Apologies for the appalling photography - I had to snap this while the boys were between bites.
"Salad sounds excellent, I'll definitely give it a whirl - but I NEED children or at least family friendly inspiration!!"
Who would have thought it would come from my bachelor brother, Patrick?
In the interest of full disclosure, there are three things you should know:
1. Patrick is a serious chow-hound.
He once broke off with a girl because she failed his "restaurant recommendation test": when he invited her to dinner and asked whether there was any place she'd like to go or had been meaning to try, she came up empty. Fail.
When he makes a recommendation, I listen.
2. My boys worship him.
At 6 feet 5 inches, he is a giant. Very impressive.
He throws them in the pool for hours on end, long after the other grown-ups have wandered off to do boring, grown-up things.
He thrills them with youtube clips from films they are not allowed to see.
What more could a boy want in an uncle?
3. They associate him with greedy pilgrimages to New York's Chinatown.
These always begin with pork dumplings and conclude with scoops from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Pretty sweet memories.
So, when I announced that we would be having "Patrick's Noodles" for dinner, I had total buy-in before the first bite.
That said, they couldn't get it in fast enough.
The bowls were empty in a flash.
And then refilled.
I was lucky to get the one dreadful photograph.
I concluded that there must be more to these noodles than mere uncle adulation.
I was right.
The recipe for Ginger Scallion Noodles comes from David Chang, of Momofuko fame. He will be in Melbourne in March and is already, according to Australian Gourmet Traveller, "one of the most talked about guests at this year's Food & Wine Festival." See here and here.
The recipe calls for a hefty 1/2 cup of ginger, but don't let that put you off. My boys, usually not big ginger fans, didn't even blink.
In a bid to amp up the nutritional value, I added chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces and sauteed in sesame oil. Some vegetables wouldn't go astray, either.
Next time, I'll be adding prawns and maybe some asparagus - nice and light, plenty of protein, and a bit more (but not too) grown-up.