Crab and Chilli Noodles with Red Chicory and Broad Bean Salad

Crab and Chilli Noodles with Chicory and Broad Bean Salad

As our chilli shy older daughter was away at the weekend, I was able to indulge the rest of the family’s passion for chillies with this noodle dish. Aside from tasting great, chillies are packed with vitamins C, B6 and A and are a rich source of various flavinoids. Crab is a really good, lean protein source and has a high concentration of two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which help to lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease. Otherwise, this recipe is very low in fat. I use wholewheat noodles to boost the fibre content of the meal and tinned crab meat. As we do not live near the coast, nor a good fishmongers, I am left with little choice, but as the dish is so highly flavoured with the chillies and coriander it tastes just fine with the tinned stuff, which has the added advantage of being considerably cheaper than fresh white crab meat.

The noodle dish doesn’t contain much in the way of vegetables, so I always serve it with a Red Chicory and Broad Bean Salad, which not only looks beautiful, but adds a nice complimentary crunch to the soft noodles and tastes delicious. More importantly, however, the salad boosts the protein, vitamin, mineral and fibre content of the meal. Broad beans are, somewhat surprisingly, an excellent source of lean protein (with no saturated fat or cholesterol) and fibre. They are also rich in B vitamins, vitamin K and many important minerals such as potassium, copper, selenium and zinc, and they are packed with iron and folates. Add to all this the fact that they are a stunning verdant green, and they can be forgiven the fact that the skinning process is the most time consuming aspect of the meal.

The protein content of the salad is further boosted by hazelnuts and peccorino cheese and the chicory adds extra fibre and a big dose of vitamins K, A and C and is rich in flavinoids and folates. The sweet dressing balances the slightly bitter taste of the chicory, but if you don’t like the flavour you can substitute it with red little gem lettuce leaves.

Crab and Chilli Noodles with Red Chicory and Broad Bean Salad
Crab and Chilli Noodles with Red Chicory and Broad Bean Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Crab and Chilli Noodles with Red Chicory and Broad Bean Salad
Crab and Chilli Noodles with Red Chicory and Broad Bean Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Crab and Chilli Noodles
  • 4 spring onions finely sliced
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 red chillies finely sliced (deseeded if you like it mild)
  • 400 grammes white crab meat or 3 x 200g tins well drained
  • 3 tbsp lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 3 tsp lime zest freshly grated
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek
  • 350 grammes wholewheat noodles
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sweet chill sauce
  • 4 tbsp fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
Red Chicory and Broad Bean Salad
  • 500 grammes frozen baby broad beans
  • 3-4 heads red chicory trimmed and separated into leaves
  • 50 grammes Pecorino cheese finely pared
  • 1/2 small red onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • 25 grammes hazelnuts roasted and chopped (can buy pre-prepared from bakery section)
  • 2 tsp raspberry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut oil not always easy to find- walnut or rapeseed oil is fine
Instructions
Noodles
  1. Cover the base of a small pan with fry light and bring to a medium heat before adding the spring onion, garlic and chillies and frying for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the crab, lime zest and juice, sugar and sambal oelek. Stir gently to avoid breaking up the crab meat too much and leave to heat through on low while you cook the noodles.
  3. Cook the noodles in a large pan of salted water, as per the instructions on the packet: generally 6 minutes for wholewheat, half that for refined.
  4. Drain noodles well, return to the large pan and toss with the sesame oil and sweet chilli sauce.
  5. Add the crab mixture and coriander to the noodles and stirring gently until well distributed.
Salad
  1. Boil the frozen broad beans in salted water for 3 minutes, drain and immediately refresh in cold water. Drain again.
  2. Slip the beans out of their tough outer shells and place in a large bowl. This is the most time consuming element of the whole dish...get the family or friends involved!
  3. Prepare the chicory and add to the beans, mixing through with your hands.
  4. Whisk the vinegar, honey and oil together with a little seasoning, and pour half into bean and chicory bowl.
  5. Work dressing through with your hands and transfer dressed beans and chicory to a serving platter.
  6. Sprinkle over onion slices, nuts and cheese and drizzle over remaining dressing.
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