Bring a pan of deep, salted water to the boil, then add 100g of flat rice noodles and turn off the heat. Cover tightly with a lid and leave for five minutes, then drain.
Peel two small carrots into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, then roughly chop the slices. Roughly chop two spring onions, then finely chop a small, hot, red chilli and set aside. Peel and thinly slice two large cloves of garlic. Toast 50g of cashews in a shallow pan in a little oil then remove. Set aside. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok or frying pan then add the garlic, chopped spring onions and chilli and cook over a high heat for a few seconds until golden. Add 240g of shelled, raw prawns and continue cooking over high heat for a couple of minutes until they are pale pink.
Drain the noodles, add them to the pan and continue cooking for a minute. Pour in three tablespoons of light soy and three teaspoons of sesame oil, add a beaten egg and stir. Add two tablespoons of dried shallots (optional) and a handful of coriander. Serves 2.
Success is all in the timing. This is one of the rare occasions I like to get all the chopped ingredients prepared first. The cooking happens quickly and at high temperature. A thin-based pan, ideally a wok, is essential so the ingredients can cook quickly.
Other good things to add: shredded ginger or lemongrass. Fat pork such as belly. Squid, cut thinly into rings. Button mushrooms, halved. Omit the egg if you wish. Finish with fresh mint and a squeeze of lime.
Nigel Slater: 'Finish with fresh mint and a squeeze of lime.' Pictured: his noodles with prawn and egg recipe. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer