3 Easy Noodle Recipes To Liven Up Your Lunch And Dinner

Our mouthwatering meal picks from The Noodle Cookbook by the late, great Mr Lee.

We often turn to the same old recipes that we know and love when we’re cooking with a specific ingredient: pesto pasta, sweet and sour noodles, jacket potato with cheese. But as we recently found out with scrambled eggs, there are always ways to experiment, even with the classics.

Introducing: The Noodle Cookbook. This recently-released bible was written by Damien Lee, a five-times cancer warrior, entrepreneur and founder of Mr Lee’s Noodles. Very sadly, Lee passed away shortly before his book was published.

“It is with a collective sad and heavy heart that we relay the passing away of Damien Lee, after battling fiercely and so courageously through the challenges of cancers over the past 6 years,” said his family, who are determined to continue his legacy.

“His vision and mission for Mr Lee’s to help people to be more healthy through eating better has never been more relevant and motivating. We are deeply committed to fulfil what he began.”

Lee’s most recent project is his bible of 101 delicious noodle recipes for healthy eating. Some of the recipes were an inspiration to his instant noodle flavours.

Here are three of our favourite meals from Lee’s Noodle Cookbook.

Healthy Duck Noodle Soup

Ingredients (serves 2):

250g duck breast, skinless
120g dried yellow egg noodles, thin or thick
Small handful of fresh bean sprouts, or small handful of finely sliced iceberg lettuce

FOR THE BROTH:

2 star anise, or a pinch of ground aniseed
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon ginger paste, or 2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger
1 teaspoon garlic paste, or 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
½ ready-made fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
900ml (1½ pints) boiling water

FOR THE TOPPINGS:

Small handful of fresh coriander
Roughly chopped 1 spring onion
Finely chopped 1 tablespoon fried crispy garlic or onions (optional)

Method:

1. Put all the broth ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan over a medium–high heat and add the duck breast. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes. Then remove the cooked duck and strain the broth through a fine sieve into a separate saucepan.

2. Set the strained broth and the cooked duck aside. Half-fill a small saucepan with boiling water and place over a medium heat. Add the noodles and boil for 2–3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the noodle.

3. To assemble the dish, divide the noodles between two large bowls and top with the bean sprouts or lettuce. Slice the duck and place in the bowls.

4. Reheat the broth, bringing it back to the boil, then pour it all over the noodles. Finally, scatter over the toppings and get stuck in immediately

Noodle Box for Grown-ups

Ingredients (serves 1):

60g (21⁄4oz) dried wheat noodles
1⁄2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 turkey rashers (or use 2 vegan rashers for a vegetarian alternative)
1 egg
Small handful of bean sprouts, or 1⁄4 small cucumber, chopped
1⁄4 green bell pepper, finely sliced
1⁄2 large tomato, chopped
1⁄2 spring onion (scallion), finely sliced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Fresh red chilli (optional)

FOR THE SAUCE:
1⁄2 tablespoon Chinese black rice vinegar
1⁄2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1⁄2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1⁄2 tablespoon mirin
1⁄2 tablespoon honey, (or use agave syrup for a vegan alternative)
1⁄2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

Method:

1. Place a small pan of boiling water over a medium heat. Add the dried noodles and boil for 4 minutes, then place them in a bowl of cold water to stop them
cooking further. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients. Once combined, pour the sauce into a small well-sealed container. Make sure it can’t leak out, or it’ll be a saucy lunchtime disaster!

3. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan (skillet) over a medium–high heat. Break the egg into a cup and lightly whisk. Pour it into the pan and fry to make a thin omelette. Turn the omelette once to finish cooking, then transfer the cooked omelette to a chopping board and leave to cool.

4. Place the same pan over a high heat and add the turkey or vegan rashers. Fry for 30 seconds on each side, turning once. Then remove from the pan and place on a piece of paper towel to cool.

5. Roll the omelette into a cylinder shape, then slice it into finger-width strips. Slice the rashers into thin strips too. Drain the cooked noodles well and tip them into your lunch box or jar. Now add the toppings, starting with the bean sprouts, followed by the rashers, egg, pepper and tomato.

6. Finally sprinkle with spring onion (scallion), sesame seeds and chilli (if using). Seal and place in the fridge until ready to take to work. To serve, add the sauce mixture to the noodles and mix well. You can enjoy it cold, or add 200ml (7fl
oz) boiling water to make it saucy or 400ml (14fl oz) to make it soupy.

Hong Kong Street Beef

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 tablespoon crushed yellow bean sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1⁄2 tablespoon vegetable oil
250g rib-eye steak, or use sirloin/ porterhouse if you prefer
85g sprouting broccoli, or use regular broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
120g dried thin wheat noodles (or use thin rice noodles for a gluten-free alternative)

FOR THE SOUP:
230g lean minced (ground) beef, or substitute
900ml (11⁄2 pints) of ready-made fresh beef stock
2 small onions, finely diced
2 whole star anise
1 large black cardamom pod
1⁄2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon ginger paste, or 2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic paste, or 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1⁄2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon crushed yellow bean sauce
900ml (11⁄2 pints) boiling water (if not using stock)

FOR THE GARNISH:
1 spring onion, finely sliced
Handful of fresh coriander, roughly torn (optional)
2 tablespoons chilli oil (optional)

Method:

1. Heat a medium saucepan over a medium–high heat and brown the minced beef (if using). Then add all the other soup ingredients except the water or stock. Keep stirring for 2–3 minutes, then add the water (or stock, if using). Cover the pan with a lid and leave all those lovely flavours to simmer and intensify over a low heat for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, mix together the yellow bean sauce and toasted sesame oil on a plate. Now it’s steak time! Put the steak on the plate and really rub the marinade all over, then set it aside for a few minutes.

3. Heat a wok over a high heat and add the vegetable oil. Pan-fry the steak for about 3 minutes on each side. This will cook it medium – but it’s your steak, so cook it how you like. If you want it a bit
pinker, then cook it for up to 2 minutes each side. As soon as the steak is cooked to your liking, put it on a chopping board, cover it with foil.

4. Place another medium saucepan on the hob and half-fill with boiling water. Add the broccoli and boil for 2 minutes, then add the dried noodles and simmer
for another minute. Drain and divide the broccoli and noodles between two large, deep soup bowls. Using a fine sieve, strain the soup broth as you pour it over the noodles in each bowl, discarding the aromatics.

5. Slice the steak into strips, then layer on top of the noodle soup. Garnish with spring onion and fresh coriander. Serve with a small pot of red chilli oil on the side for drizzling, and you’re good to go.

The Noodle Cookbook - 101 healthy and delicious noodle recipes for healthy eating is out now.