When I was writing ‘And the love is free – mum, a life with recipes’, one of my favourite things was digging through Mum’s little recipe book. There were all sorts of recipes in there, but most of my favourites were things that had come from the back of a packet of something or other. There was the prize-winning sponge cake that came from the back of a packet of corn flour, or her signature dish lemon meringue pie that was inspired by a can of sweetened condensed milk, just to name a few.
With so many cookbooks and magazines, not to mention the internet and wonderful world of food blogs, I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by all the sources of recipes out there. So I guess, I’m not often looking out for new things to try when I pick up a packet of sugar or flour. But recently I was reminded just how useful recipes from the back of a packet can be.
A few weeks ago my Irishman came home from work saying they’d had a pretty standard barbeque for lunch. The highlight had been the most amazing salad made by his colleague Alice. The salad was an unusual combination of raw cabbage and some sort of fried noodle with a lovely dressing. I’m always on the lookout for good Asian salads so I suggested we see if Alice would share her recipe.
The next day I got an email with a link to the website of Mr Chang, manufacturer of a wide range of Asian ingredients. There it was, the exotic sounding ‘oriental fried noodle salad’. I made a mental note to pickup some cabbage and fried noodles and the rest is history really.
Do you ever make use of recipes featured on the packaging? If you do, I’d love to hear of any of your tried and true recipes that came to you from the back of a packet. Please feel free to share in the comments.
[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
cabbage & crispy noodle salad
Inspired by the recipe on the back of Mr Chang’s fried noodles.
Feel free to experiment with this. Mr Chang uses green onions (scallions) and almonds in his version.
If the thought of using fried noodles in a salad doesn’t appeal, why not replace the noodles with some cooked brown rice for a more healthy option. Or even go for a handful of slivered almonds to keep the nutty crunch factor.
I prefer this when the noodles are lovely and crisp, so best to wait until you’re ready to serve before proceeding with step 3.
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 white cabbage
1/2 packet (about 50g or 2oz) fried noodles
1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Taste and season with a little more soy or sugar if you thing it needs it.
2. Slice cabbage as finely as possible, discarding any stalky bits.
3. Toss cabbage and noodles in the dressing.
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