Well, that was a bit of a gap.
To be honest, life is pretty mental right now, and I have to admit I’m losing the will to blog. Does this happen to everyone in the end? I’m not sure. I just know it’s a lot easier (and sometimes a lot more fun) to talk about food through a variety of other social media outlets. As well as posting pictures of cats and talking about how fit Pharrell Williams is on Twitter. I’ve been pondering about whether it’s time to just broaden out the remit of what I want to blog about. I mean, I obviously love food, and I stuff my gob full with it a lot. But there’s also a ton of other stuff I’m interested in. Maybe it’s time to not tie myself to writing about recipes all the time. Because that’s getting a bit tiresome. And my photos are shit, they really are. You may have noticed they’ve got even worse. That’s because my new worktops are navy blue and the lights in my kitchen cast shadows everywhere. But I’m not that bothered about learning how to do anything about that. So yeah, that’s a bit rubbish.
But this is about a plate of noodles, really.
I’ve talked about how much I love Silk Road in Camberwell before. Big plate chicken, stir fried pork with wood ear fungus, THAT cabbage. Oh, and the dumplings. Well, anyway, last time I went I actually tried a new dish. I can’t remember the name but we were presented with a massive plate of handmade noodles covered in a little mound of stir fried (or grilled) lamb doused in the most amazing, spicy crust of cumin, chilli and salt. No veg. Just lamb and noodles. The taste was heavenly. I have a feeling it probably contained two mugs of cumin and one mug of salt, at a conservative estimate.
I’d been wanting to try and approximate these for a good long while, and finally got around to it when I remembered I had a bit of lamb neck fillet in the freezer. This is very easy. Even the noodles are easy – they only contain flour, water, salt and oil. I still turn to the recipe over at Cooking the Books, which is a fantastic resource for lots of East and South East Asian dishes, even if Josh sadly doesn’t blog anymore. These were probably a bit too thick, but their chewy texture and shape is pretty forgiving, and they really go well with the lamb here.
You don’t have to use lamb neck, it’s just what I had in. I’m sure leg would also work well.
Xinjiang style lamb and noodles – serves four with a couple of side dishes
200g leg of neck fillet of lamb, thinly sliced into bite sized pieces
Marinade for the lamb:
1tsp light soy sauce
1tsp dark soy sauce
1tbsp shaoshing wine
1/2tsp potato or cornflour, mixed with 1tbsp water
For the sauce / spice crust:
1.5tsp hot crushed dried chilli, or less if you don’t want it as spicy
1tsp cumin seeds
2tsp cumin powder (double cumin may sound weird but that flavour really needs to come through)
Salt to taste
3tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
1 quantity of noodles, cooked, as per the recipe above
1. Mix all the marinade ingredients for the lamb together, and stir in the lamb. Set aside for up to an hour
2. Once marinaded, heat a wok over a very high heat until smoking, and add the oil and swirl to coat the base of the work. Add the lamb, stirring to separate. Stir fry briskly around for a few minutes, until the lamb is cooked through and a nice, dark crust (not burnt!) is forming around the outside, from the spices.
3. Remove from heat, top the noodles with the mixture, stir in and serve