I love birthdays. Have we talked about this? I can go a little crazy. I wish I had the time and energy to celebrate everyone properly on their birthday because I just freaking love them. I'm sure Oliver shudders to think about if we ever have kids because my love of birthdays will probably go from eccentric (and loveable?) to full crazy.
Oliver, who lands on the more 'dispassionate' end of the birthday loving scale, is about to have one. A big one. And in true Reana Louise style I went a little crazy. It's been 2 weeks of surprise parties, dinners, present buying, and cooking. So. Much. Cooking. Every pot, utensil, and plate in my kitchen has been covered in food and scrubbed multiple times over the past few weeks. Don't get me wrong I love cooking (almost as much as birthdays!), but cleaning isn't my favourite thing in the world. Shock horror.
Enter One Pot Rice Noodles. I'm serious. One pot. And a food processor (or knife & chopping board). But one pot.
This meal's dish dirtying statistics isn't its only virtue, otherwise I'd just eat toast. They're super simple and quick, perfect for pre-packed lunches (they tastes delicious at room temperature too), are healthy, and great for dietary requirements. They're gluten free, lactose free, low FODMAP, and can be adapted for vegans (remove the egg) or passionate meat eaters (add some leftovers from last night's roast).
These noodles are also good for picky eaters or guests with unknown dining habits. I like to serve everyone a plate of noodles and then place the prepared vegetables, eggs, and meat (if using) in the middle for everyone to self serve.
One pot rice noodles - Serves 4-6
* The chilli included does not make this spicy, so I definitely suggest serving with extra chilli paste or oil.
* If you're using tahitian lime (the most common where I am) - make sure you pick the yellowest one you can find. Tahitian limes are actually yellow when they're ripe - green ones are immature. A mature lime is much juicier & tastier. Like oranges, limes do not continue to ripen once they have been picked.
* I used duck eggs for this recipe, but chicken eggs are of course fine.
4 tbsp tamari (or GF soy sauce)
1 tbsp sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime (or lemon)*
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 medium chilli, seeds removed - optional *see note
400g rice noodles
2 - 4 cups seasonal vegetables. It's Spring here (hooray!) so I used carrots, radish, broccoli stem, and scallions.
4 eggs - duck or chicken
1 tbsp sesame seeds (+ more to serve)
Herbs (coriander, chives, etc.)
Chilli paste or oil - I like gochujang
1-2 limes, quartered
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. If you don't have a food processor, mince all of the ingredients as finely as you can. Put to the side.
Wash and prepare your vegetables. Cut crunchy vegetables (carrots, broccoli stems, beans, asparagus, etc.) thinly, like matchsticks. Slice radish thinly and scallions diagonally. Put to the side.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add in the rice noodles until they are cooked (mine took ~3 minutes). Drain and rinse the noodles and put them to the side.
Top the pot up with more water if needed. The water will be starchy from cooking the rice noodles, but that shouldn't affect the taste of your egg. If it bothers you, replace the water and add more salt. Bring to the boil and slowly lower your eggs into the water. I like my yolks somewhere between soft and medium, and 6 minutes in boiling water always works perfectly. While the eggs are boiling, make an ice bath by filling a bowl with water and ice. Once the eggs are cooked, place them immediately in the ice bath. This will stop them from cooking. Put to the side.
Rinse & wipe out your pot and return it to a low-medium heat. Add the cooked rice noodles, the sauce, and the sesame seeds. I use all of the sauce, but if you think that's too much flavour add only half at first and have a taste. Lightly fry the noodle & sauce combo making sure to mix thoroughly so the noodles are coated.
Serve the noodles with the vegetables, roughly torn herbs, chilli paste, quartered limes, and egg. People can either peel their own eggs (I find that fun - is that weird?) or you can prepare them.