After a busy week of Christmas parties, I’ve already eaten my fair share of canapés and drunk far too much mulled wine and it’s not even Christmas week yet. Although I’m definitely still excited about Christmas, it’s nice to have something unfestive for a change. There are only so many mince pies one person can eat before craving something different.

(also I only just learned that mince pies are a British thing. Wikipedia teaches me so much! If you’ve never had one, you should make a batch, they’re the ultimate Christmas pie)

Here’s a very unChristmassy meal I made the other day to dilute my Christmas excitement a little.

I blitzed together a few Asian-style ingredients to create a simple peanut and sesame sauce for my noodles (I used egg noodles, but if you want a vegan meal, use something egg-free), and then just stirred it through the cooked noodles. So quick and easy.

I served my noodles with some choi sum (basically a smaller version of pak choi), which fitted the theme nicely. Plus, it was really easy to cook – I just boiled it for a couple of minutes, then sautéed it with some soy sauce.

The sauce was so tasty; it’d be nice used for other things too. Perhaps use it to liven up some Asian-style veg, or use it as a sauce for some baked tofu. It uses ingredients that you might have hanging around in your cupboards anyway, so it’s a great way to quickly make your dinner more exciting.

Peanut and sesame noodles

Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side

1 small clove garlic, peeled
1tbsp sesame seeds
3tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1tbsp rice vinegar
2tbsp (heaped) smooth peanut butter
6tbsp water
1tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp fresh coriander (stalks are fine)
300g noodles (I used egg noodles, but use a vegan version if needed)
Optional garnishes: chopped spring onions, fresh coriander, sesame seeds, chopped peanuts

Place the first 9 ingredients in a food processor, and blend until fairly smooth.
Boil the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, around 5 minutes. Drain, and add the peanut and sesame sauce. You may also need to add a touch more water if your noodles seem too dry. Mix well over a low heat to warm the sauce.

Serve topped with your preferred garnish (I used spring onions and coriander).