Thai sweet corn noodle soup

Yet another bad iPhone pic

It’s the night before pay day and the wallet is bare. There is an assortment of ingredients in the fridge, none of which quite go together. Smoked mackerel, halloumi, feta – it’s all salt, no subtlety. There, hiding at the back, is a jug of grade Awesome chicken stock, the kind that needs slicing once cold. Let dinner begin.

This is proper store cupboard cooking, so long as your store cupboard (or freezer) includes some thick, gelatinous chicken stock made from a flavoursome free-range chuck. The slow cooking of the onion, ginger, and garlic is crucial and shouldn’t be hurried.

A particularly satisfying dish to eat alone, slurping to your heart’s content.

Serves two (or one, twice)
2tbsp groundnut oil
1 white onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3cm piece of ginger – you want quite a lot – finely sliced
1tsp chilli flakes
750ml bestest ace chicken stock
300g sweetcorn (frozen / tinned / whatever)
1tsp palm sugar
Pinch salt
2 handfuls cook noodles
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
4-5 mint leaves, finely chopped
Fish sauce, to taste
Lime segments

Heat the oil in a saucepan big enough for all of the ingredients, and cook the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes over a low heat until soft, sticky, ever so slightly golden and sweet. This will take about 30 minutes, and you may need to loosen with a tbsp or two of the stock (rather than more oil) if the contents get too sticky and start to catch on the pan. Add the chicken stock and sweetcorn, and simmer for a few minutes. Taste, and sweeten to your liking – start with a tsp of palm sugar and add more if desired. Add a small pinch of salt – the salting of the dish comes with the fish sauce – along with the noodles, and fresh herbs. Ladle into bowls before adding fish sauce and lime juice to taste.