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( recipe )


y happy noodles are so named after an all-encompassing tantrum by my oldest son, who is all of five years old but seems to be going on 15 in the mega-strop stakes. Cooking him these noodles seemed to convince him that life was actually okay, and we weren’t the worst parents on the planet. With the warmth of the spices and


M


ginger, this sunny and bright bowl of noodles is a fine antidote to the grey, chilly weather at this time of year. The list of ingredients is a little


extensive, but it’s uncomplicated to put together. If I’m not cooking this for small children I add a couple of sliced birds eye chillies to really get the lips tingling. You can also use the base of the soup to add to whatever you have to hand: tofu, prawns or mushrooms all work a treat. So don’t be put off! It will be worth


every mouthful in the end, and it really is super-easy to put together after you’ve done it once. Your reward is a bowl of silky, rich, fresh-tasting noodles and broth, after all.


✱ You can join Louise for a BABY BITES cookery class at www.babybites.co.uk


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LAKSA NOODLES MALAYSIAN (SERVES 4) INGREDIENTS


2 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil 1 onion, sliced


2 garlic cloves crushed


5cm chunk of root ginger, or about 30g, grated 2 tsp ground coriander


1 heaped tsp mild chilli powder 1 heaped tsp turmeric 1.5 litres water


2 tbsp dried tamarind, soaked and drained 2 low-salt chicken stock cubes zest of 2 limes, juice of 3 limes 3 tbsp low-salt soy sauce 2 tsp brown sugar


sticks of lemongrass, roughly chopped 4 tbsp fish sauce


1 tin of coconut milk 4 chicken thighs


2 carrots, very finely sliced 150g flat rice noodles


chopped Thai basil or coriander (to serve) METHOD


– Heat the oil, add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the ground coriander, chilli powder and turmeric cook for a further minute before adding the water, tamarind, stock cubes, lime zest, soy sauce, brown sugar, lemongrass, fish sauce, coconut milk and pieces of chicken. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. – Remove the chicken pieces from the water and allow to cool before removing the meat from the bones, chopping it and returning it to the pan. – Finally, add the carrots, bring the broth back to the boil, then add the noodles and simmer for 2-3 minutes until softened. Pour over the lime juice, sprinkle with the fresh chopped herbs and serve.


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