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Yummy Spicy Rice Noodles

By Mary McCartney

Mary McCartney is a great photographer, and that is the capacity in which I originally met her. But later I discovered that she is also a really wonderful cook, one with a brilliant vegetarian cook book, called Food, which sits proudly on my bookshelf.
This fresh recipe is from it. It’s lovely.

Photography by Mary McCartney

This noodle dish is totally moreish. It’s spicy, peanut-y and irresistible as either lunch or dinner. If I have friends round for dinner I like to serve the Corn Fritters (see p.82) as a starter and then the Coconut Rice Pudding with Chocolate Sauce (see p.206) for dessert. The main thing is to not to overcook the rice noodles as they will get heated again when you warm all the ingredients together at the end.

Recipe taken from Food by Mary McCartney

  • Serves: 4-6


For the sauce

  • 3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons chilli jam or 4 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • 300ml heated vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy or Tamari sauce
  • 6 tablespoons coconut milk

For the noodles and vegetables

  • 3 bundles flat rice noodles, approx 400g
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil, plus more for the noodles
  • 125g baby sweetcorn, or 150g tinned or frozen sweetcorn
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 125g green beans, chopped
  • 150g broccoli, broken into small florets
  • chopped peanuts and coriander to sprinkle on top when serving (optional)


  1. Put all your sauce ingredients in to a mixing jug, and mix together well, so that the heated vegetable stock softens the ingredients together. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. Cook the rice noodles following the packet instructions (but maybe a minute less than they suggest), then drain them in a colander and toss them in a little sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together. You do not want the noodles too soft, but still al dente, as they will be heated again in the vegetables and sauce at the end.
  3. To prepare the vegetables, heat the 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large frying pan with deep sides (or a wok or big saucepan). Stir-fry all the vegetables together with the garlic for about 3 minutes on a medium to high heat.
  4. Pour the sauce onto the vegetables in their pan and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through but still have a good bite to them and are not too soft.
  5. Now stir in the cooked rice noodles. Mix together well and heat through. I serve this hot, and sometimes garnished with chopped peanuts and chopped coriander.

Mary McCartney Born in London in 1969, Mary McCartney grew up with a love of photography and vegetarian cooking, working with her mother on a range of vegetarian cookbooks and consulting on the brand for Linda McCartney Foods. In 2009, Mary co-founded Meat Free Mondays, a drive for awareness on meat consumption and its impact on the climate. In 2012, Mary combined her photographic expertise with her lifelong love of vegetarian cooking to create her internationally acclaimed book ‘FOOD: Vegetarian Home Cooking’. Inspired by Mary’s relaxed cooking style and her passion for fresh, flavourful and family-friendly recipes, FOOD captures the warmth and simplicity of vegetarian cooking and has lead to Mary’s recipes being featured in Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and Red Magazine as well as appearances on Good Morning America, The View and The One Show. Mary is currently working on her second cookbook ‘At My Table’; a personal journey travelling through her own food memories to capture vegetarian recipes that vividly bring back specific celebrations, social gatherings and eating with friends.