsp just boiled water

Optional: Mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame etc) to sprinkle

Make it Vegan!: Just make sure you use egg free noodles.

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Boil a full kettle and fill a decent sized saucepan about half way with it. Add the frozen veg to the pan and bring the water to the boil. Then toss in the dried noodles, return to the boil and set a timer for 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, place all the peanut sauce ingredients (except for the water) in a small bowl. Use a teaspoon to bring it all together until you’ve got a thick peanutty sauce. Add a little water, a tablespoon at a time, until the sauce has loosened up a bit (don’t make it too runny! When it looks like double cream, it’s ready.)

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After 6 minutes, check the noodles are cooked to your liking then drain it all. Return the noodles and veg to the saucepan and pour the peanut sauce on top. Stir together until the noodles and veg are evenly coated with the peanut sauce then serve, sprinkling some seeds on top if you like. (I tend to divide into two portions – allow one to cool before covering with clingfilm and chilling in the fridge. Eat within 2 days and reheat thoroughly first.)

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