Saturday, February 10, 2024

Weekend Cooking: Simple Noodles by Pippa Middlehurst

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwai, where a father and daughter team of food detectives take a dish from your memories and try to recreate it perfectly. I shared about a garlic prawn dish that lives on in my memory which I have never been able to find again. 

Another dish that lives on in perfection in my memory is a Beef and Broccoli in Oyster Sauce dish that I had at a Chinese restaurant in Adelaide back in probably the early 1990s. I was there with a group of friends, not 100% who or why, but I do remember eating this dish and thinking it was delicious. We have a favourite restaurant now where we go, mainly because of their Shao Long Bao dumplings. Every time we also order Beef and Chinese Broccoli in Oyster Sauce which is very nice, but not quite as good. We have also tried cooking a similar dish on several occasions.

A few months ago, the Jamie Oliver Cookbook Club selected a book called Simply Noodles. As I was flicking through the book, one recipe jumped out at me and we have now made it several times! This is yet another take on my beef, broccoli and oyster sauce flavour combinations. It is a completely different dish, but it is pretty tasty.

In the book there is plenty of information about various topics including different types of noodles, equipment you might need, and different techniques. There are even some suggestions for making instant noodles a bit fancy! The intent is to provide quick, easy, tasty, feel-good recipes.

The recipes are broken into 3 sections. The first section is the Really Easy Noodles (10+ minutes), then Fuss-Free Noodles (20+ minutes) and finally Minimal Effort Noodles (30+ minutes).  

Among the recipes I would like to try are:

Midnight Noodles and Dumplings

Non-nuclear Fire Noodles

Sizzling Red Oil Noodles

Bangkok-style Spaghetti

Soy Garlic Butter Prawn Spaghetti

Sticky BBQ Chicken Noodles

Pad See Ew

There are some recipes that I am sure taste good, and might appeal to some readers, but I am not sure that I would ever make a recipe like Chicken Nugget Mazeman. It might be a good way to get kids to try something different though! 

Here's the Beef and Broccoli Noodles recipe which we have made multiple times now. In fact, I think I might add it to our menu for next week!

Beef and Broccoli Noodles (Pippa Middlehurst)

1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 rump steak, thinly sliced
½ head broccoli, broken into florets
2 nests egg noodles or 120g bronze-cut spaghetti
2 tbsp neutral oil
4 garlic cloves, grated
3 spring onions, finely sliced

For the sauce:
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tbsp dark soy sauce
½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp Sichuan chilli oil or Lao Gan Ma Crispy Chilli Oil
½ tbsp golden caster (superfine) sugar

In a bowl, mix together the cornflour, 1 tbsp water and the light soy sauce. Marinate the steak slices in this mixture, coating well, while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 3-5 minutes until just softened but still green. Scoop out directly into a bowl of ice-cold water. Set aside.

In the same pan, cook the noodles for 2 minutes less than what is stated on the packet instructions. We want them to remain al dente. Strain and rinse under cool water, separating the noodles with your fingers, to prevent them from sticking. Set aside.

Mix all the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Then, heat 1 tbsp of the neutral oil in a wok or non-stick, heavy-based frying pan. Add the steak and cook for 3-5 minutes until browned and caramelised. Remove the steak from the pan and wipe the pan.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp neutral oil to the clean pan and set over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the blanched broccoli and the steak. Toss and cook for 1 minute.

Give the noodles another quick rinse in cool water to make sure they’re not stuck together. Add them to the pan and toss with the veg and beef. Add the sauce, toss to combine, then add the spring onions, toss and let wilt for 30 seconds.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve.

Weekly meals

Saturday -  Sausages, mash and gravy
Sunday -  Grilled cheese on toast
Monday - Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Bolognaise
Tuesday - Herbed steak and chips
Wednesday - Spicy pork  Noodles
Thursday - Zucchini, Tomato and Parmesan Risotto
Friday -Takeaway

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. That noodle sounds great. I would have never thought to add noodles but it's a great idea.

    1. It is delicious!! We've made it a few times now!!

  2. I remember the best beef and noodles (my first) at an Italian restaurant with my parents when I was 15. My mother began making it after that and it was the first meal I made for John!

  3. That noodle book sounds great.
    best, mae at

  4. …. and thanks for the inspiration, I just cooked some broccoli with the sauce you listed.

  5. Unrelated to Simple Noodles, I got the RecipeTin Eats: Dinner/Nagi Maehashi cookbook from the library at your recommendation (I was amazed they had it) and at first I just put a few post-it notes on recipes that sounded good. Then I tried to renew it and was told someone else wanted it, so I made a few photocopies before I returned it. To ensure I wouldn't just stick them in a drawer, I went grocery shopping at 8 pm and got everything I needed for two of the recipes (I got to the library at 8:59 pm to pick up The Women by Kristin Hannah), then drove half and hour home and started cooking. I made the Creamy Tomato Baked Orzo which turned out very well (although I had forgotten to buy basil) and there was enough for two additional meals. I was very pleased with myself because the truth is that when you live alone and like to read, a grilled cheese sandwich is sometimes more than satisfying and is not as time consuming as cooking.

    1. My friend recommends that recipe but we haven't tried it yet! We really should!