Spinach and Rice Noodles

In this quick and healthy light meal, the dried noodles need only to be soaked and require very little cooking. Their texture is such that the spinach flavour, some of the colour and other seasonings are readily absorbed. Unlike egg noodles, rice noodles do not become sticky and gummy when they are moist; this makes it convenient to serve them cold. I add a little sugar to neutralize the iron and salt taste of the spinach.


  • 750 g (1½ lb) fresh spinach
  • 100 g (4 oz) rice noodles, rice vermicelli or rice sticks
  • 1 tablespoon oil, preferably groundnut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chilli oil


Wash the spinach thoroughly. Remove all the stalks, leaving just the leaves.

Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of warm water for 25 minutes. Then drain them in a colander or sieve. If you are using dried egg noodles, cook them for 3–5 minutes in boiling water, drain then immerse in cold water until required.

Heat a wok or large pan to moderate heat and add the oil. Put in the salt and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the spinach leaves and stir-fry for 2 minutes to coat the spinach leaves thoroughly. When the spinach has wilted to about a third of its original size, add the rice noodles, sugar, soy sauce and chilli oil, and continue to stir-fry for another 4 minutes. Transfer the noodles to a plate, and pour off any excess liquid. Serve hot or cold.