While not technically an "instant noodle" dish, this gluten-free stir-fry is so quick – and requires so little preparation – we deem it as such. Paired with crispy, five-spiced chicken, pickled chillies and celery, these noodles deserve a place on the weeknight rotation.
- 150 g dried rice noodles
- 3 tsp peanut oil
- 3 stalks celery, finely sliced, leaves chopped
- 150 g minced chicken
- 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 4 spring onions, cut into 3 cm lengths, plus extra to serve
- 3–4 pickled chillies, chopped, plus extra to serve
- 1½ tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp chinkiang vinegar (Chinese black vinegar)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp Szechuan pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 10 minutes
Cover the noodles in boiling water. Soak for 10 minutes until soft, then drain.
Heat the peanut oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the chicken and five-spice powder and cook, stirring to prevent the chicken from catching, for 2–3 minutes until browned. Add the celery, spring onions and a pinch of salt and stir fry for a further 2–3 minutes until celery is soft and chicken is crisp. Add the noodles, soy sauce and sesame oil. Reduce the heat and toss until the noodles are warmed through. Add the celery leaves and toss to combine.
Divide noodles between bowls, top with extra spring onions and pickled chilli and sprinkle over the Szechuan pepper.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Suresh Watson.
Heikke place mat from Country Road. Pebble bowls (milk and pink), both from mud.