This is a really tasty, healthy, easy and filling recipe that takes about 15-20 minutes from first getting the ingredients out to serving. It only needs one pan on the hob, and is also flexible. The veg used here can be substituted for pretty much any veg you have in the fridge, and you can swap the seafood for tofu or chicken/beef/pork, so long as you cook the meat properly in a separate pan before adding it to the noodles.

You will need:

  • 1 wok or large, wide saucepan
  • A timer (the one on your phone is fine)
  • 2 dessert spoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 heaped dessert spoon of coriander seeds
  • 1 heaped dessert spoon of grated ginger
  • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes (or more depending on your taste/tolerance for heat)
  • 1 small pack of mange tout cut into strips
  • 1 red pepper cut into strips
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (buy the best you can find/afford - this really makes a difference to the flavour)
  • 2 'nests' of dried egg noodles
  • Boiling water
  • 1 pack of cooked 'seafood selection' available from most supermarket chains
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • Salt and pepper

What to do:

  1. First crush the coriander seeds. I normally use a pestle and mortar, though I have also achieved good results with a beer/wine bottle (with care) or the end of a rolling pin in a cereal bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in your wok or pan, then add the ginger, coriander seeds and chilli flakes and fry on a medium heat for a minute. Use this time to put the kettle on.
  3. Turn up the heat on your hob, chuck in the red pepper, mange tout and lime juice and stir well, making sure the veg is well covered by the oil and bits of coriander and ginger.
  4. Stir-fry like this for 2-3 minutes, then crumble in the stock cube, give it another stir, throw in the noodle nests and pour in the boiling water from the kettle – just enough to cover the vegetables and the nests.
  5. Prod everything around so it’s properly under the liquid, turn back the heat a bit and set the timer counting down from 5 minutes. While that’s happily simmering away, wash and roughly chop up a handful of fresh coriander – stems and all.
  6. With 2 minutes to go on the timer, stir in the seafood selection and fresh coriander and season with salt and pepper. When the beeper goes off, turn off the heat, divide between two bowls and serve. Best eaten with chopsticks and a spoon, but fork and spoon also works.

James' advice for new students: "London can be a tough place to live but hang in there because it’s also one of the best places in the world to live (I’m still here)."

Thanks to James Pope (MSc Science Communication 2011) for this recipe.