Recipe and Photography: Emma Galloway

Long before chillies were introduced into Asia, pepper was used to add heat to dishes. Here in New Zealand we tend to use black pepper mostly as a seasoning in small amounts, but it’s really nice to sometimes add it in amounts where not only is its taste more pronounced, but its heat is also present. To make this into a standalone meal, add some crispy tofu pieces or your favourite protein. Asparagus or broccoli would be great alternatives to broccolini. This noodle bowl can be served warm or at room temperature.

Serve 4–6

250g broccolini, ends trimmed
olive oil
half of a 400g packet dried rice noodles (I use the ones of medium thickness, approx 3mm thick)
2 spring onions, finely sliced
½ cup cashews, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
a big handful coriander leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped

Black Pepper Dressing

⅓ cup soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
⅓ cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp pure maple syrup or coconut sugar
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (extra to serve)

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to combine.

Put jug on to boil and place noodles into a large bowl.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add a touch of oil then cook broccolini, stirring often until just tender and charred in places. Pour boiling water over noodles to cover and set aside for 10–15 minutes. Drain well.

Transfer drained noodles to a large bowl, stir through spring onion, cashews, sesame seeds and coriander. Add charred broccolini, then drizzle with enough dressing to coat generously. Serve immediately. If prepping ahead of time, dress right before serving.

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