Vegan Sichuan Carrot Noodles
350ml Grapeseed Oil
3 Star Anise
1 Cinnamon Stick
3 tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled
50g Sichuan Chilli Flakes
2 tsp Sesame Seeds
½ tsp Salt
400g Carrots, blitzed to a crumb
2 Leeks, finely sliced
2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
2 tsp Shaoxing Wine
1 tsp Dark Soy
½ tsp Five Spice
2 tbsp Chilli Oil from above
4 tbsp Tahini
4 tbsp Dark Soy
4 tbsp Maple syrup
½ tsp Five Spice
250g Dried Egg Noodles, cooked
Lime Wedges, Spring Onions, Dried Carrot, Salted Peanuts to serve
1. Begin with the chilli oil. Place all the ingredients, apart from the chilli flakes, sesame seeds and salt into a saucepan and heat to 100-110C. You dot want the heat too high or the garlic will singe and turn bitter. Heat for 20 minutes to infuse the flavours into the oil.
2. Pour the aromatic oil through a sieve onto the chilli flakes and sesame seeds. Add the salt and allow to cool before decanting into a jar.
3. Add 2tbsp of this oil to a frying pan and add the carrot. Cook for about 10 minutes, until dry and beginning to crisp. Set this aside whilst you cook the leeks in the same way.
4. Once cooked, add the carrots back into the leeks along with the remaining ingredients (not the spinach). Cook for 2-3 minutes or until combined and aromatic. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
5. Add the spinach to the same pan and cook until wilted.
6. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl, along with a dash of the noodle cooking water if a little thick.
7. To serve, divide the sauce between 4 bowls and top each with ¼ of the cooked noodles.
8. On top, divide the carrot mixture and the spinach and drizzle over as much chilli oil as you like.
9. Serve garnished with spring onion, salted peanuts, carrot crisps and lime wedges for squeezing.