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Book Review: Noodle! 100 Amazing Authentic Recipes

Book Review: Noodle! 100 Amazing Authentic Recipes
Helen Hokin: Noodle! has more recipes than you can shake a chopstick at. It might just get me out of my ramen rut.
Noodle! 100 Amazing Authentic Recipes
Author: Mimi Aye
Published by: Absolute Press
RRP: £12.99
Despite protestations that she's no noodle expert, Mimi Aye’s new book would suggest otherwise. In ‘Noodle!’ the author brings us over 100 authentic noodle recipes of her creation.
Mimi has trawled Asia and beyond for inspiration and the result is an exotic blend of familiar favourites like Chinese Chicken Chow Main and Taiwanese Beef Noodles, with many lesser known dishes.
Take the prawn and roast pork Vietnamese Summer Rolls - not as tricky as they sound and a light and fragrant alternative to the usual Chinese spring ones. I’m intrigued by the Japanese Moon-Viewing Udon with hot-spring eggs poached in their shells - easily achieved with a pan of boiling water if you find yourself without a bubbling hot-spring to hand. Another whimsical-sounding recipe for ‘Ants Climbing a Tree’ turns out to be a Sichuan creation of thread noodles with mince meat sauce – a bit like a spicy spag Bol, and just as doable.  Less-often documented recipes like these, with their accompanying quirky foodlore, are a testament to the breadth of Mimi’s noodle smarts.
But the author, who began as a blogger at, is in her element in Burma where her parents come from and noodles, she insists are a way of life. Mimi tells of train journeys up the Yangon to visit family and share bowls of Mohinga - a piquant fish chowder of mackerel, sardines and rice vermicelli that is Burma’s national dish. That, along with Coconut Chicken Noodles are on my ’to make’ list of Burmese specials.
Noodle! reaches beyond Asia that you might try your hand at a Persian Noodle Pie, Hawaiian Noodle Soup or any number of salad, vegetarian or fusion recipes.
Some of the lengthy ingredients lists might appear finicky, but overall most dishes take an average of 40 minutes to prepare and cook. That said, others can be ready in a flash. I like Ham and Pea Shoot Udon for a speedy mid-week supper, and Five Spice Ribbon Noodle Crisps is the kind of speedy snack you can whizz up as your guests are walking in the door.
A glossary and list of stockists are helpful for sourcing hard-to-come-by ingredients and it’s good to know that, if like me you’re not an MSG fan, there’s a substitute in good old Marigold bouillon.
There’s no noodle snobbery here. I mean, if you want to have a go at making your own – that’s fine – you will be shown how. But purists, be warned, instant noodles have their place in Mimi’s book. For in Mimi’s book, there is no such thing as a bad noodle.
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24 May 2014
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