I have some lovely new Royal Staffordshire crockery. This is my new hobby, collecting vintage table wear to help enhance my food photography. These ones are particularly splendid, in both design and shape. They are octagonal (I know!!) and boast the famous Chinese ‘Willow’ design (most mothers/grandmothers had part of the set at one time or another…my mum had some bowls if memory serves). Apologies for the over excitement, but I then of course wanted a good Chinese recipe to bring them to life once again. Any of our Ching-He Huang books are always a solid place to start.

We happened to have some Tesco’s finest beef sirloin in the freezer that Dan had snapped up a week or so ago in the reduced section. We chose a dish from her ‘Chinese Food in Minutes’ book to utilise this sterling find – ‘Rice Wine Pepper Beef Noodles’. It worked a treat being such a fine cut of meat, although you could also use beef frying steak of course. The full ingredients list and cooking method can be found in Ching’s book, or alternatively online on the Channel 5 website here.

To make our version of this dish (serves two generously) you will need:
– 350g of sirloin steak
– 250g of dried egg noodles
– A dash of toasted sesame oil
– One tablespoon of sunflower oil
– 200g of French beans (trimmed/sliced into thirds)
– One dried red chilli (deseeded/finely chopped)
– 200ml of chicken stock
– One tablespoon of light soy sauce
– One tablespoon of dark soy sauce
– One tablespoon of cornflour blended with one tablespoon of water

For the marinade:
– Two garlic cloves (finely chopped)
– One tablespoon of finely chopped ginger
– One tablespoon of light soy sauce
– Half a teaspoon of black pepper
– One tablespoon of Shaohsing wine
– One teaspoon of light brown sugar
– One teaspoon of cornflour

See above web link.

For me, the green beans really make this meal. The crunch they provide against the softness of the noodles is very delicious, as is the sauce that accompanies it all – fairly rare for a noodle based recipe. With a fantastically warming heat behind it, this makes for a quick, easy and flavoursome Chinese dinner. Once again Ching, you haven’t let us down.