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By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

A bright and zingy dressing, handfuls of herbs and crunchy peanuts pack loads of flavour into simple, easy-to-cook noodles. If you can only find salted peanuts, rinse the salt off and pat them dry. When it comes to the fresh herbs, the mints pretty much a must; the other two are desirable but optional.

+ Ingredients

75g raw or roasted unsalted peanuts
200g fine egg noodles or Thai rice noodles
150g French beans or mangetout, or a combination
½ cucumber
6 spring onions, trimmed
About 12 basil leaves (ideally Thai), roughly torn
A small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
A small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime, or ½ lemon
½“1 small red chilli, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

½ teaspoon soy sauce, plus extra to serve

+ Method

If using raw peanuts, roast on a tray in the oven (at 180°C/Gas Mark 4) for 8“10 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool, then bash lightly to break them up a bit.

For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and rinse under the cold tap. Add to the dressing and toss until well coated. Leave to cool completely in the dressing.

Cook the beans and/or mangetout in a pan of lightly salted boiling water till just tender and still a bit crunchy, 3“5 minutes for beans, 2“3 minutes for mangetout. Drain, refresh in cold water and drain well.

Halve the cucumber lengthways and slice thinly. Finely cut the spring onions on the diagonal.

Toss the cooled noodles with the peanuts, cucumber, spring onions, beans and/or mangetout and herbs.

Serve with soy sauce on the side, for everyone to help themselves.