Chef Matt Wilkinson and his wife Sharlee Gibb may be food experts but they know all about how hectic it can be to cook for the family after a busy day. Mr & Mrs Wilkinson’s latest cookbook How It Is At Home is both cookbook and a window into their buzzy, creative and sometimes chaotic home life. A life they share with their two young boys, Finn and Jay.

The couple share the honest, fuss-free food that they enjoy with their boys every day. You will find one hundred nourishing, comforting and inspirational recipes for home cooking including breakfasts and lunches (packed or otherwise) such as Green Eggs and Chicken & Miso Noodle Salad and ideas for speedy school-night suppers, picnic treats and weekend baking. Their simple and seasonal dishes are made from quality, ethically sourced ingredients and are easy, tasty and fun.

As Matt puts it the recipes are definitely not all “cheffy” and this book won’t tell you how wonderful and perfect their lives are but you will find how Mr and Mrs deliver their own different versions of household favourites.

Total cooking time: 24 minutes  | Servings: 2

Chicken and miso noodle soup

1 x 200g free-range boneless, skinless chicken breast
180g soba noodles
1 cucumber, diced
1 carrot, cut into thin strips or grated
3 spring onions, sliced
salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
chilli sauce, to serve (optional)

1 tablespoon togarashi*
1 ½ tablespoons red miso paste
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
75ml non-GMO vegetable oil


Bring 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water to the boil in a saucepan. Add the chicken breast, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 6 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the chicken to poach for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is cool enough for you to remove the meat with your fingers. Dice the chicken breast and set aside.

To make the dressing, mix together the togarashi, miso and sesame seeds in a small bowl until combined. Whisk in the mirin, soy sauce and rice vinegar then lightly whisk in the oil.

Cook the soba noodles in a saucepan of boiling water as per the packet instructions, rinse under cold water and add to a large mixing bowl together with the poached chicken and all the other ingredients. Pour over the dressing and mix together thoroughly, then leave to sit for 3 minutes to allow the noodles to absorb all the flavours. Season to taste and serve with a little chilli sauce, if you like (I do).

For extra flavour, try adding aromatics like herbs and spices or citrus rind to the poaching liquid (which can also be kept and used later as chicken stock). *Togarashi is a Japanese spice mixture available at good Asian supermarkets and specialty stores.

This is an edited extract from Mr & Mrs Wilkinson’s How It Is At Home by Matt Wilkinson and Sharlee Gibb published by Hardie Grant Books. RRP $49.99. Available in stores nationally. 

Photography © by Patricia Niven