Chicken contains tryptophan which triggers serotonin (the ‘happy’ hormone), easing stress and increasing mental focus. Iron in the darker leaves increases clarity of thought while the vitamin C in the citrus and vegetables gives it a kick-start.
Fresh ginger works for digestion and anti-nausea. Noodles aid relaxation. Substitute tofu for chicken if you’re vegetarian or a thinly sliced griddled steak if you’re low on iron but not in the money.
Enjoy with green tea and good luck to you all!
COOK'S NOTES: Buy stock in pots from a good supermarket or, roast and enjoy a small chicken, boil up what’s left in loads of water with an onion and carrot. Strain and chill for the best chicken stock. Alternatively use a low-salt Knorr stock pot.
1 skinless chicken fillet
500ml chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, 2 sliced
Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 bundle ramen or 1 nest egg noodles
1 small red chilli, deseeded, chopped (optional)
Handful chopped Pak Choi/dark green Asian leaf
Small handful shredded Chinese leaf or iceberg lettuce
1-2 spring onions, sliced
A couple of mushrooms, sliced
A few rings red onion/shallot (optional)
A few fresh coriander leaves
Groundnut/sunflower or vegetable oil for frying
A few drops of sesame oil
A few drops of soy sauce
A piece of fresh lime/lemon (optional)
1. Cut the chicken lengthways into thin slices. Transfer to a plate. Turn it in a few drops of oil, 1 clove crushed garlic, optional squeeze of lime/lemon and chopped coriander. Set aside. Wash hands well.
2. Bring a pan of water to boil. Add noodles. Boil 2 minutes or till just tender. Drain. Set aside.
3. Tip stock into a pan. Add half the ginger and 2 cloves garlic. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to minimum immediately. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to infuse flavours. Use time to wash and prep vegetables. Remove from heat.
4. Brush a griddle or frying pan with oil. Put it on medium/high heat.
5. Add chicken strips. Cook 2 minutes or so per side till golden outside and white all through (never pink). Test with a knife. Return to heat if needed. Set aside.
6. Return stock to pan. Remove ginger. Add remaining ginger cut into matchsticks and the sliced garlic. Add mushrooms and green vegetables. Simmer for 3 minutes or until cooked but still textured.
7. Put noodles into a bowl. Add stock and vegetables. Place chicken on top. Add coriander, spring onion, optional chilli. Add a drop of soy, a drizzle sweet chilli sauce or a squeeze of lime if you like. Enjoy with green tea. Eat with chopsticks/spoon.
TOFU RAMEN: griddle or fry slices of tofu in place of chicken. Use vegetable stock.
Chicken, noodles, oyster sauce: cook 175g egg noodles. Drain. Mix sauce from 1 tbsp each soy sauce, rice wine, oyster sauce, 1 tsp sugar. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok. Stir-fry garlic, ginger, chilli, spring onions for 30 seconds. Add 1 tbsp oil. Chop sliced chicken into bits. Add to wok with pak choi. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until chicken cooks through. Add sauce. Heat through. Serve.
Egg & Veg Stir-fry: cook 175g egg noodles. Drain. Mix 2 tbsp soy, 1 tsp sugar, little grated ginger for sauce. Mix sauce, noodles, 2 beaten eggs, 4 sliced spring onions, handful sliced mushrooms, handful sliced mangetout, 1 sliced red onion, 1 finely sliced de-seeded red pepper in a bowl. Mix well. Stir-fry in a hot wok in 2 tbsp oil until cooked through. If you want to add chicken, slice into small pieces and stir-fry till cooked. Add in at the last minute.