Sweet Chilli Chicken Soba Salad

Lately, I’ve really mixing things up when it comes to the ‘carb’ part of our meals. Brown rice and quinoa are undoubtedly the regulars, or polenta if I’ve made a stew, but when it comes to salads I often go with noodles!

On this particular occasion it was soba noodles that added some carbohydrate to our dinner. And given they only require a couple minutes cooking time, it’s no surprise that I find them handy to have in the pantry.

The salad itself was pretty easy to prepare too. I used some leftover shredded chicken – warmed up with a splash of soy sauce and a good amount of sweet chilli sauce. The salad was then built with crunchy lettuce, shredded carrot and cabbage, cucumber, snowpeas, coriander and some extra red chilli for a little heat. Basically whatever I had leftover in the fridge!

From thought to plate in under 15 minutes = winning!

What about you? Are you a fan of noodles in salad?

Honey miso chicken meatballs


Meatballs are one of those dishes that I really enjoy, but rarely make.  This is, until, a recipe captures my eye, or a particular craving strikes.

Both happened recently, when I saw a recipe for honey miso meatballs in Taste magazine . I knew I had half a container of miso paste in the fridge, and the flavour combination really appealed to me, so needless to say the dish was added to our weekly meal plan without hesitation.

img_8399 I relied on this recipe, but made a few changes along the way. I used chicken mince in place of turkey mince, and added  baby spinach leaves for some extra green.  I had a bag of frozen edamame in the freezer so there was no problem there (although I can never seem to stop myself from snacking on edamame before it is added to a meal…yum!)

The result? Delish!

I really enjoyed the new spin on an old favourite, and was left wondering why I had not gone with an ‘Asian’ style meatball before. The miso shone through, and I loved the sticky honey and ginger glaze.


Even the kids jumped on board, and were more than happy to gobble up the leftovers the next day.

Well the meatballs and noodles, at least. The greens….yeah not so much.


Panko crusted tofu (baked) with noodle salad

IMG_1293 This meal, was inspired by a Taste magazine edition. I had some ingredients on hand, not all, and a few extras to throw in. It was meant to be served on a nice warm evening, but Canberra had other ideas. Instead, we dined on this dish while the wind howled outside and our gardens got a good soaking. IMG_1281 For the tofu, it was sliced and then dipped in a mixture of soy, rice wine and kejap manis. Then covered with panko crumbs – that had been given an extra kick with the addition of dried chillies. IMG_1280IMG_1282IMG_1284 Instead of pan frying, I opted to bake the slices. So I placed them on a baking tray, lightly sprayed with olive oil spray, then put them into the oven at 180C for 20 minutes (flipping half way through). IMG_1286 As for the ‘salad’, well that was pretty simple too. IMG_1287IMG_1288 Carrots, snowpeas, mushrooms, spring onions. Cooked in the reserved soy mixture until starting to soften. In went some wholegrain hokkien noodles, and our meal was pretty much done. IMG_1289 All together now! We both really enjoyed this ‘meat-free’ meal, and the little one (who had lasagne for dinner this particular evening) couldn’t resist pulling the carrots and ‘spaghetti’ from our plates. IMG_1290 The tofu was beautifully crispy on the outside, but stayed nice and soft on the inside, just lovely really. IMG_1294 Panko crusted tofu (baked) with noodle salad (serves 2)

  • 300g firm tofu, cut into slices and patted dry
  • 2 tbs rice wine
  • 2 tbs soy sauce / tamari
  • 1 tbs kejap manis
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • olive oil spray
  • 1 pkt fresh wholegrain hokkien noodles, warmed in boiling water for 2 minutes then drained
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 100g snowpeas, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine the rice wine, soy and kejap manis in a bowl, and set aside.  Combine the panko crumbs and chilli on a plate.
  3. One at a time, dip a tofu slice into the soy mixture, then into the panko crumbs, turning to coat well. Place on the baking tray. Repeat. Spray lightly with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the slices halfway through. Reserve the remaining soy mixture.
  4. Heat peanut oil a large pan over a medium heat. Add the vegetables and remaining soy mixture, and cook (stirring) for a few minutes – or until the vegetables start to soften. Add the drained noodles, tossing well to coat.
  5. Divide noodle salad amongst plates. Top with tofu slices, and extra spring onions.

What about you? Do you like tofu?

BBQ pork ramen noodle soup

This was a meal that came together oh so quickly this week. But time saved did not mean sacrificing on flavour, thanks to a few simple ingredients (and with the help of some store-bought BBQ pork from a local Chinese restaurant). IMG_0775 Simply – a flavoursome broth – made with chicken stock, soy, garlic, ginger and spring onions. IMG_0763IMG_0764 To which we added bok choy and ramen noodles. IMG_0766 Ladled into large bowls with lashings of the BBQ pork, and finished with some fresh chillies and more sliced spring onions. IMG_0771 Yes, my friends, this soup hit the spot just beautifully one chilly evening. IMG_0772 And took literally only moments to prepare, and even the little Miss goggled down the noodles and pork with gusto. A winner all round! What about you? Are you a fan of soups like these?

Miso eggplant salad

IMG_7251 Crazy weeks call for quick meals. But tasty meals. Such as this little beauty that graced our dinner table a little while ago. Sure it had a few elements, but they all came together relatively quickly and soon satisfied my craving for red meat. Quite simply – Japanese (?) eggplants sliced, brushed with miso paste and grilled to perfection. IMG_7246 Along with a pile of rice noodles, some eye fillet steak, steamed bok choy and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and coriander. IMG_7249 Looking back, I am sure that I would have found this recipe somewhere – but I cannot for the life of me work out where from! IMG_7250 So to the creator of this recipe….thankyou. It was delicious, and just what I was looking for after a big day at work. I loved the miso + eggplant + sesame combination, and will certainly be keeping this one in mind when more eggplants arrive in our vegetable box. What about you? How do you keep track of your recipes? I have been rather hopeless lately, and need to use my recipe book more!

Chilli tofu noodle salad

Some meals are planned – but some meals just ‘happen’. Like this chilli tofu noodle salad, for instance. IMG_6486 Just one pan to clean, and a bowl full of flavour. Simply – tofu, red onion and cherry tomatoes, sautéed with garlic and chilli until soft (I used the trust Gourmet Garden herbs = no chopping required!). IMG_6482IMG_6483 Finished with softened rice noodles and a big bunch of baby spinach…. IMG_6484 Piled on some lettuce leaves, topped with spring onions and chopped cashews…. IMG_6485 and well dinner was done! IMG_6489 Let’s just say mu Summer salad obsession is in full swing at the moment! What about you? Tried any nice salad combinations lately?

Smoked chicken noodle salad

Happy Monday lovely people! Last Friday’s post was all about meal planning – so lets see if I can post the meals we enjoyed in somewhat proximity. The first being Friday’s dinner itself… IMG_4959 A smoked chicken noodle salad. This was, seriously, super easy to make. I threw together a dressing in the afternoon: comprising peanut butter, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. I also chopped the vegetables in advance. Then, when the little Miss retired for the evening, it was simply a matter of heating the vegetables and some sliced smoked chicken in a wok, then combining them with warmed noodles and the pre-made dressing. IMG_4953 The result being a rather tasty noodle salad, with a lovely smokiness from the chicken and a nutty flavour from the sauce. IMG_4956 I used Chinese greens, spring onions and carrots as the vegetables, but you could go with whatever you have on hand. IMG_4958 I also used konjac noodles, however you could easily use rice noodles or soba noodles instead. Delish! What about you? Are you a fan of noodle salads?

Chilli salmon noodle salad

Another night, another dinner inspired by a recipe courtesy of the recent Donna Hay magazine. IMG_9728 This time? Chilli salmon noodle salad. IMG_9723 Salmon fillets, sliced and sprinkled with chilli and salt, then wok fried with a mixture of mushrooms, kejap manis, garlic and ginger. IMG_9729 Served atop a bed of rice noodles. IMG_9731 And finished with a good amount of fresh coriander. IMG_9732 Simple, speedy, scrumptious. IMG_9735 A winner all-round really! What about you? Cooked any speedy dishes lately?

Loving the laksa

I don’t know whether it is the cooler wet weather, or the dark clouds that continue to linger outside, but I have been craving rich, spicy food for most of the week. Comfort food if you will. And given that my “not so spicy” green curry was milder than I had hoped, I turned to another old favourite for dinner last night in an attempt to satisfy my craving for spicy, comforting food. IMG_5029 Laksa. I opted to use a pre-made laksa paste this time, one that I found at the local Asian grocer. IMG_4999 It was packed with flavour, and spice… just what I was hoping for. IMG_5000 All I had to do was prepare some extra ingredients (which I did during the afternoon) and throw them all together when Mr BBB arrived home after work. IMG_5001 And, as usual, I was working under the ever watchful eye of my cooking companion… IMG_5006 I like to think that she is interested in watching me cook, but in reality, I suspect she is just plotting a chicken-steal when my back is turned. But back to the laksa… The ingredients were fairly simple – laksa paste, coconut milk, leftover char siew pork, chicken thigh fillets and an extra red chilli. IMG_5007 And let’s not forget my absolute favourite laksa ingredient… IMG_5013 Fried tofu puffs! Then later all I had to do was bring the paste and coconut milk to a simmer, throw in all the other ingredients, and allow the meats to cook through. IMG_5017 Spooned atop some bean thread vermicelli (that I had soaked in hot water until soft) IMG_5003 and finished with fresh coriander, mint and more red chilli. IMG_5016 And our belly warming laksas were complete. IMG_5029 This dish certainly made up for the ‘not so spicy’ green curry of the other evening. IMG_5032 The laksa broth was rich in spice with a kick of chilli (without being too overwhelming). IMG_5026 Spice mission accomplished! What about you? Are you a laksa fan?

Crispy duck and noodle salad & nesting

IMG_4300 Donna Hay again provided inspiration for tonight’s dinner, in the form of a crispy duck and noodle salad. IMG_4290 Funny thing is, like the lamb cutlets we had the other night, duck is also one of Mr BBB’s favourite meats – but certainly not one of mine. I think someone is trying to win the ‘best wife’ award 😉 My grand plans for this duck salad were initially thrown into disarray when a search of my local shops and butchers revealed none of the star ingredient. That is, no luck on the duck. An emergency dash into Civic proved successful, however, and I returned home with two little duck breasts, all set for their salad glory. IMG_4291 The duck was sliced thinly, then coated in a mixture of water chestnut flour, salt and pepper. Given my chilli tolerance is pretty much non existent these days (thanks to pregnancy?), I left out the ground chilli that the recipe called for, and added some extra ground pepper instead. IMG_4293 While Mr BBB gave the duck a quick shallow fry in the wok, I finished up the remaining salad ingredients. Rice vermicelli noodles, sliced carrots… IMG_4292 And an abundance of fresh herbs… IMG_4295 Basil, coriander and my favourite….mint! Combined, and dressed simply with a mixture of lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. IMG_4294 Classic flavours really. IMG_4296 Piled high… IMG_4297 And finished with fresh lime and some sliced chilli (that I promptly picked out after sampling one mouthful….too spicy for me!). IMG_4299 This was a delightful summer salad that although being light on ingredients, was packed with flavour. IMG_4300 Funny thing is, Mr BBB thought he overcooked the duck and wasn’t the biggest fan. I actually preferred our version to how it comes normally, as a lot of the ‘fatty’ flavour that duck traditionally has had melted (?) away. IMG_4298 Another bonus being how quickly this dish came together – less than 15 minutes from start to finish. IMG_4302 A winner indeed! ps. want to know what else a gal who is 31 weeks pregnant decides to do when she gets home from work? IMG_4303 Re-oil the front and back decks it seems… IMG_4305 nesting much? IMG_4306 What about you? Are you a fan of duck?