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Versatile Satay Noodle Stir-Fry

My newly-converted vegetarian daughter recently started university and, appalled at the high prices and mediocre quality of food on campus, announced that she'll need a packed lunch every day. My heart sank just a little, as I anticipated near-daily visits to the supermarket, and an array of dirty pots. Fortunately, dishes like this truly addictive Satay Noodle Stir-Fry can be prepared in minutes using easy-to-find, economical ingredients, stretch over several meals and last well in the refrigerator, and can be easily adapted to feed both meat-eaters and veggie-lovers alike. Flash-fry a batch today using only greens, or with a protein of your choice, and you'll find yourself making it always. Asian-inspired, universally desired and the ultimate, quick 'n easy meal.

Easiest Satay Noodles

NOODLES 200 grams instant egg noodles (pictured) 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 1 onion, thinly sliced 3 - 4 cups ready-shredded cabbage mix (notes) 1 cup bean sprouts (pictured) 200 grams thinly sliced chicken OR cubed tofu (OPTIONAL) Chopped coriander leaves & peanuts or sesame to garnish Sliced spring onion to garnish ULTIMATE SATAY SAUCE 1/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy if possible) 3 tablespoons soya sauce 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 teaspoons crushed garlic 1 tablespoon grated ginger 2 teaspoons curry powder 1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons cornflour 1: Prepare the sauce by microwaving the peanut butter for a few seconds to soften - this isn't necessary if using a very creamy brand like Skippy - then stir in remaining ingredients and mix till smooth. Taste for sweetness. 2: Cook egg noodles in salted water till just cooked - approximately 6 minutes - then drain and set aside. 3: Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, add the onion and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the chicken or tofu (if using) and cook until the chicken turns white or tofu starts to brown. 4: Add the cabbage and carrot mix and cook a few minutes till wilted then add the cooked noodles, sprouts and peanut sauce, and cook till the sauce is thickened and it coats the noodles. 5: Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves (I'm a huge fan) chopped peanuts/sesame seeds and finely chopped spring onion. COOK'S NOTES: I've recommended using a ready-packaged cabbage and carrot slaw to save you time but you can obviously shred your own cabbage and carrot. You can also add extra shredded carrot to the purchased slaw mix to increase the proportion of vegetables. Edamame can be added too. The bean sprouts I recommend are the thick, white mung bean sprouts. I prefer the thin egg egg noodles to the wide strips and you can use wholewheat egg noodles if desired. I wouldn't skip the coriander and chopped peanut garnish but it will still be delicious if left out. This quantity serves 4 - 6 depending on serving size and leftovers keep fine.

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