Chinese, Noodles

Very spicy Chinese hot pot style soup/noodles (A bit like Japanese Ramen)

For a while I have been craving Chinese style noodles, (being pregnant might have something to do with that). So today it was time to have it!

(A bit like Japanese Ramen) we serve it the day after having had a Chinese hot pot, and it’s kind of a leftover dish. But this time I made it from scratch. (Stock can be frozen). You could also cheat and use the finished stock bases.

As baby blip wasn’t impressed by the spicy part, he had plain noodles, carrots and cucumber and tried the peanuts (disgusting he said to the nuts). He also ate a pear, jubiii healthy!! And a yoghurt. -oh well one day he will enjoy mummies food (I hope).

It’s really hard to price this dish, as if using spices from supermarket it’s more expensive. The stock base it self can be made for around 27p per person (assuming you use the spices from Asian stores). The finished stock from Tesco is even cheaper £1.00, so around 12.5p per person but it doesn’t pack the same punch. 

With the toppings, I really can’t give you a price as it’s up to you what you put on and got available- I listed a whole range of things, just as a suggestion (I wouldn’t use all at ones, so pick and choose).

It Serves 6 -8

Home made-Stock ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil (2p)

3-4 long dried Sichuan chillies or long dried chillies (10p)

1tbsp whole Sichuan peppercorns (10p)

1 tbsp chilli bean sauce (available from Asian grocers) (30p)

1 tbsp chilli sauce (20p)

3 pints hot water -more if you want it weaker.

1 lamb, vegetables or chicken stock cube (10p)

2 whole star anise (10p)

1 cinnamon stick (can be left out) (20p)

4 cloves garlic (12p)

2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger finely sliced (20p)

2 red chillies, de-seeded, sliced (20p)

6 dried Chinese mushrooms (can be left out) (30p)

2 tbsp chilli oil (can be left out) (20p)

The leftover bone from leg of lamb (can be left out). -not calculated into the main price, as not needed.

(£2.14 total cost) -this was difficult to calculate as I use spices from Asian shops so much cheaper than super markets

Soup base per person for 8= (£2.14/8)= 27p

+ whatever you want to put in the soup!

Soup ingredients

– this can vary depending on what you got in/fancy. I listed a whole range, but wouldn’t normally use it all together 
2 bok choy

1 red onion finely sliced

1 handful coriander finely chopped

3 spring onions (green and white part chopped)

1 block tofu

1 handful chopped peanuts

1 large carrot julienned

1/4 cucumber finely sliced

Noodles for 6-8 people

Chopped chilli for decoration

Boiled eggs

Leftover lamb meat

Finely sliced radishes

Daikon julienned



Etc etc.


  1. For the stock, add the oil in a pan then add the chillies and Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon stick (if using) and stir fry for a few seconds, or until fragrant.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker, now stir in the chilli bean sauce and chilli sauce and then pour in the stock. Add the star anise, Chinese mushroom (if using), garlic and ginger, chillies, chilli oil and the bone from the leg of lamb if using, now leave on high for 4 hours.
  3. Cook the noodles according to packet (if using). Then add to a bowl, put the spicy stock over and add The soup ingredients to top. In whatever way you like.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said!

Another hot pot stock that could be used

Chorizo, Pasta

Chorizo pasta Bake

So a while ago, (I believe this was before I got pregnant) I asked for advice of how to use up the rest of some chorizo in the facebook group  Feed yourself for £1. 00 a day, see the link

I wrote down the recipe at the time wanting to post it but just never got around to it!

I normally, use chorizo either for Paella. Yes, I know, its actually wrong to put in an authentic Paella, but hey I like it and I’m not Spanish 🙂

Lots of amazing suggestions was given. One mentioned pasta bake, and that’s what I decided to make together with a healthy salad on the side.

I still struggle to get my lovely toddler to eat healthy nutritional food, white bread seems to be his preference, but he actually tried the pasta bake and had the Ryvita. JUBIII

pasta bake 1

To be honest, this is one of those meals you do when you look in your cupboards and think what can I make.. and therefore it was harder to price up.

Now, I can’t wait for this hg pregnancy to be over so I can eat and cook delicious food again…

Serves 4 adults + 2 toddlers

Ingredients pasta bake:

Approximately 300g of pasta, (I got a jar with any bits of dried pasta, left over)
Rest of chorizo
2 clove garlic
Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato purée
1 red pepper
100g of spinach
125 ml single or double cream
Salt/pepper/nutmeg/paprika (to taste)
Handful Bread crumbs
100g Grated cheese
2 tbsp. veg oil


1. Cook pasta according to packet, but slightly al dente. – Reserve some of the cooking water

2. Add a teaspoon of oil in pan, add finely sliced chorizo and garlic, fry until the chorizo release the lovely flagrant oil.

3. Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato purée, cook for 2 minutes.

4. Now add the chopped peppers and cream. Reduce the sauce with around a quarter.

5. Add the spinach and stir.

6. Taste the mixture and season according to taste.

7. Mix the pasta with the sauce, add some of the cooking water if needed. Put it in a oven proof dish.

8. Top with breadcrumbs and cheese.

9. Put in a 200c warm oven for around 10 minutes. Until brown and lovely.

pasta bake two

Serving suggestions, to serve with salad and bread. The salad I served was a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, salad, bunch of fresh dill and mint, with a homemade tzaziki dressing.. and Ryvita with butter.

My husband thought that perhaps I could add some bacon to the pasta bake.

Bon Appetite as my grandad would say!


Approximately 300g of pasta, (I got a jar with any bits of dried pasta, left over) 30p
Rest of chorizo, 50p
Tin of chopped tomatoes 25p
1 red pepper 50p
1 tbsp of tomato purée 5p
2 clove garlic 6p
100g of spinach 40p
125 ml single or double cream 40p
Handful Bread crumbs 10p
100g Grated cheese 50p
Salt/pepper/nutmeg/paprika (to taste) 10p
2 tbsp. Veg oil 5p

Total cost £3.21 based on five servings  (I count toddlers as 1/2 adult portion, hence, it becomes 5 portions) 0.65p per person.

I have based this calculation on full prices and not reduced items. Most of the prices are taken from Tesco, own branded stuff. Spices though I buy in big quantities from an Asian shop (hence, brings down value) and I normally buy 10 litters of Veg oil for £8,00 in Tesco, which reduces the price massively.

A lot of the ingredients I used was reduced so this meal would be much cheaper than 65p per person, but then I don’t think that’s fair to use as a calculation as this would be misleading.. I haven’t included the salad in this calculation.

So realistically, and with all salad and Ryvita included and not at reduced prices, the full dish would be about £1.00 per head approximately.

I think with the reduced items I had and all in all we are probably talking about 40p per person


Chinese, Tofu

Mapo Tofu

I’m pregnant again and unfortunately been suffering from HG (Hyperemisis Gravidarum) since week 6.. I’m now, 33 weeks pregnant and near the end!! 

Initially I lost 7kg. However, with medication I have been feeling slightly better. 

Not long ago I really fancied / Craved Mapo Tofu..a Chinese dish.. one thing is to fancy something another is to eat it, when suffering from hg..

But here is the recipe…
Mapo tofu – for 4 portions around 63p a portion. I have tried costing it, but difficult to do accurately due to the fact that I buy the Chinese ingredients in a Chinese supermarket and in big portions xx


150 ml chicken broth (3p value Tesco cubes)
1 teaspoon cornstarch (3p)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (5p)
1 teaspoon sugar (5p)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (10p)
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced (6p)
2 teaspoons minced ginger (5p)
4 green onions white part only, minced (20p)
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (5p)
100 g ground pork or beef (Morison £2.00 for 500) 40p
2 teaspoons doubanjiang (chili bean paste) (10p )
Approximately 340g of silken tofu, drained and cut into 2 cm cubes. (£1.30 from local Chinese shop).

= £2.42
+basic rice 10p

Total £2.52 which is 63p per person..

green part of green onions minced for garnish

1. Add the chicken stock, cornstarch, soy sauce and sugar to a small bowl and stir to combine.

2. Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger and green onions and stir-fry with a spatula until fragrant. Add the Sichuan pepper and continue stir-frying.

3. Add the ground pork and use the spatula to break it up into small grains (you don’t want clumps of meat). When the pork is cooked, add the doubanjiang and stir to distribute.

4. Add the tofu, and toss to mix (if you stir it, the tofu will lose its shape).

5. Give the stock mixture a good stir to incorporate anything that may have settled, and then pour it over the pork and tofu. Toss to coat, then boil until the sauce thickens.

6. Garnished with the green parts of the green onions, then serve with hot rice.

mapo tofu


Bon  Apetit