brunch

Noodle soup with seafood

Yummy! This was perfect yesterday for weekend brunch on a freezing, icy but sunny day.

So many good things in this one, and it IS simple, although it might look like a long list of ingredients.

Read it through to get a sense of the simplicity.

Quantities are kind of up to you and what you feel like, but for two I used this.

I made a paste with the pestle and mortar, gently pounding (CAN you 'gently' pound? Well, I can when I'm trying not to get the food on my white sweater ha!):

a piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

a clove of garlic, peeled and minced

a chopped red chilli

a couple of kaffir line leaves (stalks removed)

a stick of lemongrass (only the middle part, outer woody layers removed, minced)

1 scant tablespoon each of runny honey, light soy sauce, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil

Then 3/4 of this paste went into a pan of boiling water along with a Knorr chicken stock cube, and the other 1/4 into a bowl to marinade squid and prawns and mushrooms.

Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood

You could mix it up of course - try chicken instead, add scallops, have just all sorts of different mushrooms.

Cook the seafood on a hot griddle pan or in a non-stick frying pan - you could of course just add to the soup if you want to keep it really simple but I love this charred griddled seafood.

I added another squeeze of runny honey over the seafood in the last minute or so.

Add lots of diced vegetables to the broth along with a nest of rice noodles (thin ones or wider ones, both work!) for a couple of minutes.

Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood

Finish with a squeeze of lime and a dash more soy or fish sauce as needed - to taste.

Share the noodles into two bowls, ladle over the soup and vegetables, top with seafood, griddled mushrooms or meat.

Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood

This is one that once you've made it you can just play with, adapting to whatever you feel like and whatever you have in the fridge and cupboard.

It was perfect for a frosty morning here in London, lots of warming flavours with the chilli, garlic and ginger, and then the rousing citrus lemongrass and lime juice, alongside comforting broth and noodles.



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Easy-peasy kinda-kedgeree

The other morning I really, really fancied kedgeree. But not having any fish in the house, I made a vague approximation - just chilli and garlic, leftover rice, a couple of rashers of grilled bacon and a boiled egg. Added a few drops of soy sauce and done ...

And it was surprisingly good!

Kinda kedgeree

Kinda kedgeree

Cheat's kedgeree

Cheat's kedgeree

I've still got a hankering for kedgeree though, and today made this 'cheat's version' - it couldn't really be simpler, especially if you use tinned tuna, or already-cooked leftover fish like the sea bass I had.

This makes a really good + quick meal - perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

For two, you'll need:

4 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal

0.5-1 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 tsp curry powder

Some hot cooked rice - you choose how much! 

Cooked white fish or a tin of tuna

2 eggs, boiled for 8 minutes, run under cold water to stop them cooking further and then shelled

Parsley and lemon wedges, to serve

Cook the spring onions in a frying pan with a little oil or butter (I'm using 20 sprays of my 1-cal spray oil plus a tiny splash of water) with the chilli flakes and curry powder.

Cook for a minute or or - don't let them stick or burn, add more oil or water if necessary.

Stir in the rice - and add the fish. Cook, stirring, until it's all hot through.

Turn out onto plates, adding an egg each and some chopped parsley (if you have some) and lemon.

It might be the 'cheat' version, but it's still really good! 



5 fave breakfasts/brunches

Usually a weekday breakfast is something quick - a croissant, fruit and yogurt, a green smoothie or just toast and marmite.  My daily cup of tea first thing and then a coffee grabbed on the way to the office (flat white please!).

And several days a week I skip breakfast altogether as I'm interested in intermittent fasting and by having dinner a little earlier than usual the night before, say finishing at 8pm, and then not eating until 1pm the next day, that's created a nice 17 hour break for your digestive system (and I find it easy to do, with a couple of coffees in the morning though - I'm not that strict about it).

But when there's time to cook something more special, and time to enjoy and spend longer over breakfast, chatting or reading, these are my favourite brunches.  I'm not sure you can call them breakfast really when it's after 10am.

So after a cup of tea, after journaling, after a walk outdoors round the park, here's what I come back and make ...

 

1. Eggs in purgatory

A little garlic, a very little chilli, eggs poached in tomatoes and sprinkled with parmesan. Mine rarely make it out of the pan when I make this just for me as I dunk bits of baguette in and scoop spoonfuls straight from the pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Kai jeow - Thai omelette

Yes, another eggy breakfast. Eggs are good!

I love this Thai omelette - really savoury with minced pork, served with some chopped chillies in fish sauce.  You can serve it with rice or have it on its own.

I also do a super-quick version using ready cooked diced chicken or pork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pad krapow gai - spicy stir fry with chicken and holy basil

I ate this all the time for breakfast when I lived in Thailand.  

I loved that there was all the usual variety of food for breakfast, rather than 'breakfast food' as we often categorise it.  

I'm not sure why that is, but it doesn't have to be that way and for me, a favourite first meal of the day is this very spicy, very good stir fry with rice - and sometimes with a fried egg on top too.

If you can't get holy basil, it's still worth making without it.

 

4.  Kao pad gai - chicken fried rice

Rachel Redlaw kao pad gai chicken fried rice

Especially good if there's been a rice dish the night before - I deliberately cook extra rice so there's some for breakfast as this is best made with cold cooked rice.

Just something so comforting about this dish (it's a good one for mopping up hangovers too).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. And number 5 ... is a total cheat!

I couldn't decide, so it's 'anything made from a combination of these ingredients'!

Avocado, smoked salmon, eggs and spinach.

Rachel Redlaw breakfast brunch
RAchel Redlaw avocado on toast

It could be avocado on toast with a squeeze of lime and a little salt and a few chilli flakes.

Or smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on spinach. Poached eggs on sliced avocado with a little dill on top. Any combination of these things is going to be a winner!

 

So ... what are your favourite brunches? 


Rachel Redlaw

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Brunch invention - ruam mit gratiem/kao pad

There was rice left over from cooking dinner last night and I'd been planning a kao pad gai - fried rice with chicken - for brunch this morning.  I don't know why I'm saying it like this was an accident - I had deliberately made more rice last night than was needed just so that I could have kao pad today!

But I was also thinking about the ruam mit gratiem I'd made and thinking I'd like to make it again as I'm not that familiar with it yet and it was so easy and so good.

The conversation I had with myself went like this:

'Oh good! Favourite fried rice today!'

'But I kind of fancy making that stir fry again - I could try it with chicken this time.'

'If you make a stir fry though you're going to have to make more rice and there's already cold rice sitting there.'

'But I don't know which to choose - I want both!'

'Well then have both! Mix them together into one!'

So that's what I did.  I love cooking just for myself - I can experiment away and also make things as spicy as I like.  And that's generally pretty spicy.

Note that you do need cold cooked rice for this as freshly cooked hot rice is just too wet to stir fry.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Here's how to make my hybrid brunch dish.

Chop a piece of chicken breast into small pieces and also chop a nice big clove of garlic.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Get a pan hot, add some cooking oil and when hot tip in the chicken and garlic.

Cook over a medium heat - hot enough to seal the meat quickly but not so hot the garlic burns - for four or five minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Remove the chicken and garlic to a bowl, tip out any excess oil and return the pan to a medium low heat.

Quickly add:

2 x teaspoons oyster sauce

1 x teaspoon fish sauce

1 x teaspoon thin / light soy sauce

1 x teaspoon sugar

1 - 2 x teaspoons dried chilli flakes (I'd suggest just one - I put in two and it was a bit too much)

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Stir for a few seconds until mixed and thick and bubbling.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Then return the chicken and garlic to the pan and mix with the sauce.

Add the cold leftover rice and cook for a few minutes on a medium heat, stirring all the time, until the rice is hot right through.

Push the mixture to one side, add a little oil into the space and when hot crack in an egg.

Leave to cook for around 15 seconds until scrambling and combining with the rice and chicken mixture.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Stir fry until everything is mixed and the egg cooked.

Remove from heat and prepare any garnishes you like - I'm using a shake of white pepper, some coriander leaves and a few slices of red chilli.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Turn out the rice and chicken mixture onto a plate, or pack into a plastic bowl first to make it look nice, and add a few slices of cucumber too if you have it.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

A very good brunch and I'm glad I made it, but I do still prefer a 'proper' kao pad I think.

What do you think? Let me know if you try this - or any other variation of it.

And I'm off now to make more coffee :)

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice


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