Best Noodle Ingredients, Pippa Middlehurst

Pippa Middlehurst is known by most as her Instagram handle - Pippy Eats - where she showcases her favourite recipes, most of which contain noodles!

Pippa's interest in Chinese cookery began when she was a young child and her grandfather would take her for dim sum. Over the years, it blossomed into a passion. She has been learning about East and South-East Asian cookery for over 15 years.

Here, she explains how to make noodles, and which ingredient to have in your storecupboard for a great bowl of noodles whenever you like.

Bowls & Broths by Pippa Middlehurst (Quadrille, £16.99) Photography: India Hobson

How to make a good bowl of noodles

It has to begin with a good noodle, of course. Springy, with chew and good flavour. A good sauce or dressing, that coats the noodles and sticks to them, with a good depth of flavour. Then some textural contrast - crunchy bits for example. Then something fresh and fragrant to give a final lift - fresh herbs or citrus. When eating at home, I usually do end up topping all my bowls of noodles with a fried egg. I had to refrain from adding a fried egg into most of the recipes in my new book.

Which noodle should I buy?

It depends what you're using it for. I think hydration, thickness and texture matter more than shape, and there are endless variations. For example, for a Tsukemen style broth, or dipping broth, you’d want a thicker noodle. The broth tends to be heavily seasoned, and the noodle acts as the vehicle - a thicker noodle has a broader surface area for transporting the broth. 

Right now I’m loving the simplicity of spring onion oil noodles. A relatively thin alkali noodle would be used for this dish, and a simple dressing packed full of fresh spring onion flavour. It sounds simple, and it is, but the flavour is far from it. Sometimes simple is best I think. 


Best ingredients for making noodles

Dumpling Flour, 1kg

If I have this in my cupboards I know I can make noodles or dumplings from scratch. 

Sichuan Pixian Chilli Bean Paste

Fermented broad bean paste. Spicy and super umami. Great for Sichuanese dishes and to add depth to broths and sauces.

Light Soy Sauce

The essential seasoning. Adds salt and umami. Pearl river bridge is my favourite brand. 

Chinkiang Black Rice Vinegar, 550ml

Adds acidity, sweetness and depth. This is irreplaceable in my cupboards. Gold plum is my favourite brand. 

Pure Sesame Oil, 320ml

Fragrant and nutty, I add it to finish noodle dishes and broths. 

Kimchi, 369g

Versatile, addictively tasty and super healthy for your gut. I love having a tub in my fridge ready to top noodles or rice. It goes so well with fried eggs too. 

Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

Sweet and spicy Korean fermented red chilli paste. Adds sweetness and heat to sauces and broths. 

Noritamago Furikake Rice Seasoning, 60g

Japanese Seasoning with chilli, sesame and seaweed. Typically would be used to sprinkle on rice, but I put it on my noodles too!

Premium Nori Sheets, 20g

used to season ramen dishes, but also great ground up and used to season noodle dishes or anything else really! Adds depth and a slightly toasty taste of the sea. 

Asian Sesame Paste, 369g

essential as the base for many Chinese broth and sauce recipes, such as Dan Dan noodles. The flavour, colour and texture is different to tahini, however they’re both different variations of sesame seed paste. 


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