Vegetarian Noodles with Szechuan Pepper & Peanut Butter

We are having a vegetarian week, so I've taken an old recipe of mine and quite simply left out the meat.

I also finally got round to grinding some Szechuan peppercorns, which even the kids agreed is a great addition.

Serves 2 adults or 3 children

2 layers Sharwood medium egg noodles
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 tsp grated ginger
1/4  cabbage, finely sliced
1 medium carrot, grated
1 tbsp sunflower oil

2 tbsp sherry or white wine
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp  balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2-1 tsp hot chilli flakes
1 tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns

125ml chicken stock or water (I used the noodle water)

Cook the noodles according to the packet's instructions.  Rinse with cold water to stop them cooking, then drain.  Rinsing with cold water also stops them sticking together, but you can also toss them in a little sesame oil if you have no faith.

Whilst all the noodles are cooking, fry the garlic and ginger in a frying pan.  This can be done in a wok or a large frying pan.

Add the cabbage and carrot and fry for a few minutes.  Splash about half the water in and cover if at all possible to soften the veg to a child friendly texture.  Add the cooked noodles and sauce and mix thoroughly.  I often cut the noodles with scissors whilst sitting in the colander before adding to make it easier to mix, as well as for the kids to eat with a fork or spoon.  Cover with a lid again if possible until the sauce and noodles are piping hot.  Serve immediately.