This idea came to me after I watched a TV commercial of a kid eating soggy noodles with over-cooked vegetables. I thought, what?! Kids want crunchy, not sloppy! So this recipe was born. Intrigued? Good, read on. The idea is to use the air fryer in a non-conventional way to add crunch to delicious veggies. Because why not?
YOU’LL NEED ALL THIS
- 1 packet of 2-minute noodles
- 2 small carrots, quartered lengthways
- 2 broccoli florets
- 1 small zucchini, quartered lengthways
- 1 small eggplant, quartered lengthways
- 1 small red capsicum, quartered lengthways
- 1 teaspoon salt flakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)
- tomato sauce
- natural yoghurt
- your favourite spicy dipping sauce
Firstly, pop the 2-minute noodles (don’t break them up) in a heatproof bowl and pour in enough boiling water to just cover them. Set aside for 1 minute only. Do not add any of the additives from the packet.
Parboil the veggies in a saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the salt and olive oil and toss to combine.
Drain the noodles and return them to the heatproof bowl. Pick up a long strand of noodles and wrap it around one of the vegetable pieces, almost like the ancient Egyptians did with their mummies. Repeat until the veggie piece is nicely covered in noodles, then set aside and do the same thing for the remaining vegetables and noodles.
Line the base of your air fryer with baking paper and pop the noodle-wrapped veggies in. Cook on 175°C for 5 minutes. We want to give the veggies colour and crunch to encourage our little humans to eat them.
Allow the crazy noodle veggies to cool a little before you feed the troops. Serve with a sprinkle of salt and bowls of tomato sauce or natural yoghurt for dipping, if you like. If adults are going to be eating these too, you could also serve them with a spicy dipping sauce, such as Vietnamese nuoc mam.
Kids can be the harshest critics and the fussiest ones will often refuse food without explanation, so the purpose of this dish is to dress up veggies by adding some crunch and making them look fun.
You can use any vegetables, or even fruit. Try wrapping slices of pineapple or bananas in noodles (increase the cooking time to 8 minutes) and sprinkling icing sugar on top. Bang!
Recipe via Air Fryer Express by George Georgievski, Published by Plum, RRP $26.99, Photography by Nikole Ramsay.