Bring the heat with a spicy stir-fry
Feeling the cold? We hear you. Luckily, there’s a very easy way to warm up your winter evenings that won’t send your power bill sky high – just add chilli. Chillies don’t just provide a powerful heat and flavour kick to an otherwise mundane midweek meal; they’re also a great immunity-booster, can rev up your metabolism, improve digestion, increase blood flow to the brain and help to reduce joint pain and inflammation (except on your tastebuds, of course). Research suggests that chilli-eaters are less likely to develop diseases like type 2 diabetes and some cancers, and one study even found that those who regularly ate spicy food had a 10 percent lower overall mortality rate. That sounds like a pretty damn good reason to chuck some chilli into your next meal, if you ask us.
To get you fired up in the kitchen, food blogger and recipe creator Bianca of The Daily Food Feed has shared an Asian-inspired dish using The Chilli Factory’s hot chilli, tomato and basil relish Outback Storm. Anyone who likes to bring the heat should check out The Chilli Factory, pronto – these guys are the proud producers of Australia’s hottest barbecue sauce, Scorpion Strike on Steroids, which won the rather scary-sounding “Insane in the Pepper Membrane” award for the hottest hot sauce at the 12th annual Hot Pepper Awards. Based in the Hunter Valley in NSW, the family business uses 100 percent Australian chillies to make its range of sauces, relishes, mustards, pastes and chilli extracts. They also sell chilli seeds, if you’d like to start growing your own stash.
This recipe for a spicy sesame soba noodle stir-fry is an easy dish that’s packed with flavour. It’s also vegetarian and versatile, which means it works well with animal protein too, if that’s what you prefer – just swap out the tofu for the meat of your choice. For those still working on their chilli fitness, you needn’t feel daunted; Outback Storm is only a mild to hot relish, with the roast tomato and basil creating a smoky, char-grilled flavour. For those who’d like to ramp up the heat, feel free to use something further up the Scoville scale.
Spicy sesame soba noodle stir-fry
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
100g firm tofu, cut in triangles
1 tbsp The Chilli Factory Outback Storm Hot Chilli Tomato & Basil Relish
1 tsp Dijon mustard
15g lupin crumbs*
1 tbsp mixed sesame seeds (white and black)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, plus 1 tsp for dressing
½ tbsp hulled tahini
½ tbsp peanut butter
60g soba noodles
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
100g broccoli florets
1 flat mushroom, sliced
30g edamame beans
1 tsp sesame oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray.
2. Spread Dijon mustard over the tofu. Sprinkle the lupin crumbs and mixed sesame seeds over the tofu to fully coat it. Bake tofu in the oven for 15 minutes.
3. Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, tahini, peanut butter and Outback Storm together till smooth.
4. Cook the soba noodles for 3-4 minutes in boiling water. Drain and rinse under cold water.
5. In a bowl, season the cucumber with table salt. Toss and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water and dress with one teaspoon of rice wine vinegar. Set aside.
6. In a non-stick pan, heat the sesame oil. Add the broccoli, mushrooms and edamame. Cook until they start to soften. Add half of the chilli sesame peanut sauce to the pan and stir-fry until fully coated and it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat.
7. Add noodles to hot pan (heat off!). Add remaining sauce, stir till thick, glossy and coated.
8. Transfer everything to a bowl. Top with the baked tofu, pickled cucumber and shallots.
*Lupin crumbs are a gluten-free alternative to bread crumbs made from the legume lupin, which is related to peanuts and soybeans. You can find it at health food stores and online.