Oodles of noodles
Marco Polo brought Chinese noodles back from his Eastern adventures, starting Italians’ obsession with pasta noodles. Noodles are a staple in many Asian countries, and many students and young people in New Zealand almost exist on cheap instant noodles.
Japan has soba or buckwheat noodles, which are thin and light grey; udon noodles, which are made from wheat and come in round or thick lengths; ramen, which are yellow wheat noodles found in a diverse array of soups; and yakisoba, which are for fried dishes. In spring, Japanese people serve harusame (spring rain) cellophane noodles, and in summer they have chilled soba noodles to temper the heat.
In China, egg, rice and wheat noodles appear in thousands of dishes and the country has so many varieties that you could write a big book about them. The most revered are handpulled noodles swung around in a showy manner as a feature in dedicated noodle shops and restaurants. There, it’s considered polite to slurp your noodles.
Italian pasta is made from high-quality wheat and often egg. Shapes range from the thinnest angel hair pasta to chunky rags of handmade, hand-rolled sheets. Italians delight in their wide range of accompanying sauces. and ginger in a steamer over the top. Steam for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the courgettes, peas and beans, then steam for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the broth, return the saucepan to the stove and bring the broth back to a simmer. Add the fish sauce.
In another pan, simmer the rice noodles in salted water for 4 minutes.
Skin the chicken breast, then shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
To finish, divide the noodles between 4 warmed plates. Top with vegetables and chicken, then pour over the hot broth.
Garnish with coriander leaves and pepper. Hand around the soy sauce and hot pepper sauce separately.
Wine match: sauvignon blanc.