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Spicy Prawns with Chinese Noodles

Both Italy and China lay claim to having been the first country to invent pasta; the Italians with their spaghetti, and the Chinese with their delicious egg noodles. Noodles are still a staple food in northern China, where it is too cold to grow rice. There they are made from wheat flour and water, while in southern China eggs are added. Egg noodles can be bought dried or fresh from large supermarkets, delicatessens and Chinese grocers. If wished, you can substitute Italian egg noodles. The spicy, hot oriental prawns in this recipe are stir-fried in a wok or nonstick frying pan. Some red chillies are much hotter than others, so use them with caution if you are unfamiliar with a particular variety. It is always safest to remove the hot seeds.
Preparation time : 15 minutes,
Cooking time : 12 minutes,
Calories per serving: 440

ingredients

serves 5
12 oz (350 g) Chinese egg noodles
6 medium tomatoes
1-2 fresh red chillies
6 spring onions
2 - 3 cloves garlic
2 in (50 mm) piece fresh root ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons groundnut or sunflower oil
8 oz (225 g) large peeled prawns
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

method

1. To remove the skins, plunge each tomato into a bowl of hot water for 30 seconds, then cold for 1 minute, until cool enough to peel off the skins with your fingers. Cut the flesh of each tomato into 8 segments.

2. Trim both ends of each chilli and slit them in half lengthways. Hold the chillies under running water and rub away some, or all, of the seeds. Trim the spring onions, and slice the bulb and about 3 in (75 mm) of the green stalk.

3. Peel and finely chop the garlic and peel and grate the ginger.
In a wok or heavy nonstick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over a moderate heat for 1-2 minutes, until hot. Add the spring onions and ginger and stir-fry for 2 - 3 minutes, until just softened. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

4. Add the prawns and chillies to the wok or pan and stir over a moderate heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Cook the egg noodles in boiling, salted water according to the instructions on the packet. Preheat a large serving bowl.

5. Meanwhile, add the remaining oil and the garlic to the wok or pan and stir-fry over a moderate heat for 2 - 3 minutes, until the garlic is just golden. Add the tomatoes, increase to a high heat and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continually.

6. Add the tomato puree, season with salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Return the prawns and other drained ingredients to the wok or pan and mix again. Heat through for 1 minute then remove from the heat.

7. Drain the noodles and transfer them to the heated serving bowl. Pour the prawn mixture over the top and serve immediately.

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