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Hot and sour prawn soup, spicy beef noodles with green beans

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, this week’s recipes focus on a few of the incredible dishes and flavours of China.

The first is a hot and sour prawn soup which can be done with chicken, should that be preferred, and the second is spicy beef noodles with green beans.

These recipes are so versatile and easy to follow and the best thing about them is that the majority of the ingredients involved are found in everyone’s cupboards.


Hot and sour prawn soup (Serves 2)


800ml of chicken stock

A pinch salt

1 hot red Thai chilli, finely chopped

1 teaspoon palm sugar

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 lemon grass stalk, finely chopped

4 lime leaves

2 tablespoons fish sauce

100g shitake mushrooms, sliced

150g uncooked prawns, peeled

2 spring onions, chopped


2 sprigs of coriander, destalked and chopped

Place the stock in a pot and bringing to the boil. Add in all the ingredients except the prawns and cook out for five minutes. Add in the prawns and cook for two minutes until they turn pink. Plate up the soup and garnish with the spring onions and the coriander, finishing with the lime juice.


Spicy beef noodles with green beans (Serves 6)

500g minced beef

200g salted peanuts

400g flat rice noodles

Vegetable oil

1 bulb garlic, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons of cumin

1 pinch ground cinnamon

400g green beans, trimmed and chopped in half

4 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons rose harissa

1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced from root to tip

1 small bunch fresh coriander, destalked and finely chopped

Place a large frying pan on the hob on a medium heat. When hot, add in the peanuts and toast them for five minutes until browned, then remove from heat and place to the side.

Next rinse off the noodles – it is best to do this under cold running water as, depending on the noodle type, it can stop the noodles from becoming sticky. Now place the noodles in a large saucepan on a high heat, adding enough boiling water to cover them, and cook. Once cooked keep some of the water back for the sauce; remove the noodles, drain and set aside.

Place a tablespoon of oil into the frying pan and heat on a medium heat then add in the mince, cooking it evenly and breaking it down with a wooden spoon. You do not want it to become clumpy so keep working at it. Add in the garlic, cumin and cinnamon and stir fry until the beef is browned and starts to become crisp. Add in the green beans and cook. Add in the tahini and harissa and season with salt and pepper. If the pan becomes dry add in a good cup of the noodle cooking liqueur.

Add the noodles and mix well until all incorporated. Serve with the peanuts on top and garnish with the fresh coriander and spring onions.

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