You know the addictive, crispy, dark green seaweed you get in Chinese restaurants? Well, it's really kale: that hearty winter vegetable that is everywhere at the moment.
If you've never quite been sure of this veg, this might just change your mind. It's sweet, salty and crispy, and a dream with a tangle of soy sauce-glossed noodles. The perfect way to ring in the Year of the Horse.
A good splash of oil (rapeseed, coconut, olive oil...)
A good pinch of sea salt
A good pinch of caster sugar
A good pinch of ground szchuan peppercorns (optional - add a lovely extra dimension)
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1 tsp dried chilli flakes (more or less, to taste)
300g rice noodles - vermicelli are the best
A few shakes of soy sauce
Heat oven to 200C/Gas 7. Place a large baking tray on the top shelf.
Put the kettle on to boil so you have hot water ready to pour over your noodles.
Finely chop the kale as you'd chop parsley. Get a large frying pan hot. Add enough oil to thinly coat the pan. Toss your kale in with a good pinch of salt and sugar. Sizzle over medium-high heat until it starts to crisp up. Fold the garlic and chilli flakes through.
Take off heat. Remove baking tray from oven. Arrange kale on hot baking sheet in a single layer. Cook just for a few mins, about 3-5 till it crisps up further.
Meanwhile, put your noodles in the frying pan you were using. Pour the hot water over. Add a pinch of salt. Stir to untangle the noodles. Simmer until the noodles are soft. It should only take a minute or two. Taste a noodle to ensure they're fully soft. Drain. Rinse under cold water.
Remove your kale. Set aside. It'll crisp up further.
Tumble noodles back into your frying pan. Add a few shakes of soy sauce. Scatter your crispy kale over the top. Taste. Add more soy or chilli, if needed. Divide your noodles between plates and tuck in.
Delicious on their own as a simple main or serve with thin slices of steak perched on top and/or a scattering of toasted sesame seeds.