You, like Duncan, may be a fan of Pot Noodle. We’re not saying that they’re pots of tasteless sludge, but if you’ve never experienced the wonder and variety of an instant noodle aisle in a Chinese supermarket, then you really haven’t lived. In Grief Angels, Owen helps broaden Duncan’s culinary horizons and solidifies their friendship by introducing him to a hot and spicy bowl of noodly goodness. We’re going to take things to the next level and show you how to transform a simple pack of instant noodles in to a vibrant (and cheap!) dinner.
A packet of instant noodles
1 large egg
3-4 cabbage leaves
1 red pepper
1 spring onion
1 Bird’s-eye chilli
1 tbsp of peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1-2 tbsp water
1 clove of garlic
1cm of ginger
1tsp sesame seeds
Start by making the ramen egg. These are great as a quick snack and even better floating in a ramen broth. In a re-sealable sandwich bag mix the soy, mirin and water. This recipe is for a quick 1-hour marinade, but if you want to leave it overnight then add a couple more tablespoons of water and taste to test the saltiness.
Bring a pan of water to the boil. There should be enough water to cover the egg.
Lower the egg into the boiling water, make sure to do this gently so the eggshell doesn’t crack. Reduce the flame so the water is simmering. Cook for 7 minutes to achieve a custard-like yolk.
While the egg is cooking, prepare an ice bath with ice and water in a bowl. The water needs to be deep enough to cover the egg.
When the egg is cooked, remove from the pan and submerge in the ice bath so it stops cooking immediately. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
Peel the egg gently and add to the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for an hour. Remember to remove from the fridge just before cooking your noodle dish so it’s not too cold.
Roughly chop the garlic, ginger and as much or as little of the chilli as you like.
Heat a little oil in a pan over a small flame and add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the pan.
Finely slice the carrot, cabbage and red pepper. (The great thing about customising your instant noodles is that you can use whatever you have in the fridge. Frozen peas, sweetcorn, pak choi, green beans, sugar snap peas and broccoli all make great additions.)
When the garlic has fried to a light golden colour, add the vegetables, increase the flame to a medium heat and stir fry gently for 30 seconds to a minute, so the vegetables retain a satisfying crunch.
Boil the kettle. Open your packet of instant noodles. Remove the noodles and place them in a deep soup bowl. Once boiled, poor the water over the noodles to fill the bowl. Depending on what brand of noodles you’ve bought, you’ll have sachets of broth stock and oil flavouring. If the oil provided is spicy, you may want to leave it out as we’ll be adding fresh chilli to our noodles. Stir to mix in the stock and break apart the noodles as they cook.
Add the vegetables to the bowl. Slice the ramen egg in half and place on top.
For a richer broth, stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter. Garnish with chopped spring onion and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
by David Owen
'Not many YA writers can combine authenticity with such tenderness, so raw at times it's painful. A unique premise told beautifully' Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies (via Instagram)
'A truly extraordinary and original book. Utterly gobsmackingly brilliant. I felt elated, heartbroken and uplifted by the beauty of it. Raw and written from the heart, it's a phenomenal read' Liz Hyder, author of Bearmouth
'A powerful meditation on grief and friendship' The i newspaper
15-year-old Owen Marlow is experiencing a great, disorienting loss after his father suddenly passed away and his mother moved them to a new town. None of his old friends knew how to confront his grief, so he's given up on trying to make new ones. There is one guy at school who might prove to be different if he gives him a chance but lately, Owen has been overwhelmed by his sadness. He's started to have strange, powerful hallucinations of skeletal birds circling above him. Owen tells himself that these visions are just his brain's way of trying to cope - until one night, the birds descend and take him to an otherworldly forest. There, he is asked to go on a dangerous journey that promises to bring him the understanding he so desperately seeks - if he can survive it.
Grief Angels is an urgent and heartfelt look at the power of nostalgia and the many different forms of grief. It's about young men learning how to share their stories, and teens discovering who they are, and who they might one day become.