This recipe is perfect for those chilly days when you come home from work, you’re too tired to cook, but still crave something nutritious. It’s made in a jiffy! To reduce cooking times even further, boil the water in a kettle and use frozen vegetables and ready-fried tofu pieces. It won’t be quite as good as the recipe below, but it will still taste better – and healthier – than supermarket ready meals. I have given a combination of vegetables that I particularly like in this dish, but you can also use carrots, spinach, peas, shiitake mushrooms, or baby corn. Serves 2.
3 tablespoons groundnut, corn or other vegetable oil
250g/ 10 oz tofu, drained, cubed, and pressed between kitchen paper to remove excess moisture
16 fl oz/ 400 ml water
125g/ 5 oz broccoli, chopped small
125g/ 5 oz mange tout, sliced on the diagonal
1 pak choi, quartered
2 packets instant ramen noodles with sachets of soup mix
6 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced on the diagonal
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Schichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice pepper), or red chilli flakes
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the tofu cubes on all sides until lightly golden in colour. Line a plate with kitchen paper and drain the tofu while you get on with the rest of the dish.
2. Boil the water in a saucepan, and add broccoli, mange tout and pak choi. Bring the water back to boil and add ramen noodles, stirring to separate them. Boil for 2 minutes.
3. Bring back to boil, and add the fried tofu, spring onions and the packet soup mix. Boil for another minute.
4. Serve hot in large shallow plates, drizzled with sesame oil and a generous sprinkling of schichimi togarashi or chilli flakes.