These addictively savoury noodles, laced with fiery chilli oil and fragrant, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns do require a reasonably well stocked Chinese larder, but are relatively straight forward to make and will quite possibly become a regular on your weekly menu.
It's sometimes hard to get excited about cucumber, particular when they are 'straight from the fridge cold' and sliced into slightly uninspiring rounds. Cucumbers are 96% water, they have a lovely clean, crunchy texture but need a little helping hand to bring out their best.
I just love the fresh vibrant flavours of a noodle salad, a riot of textures and flavours - brought together with a zingy, aromatic dressing. Year-round versatility, you can incorporate whatever fresh veg or salad happens to be in season at the time, or lurking in your fridge and needs using up.
When I was growing up, if I was asked to name a Chinese dish, Chow Mein was possibly the only dish I could come up with. It featured on every Chinese take-away menu, still does today. It's the irresistible salty combination of soy sauce and crunchy vegetables, often with chicken, prawns or beef that has made this a staple.