So called because the first thing everyone says when they see it is, “ooh yeah!” This easy noodle stir-fry makes for a delicious transition into summer. I love it hot out of the wok in the evenings or more salad-style for lunch. It’s a delicious one to serve at gatherings and alongside BBQ offerings, but a one-pot wonder just as it is. This recipe was inspired by Filippino pancit — the quick, veg-packed noodle dish classic that’s a must-eat on birthdays where the noodles represent long life. Nick and I default to this dish a lot.

It’s texture heaven with the slippery noodles and crunchy veg. All the veggies are lightly cooked, which makes them much easier to digest than a raw salad, and easy enough to spoon and munch as you would a comforting couscous dish. Sometimes Nick and I keep it veggie, sometimes we add some flaked smoked mackerel or sustainably sourced tuna in extra virgin olive oil. Classic pancit noodles are very fine rice noodles or mung noodles (also known as crystal noodles) — the kind you get in spring rolls. In Asian cuisine, they are all known as “vermicelli.”

Emptying the contents of fresh fridge odds and ends, coupled with some easy-use staples like cupboard condiments and noodles that rehydrate in minutes, means a tasty meal that’s good enough for entertaining and comes together in a cinch. Be inventive with your dish and don’t be afraid to throw in alternatives. Any fresh herbs will do, as will any type of cabbage and any type of noodle. Happy “oooh yeah” cooking to you!



Serves 2

  • 100g mung bean or rice noodles/vermicelli (dry weight)

  • 1 medium red onion or leek, finely sliced

  • 1 medium carrot, grated

  • 1 mini gem lettuce, sliced into ribbons

  • Large handful (approx. 100g) cabbage, sliced into ribbons

  • 1 tin (160g) sustainably sourced tuna in organic extra virgin olive oil, drained, or smoked mackerel (leave out for veggie version)

  • 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil

  • Juice of 1- 2 lemons or limes

  • 1 tsp olive tapenade (or try chopped olives, capers or jalapenos for some heat)

  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard

  • Large handful (100g) peas

  • Splash (2 tsp) tamari

  • Splash (1½ tsp) fish sauce*

  • Large handful coriander, roughly chopped

  • Handful dill, roughly chopped

  • Good grind of black pepper


  1. Prepare your noodles as per the packet instructions. Usually this means letting them soak in hot water and drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a wok to a medium high heat and add the ghee.

  3. Sauté the sliced onion and grated carrot for 2 -3 minutes or until softened.

  4. Add the cabbage ribbons, tapenade, mustard, tamari and fish sauce. Mix and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly.

  5. Add the peas and mini gem. Sauté for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly.

  6. Reduce the heat and add in the cooked, drained noodles, flaked fish if using, black pepper and lemon juice.

  7. Drizzle in some of the extra virgin olive oil from the tuna or a good glug of extra virgin olive oil and toss together to combine all ingredients.

  8. Add half of the fresh coriander and dill and toss again. Garnish with the remaining herbs, and serve with some lemon or lime wedges.

East by West tips:

  • *Leave out for a vegan version, or add sriracha for some extra spice.

  • This dish is also delicious served with marinated and pan-fried tempeh — see page 127 in East by West for a how-to.

  • Turn this into a slurpy soup by adding hot bone broth or veg broth to serve and adjusting seasoning to taste.