Dominique Woolf's sticky salmon noodle traybake

Dominique’s Kitchen: 3 Asian-inspired traybake recipes from the winner of The Great Cookbook Challenge

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These three easy, Asian-inspired traybakes promise minimal effort and maximum flavour to solve all mid-week meal woes.

We’ve all been there: a busy day at work has come to an end and you can’t think over the sound of your own stomach rumbling. But the last thing you want to do is spend hours chopping, prepping and stirring – not to mention washing up – before we can get a meal on the table.

Enter, the traybake: the ideal midweek option, simply put all the ingredients into a baking pan and let the oven do the hard work for you. Simple, no fuss and with minimal washing up – what’s not to love?  

And with her debut cookbook, Dominique’s Kitchen, Dominique Woolf is giving us just that. As the winner of Channel 4’s The Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver, Dominique grew up being inspired by her mother’s Thai cooking, leading to her love of food and Asian flavours. But rather than time-consuming recipes calling for mile-long ingredients lists, her recipes set out to keep things simple, promising Thai-inspired flavours with little fuss or effort. 

Dominique’s Kitchen: Easy Everyday Asian-Inspired Food by Dominique Woolf
Dominique’s Kitchen: Easy Everyday Asian-Inspired Food by Dominique Woolf

Helping us to solve all of our mid-week dinner crises, we’ve selected three easy traybake recipes for you to try at home. Each feature just a handful of everyday ingredients that can be picked up from your local supermarket, or that you may even have lurking in the kitchen cupboard already.

First up is Dominique’s Thai green curry chicken traybake. Forget making your own paste and spending an age standing over the hob; with this recipe, you’ll be rewarded with a delicious curry – including rice – with just one pan and next to no hands-on cooking time. 

If you think a stir fry can only be perfected in a wok, think again. Dominique’s sticky salmon noodle traybake achieves the same result – with the addition of delicious, crispy noodles – by letting the oven do the hard work. Plus, as the sauce simply combines three staples, there’s even less prep work and minimal chopping required.

After an easy veggie weeknight meal? Dominique’s sweet potato and black bean curry traybake is the answer. Rather than a pre-made supermarket curry paste, here she uses a combination of fresh ginger, lemongrass and curry powder to guarantee a flavour kick – with the mix of sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes and black beans ensuring that you’re well on your way to your five-a-day. 

  • Thai green curry chicken traybake

    Dominique Woolf's Thai green curry chicken traybake
    Dominique Woolf's Thai green curry chicken traybake

    Dominique says: “Using Thai green curry paste as a flavour base, this easy, flavourful traybake only requires minor input once it goes into the oven. The squeeze of lime lifts the dish and the yoghurt drizzle brings it all together.”

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    • 4 tbsp Thai green curry paste 
    • 300ml water
    • 300ml coconut milk 
    • 2 tsp fish sauce
    • 300g jasmine rice, rinsed well
    • 6–8 chicken thighs (approx. 1kg), skin on, bone in, fat trimmed
    • 200g edamame beans or peas, or a mix

    To serve:

    • 100g natural yoghurt
    • 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce 
    • 1 lime, cut into wedges
    • a handful of coriander
    • chopped red chillies, finely sliced (optional)

    Note: I use Mae Ploy Thai green curry paste (which is spicier than many others), but if you prefer it on the mild side, then add less. Curry pastes do vary in heat so taste and tweak as necessary. If using basmati rice you will need 280g of rice, 400ml of coconut milk and 250ml of water.

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

    Put two tablespoons of the curry paste into a large roasting tray or oven dish (approx. 25cm x 35cm) and gradually mix in the water to loosen. Pour in the coconut milk, add the fish sauce and a couple of pinches of salt, and stir to combine (don’t worry if the coconut milk is lumpy at this point, it will dissolve as it cooks), then mix in the rice.

    Slash each chicken thigh twice, then coat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of curry paste. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt flakes, then place the chicken on top of the rice skin side up and cover the dish with foil.

    Bake for 30 minutes, then discard the foil. Move the chicken to one side while you give the rice a stir, then replace the chicken. Bake for a further 15 minutes, then take the tray out of the oven and mix the edamame beans or peas into the rice. Return to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the rice is done and the chicken is completely cooked through.

    Taste the rice – if you’d like more heat, move the chicken to one side and stir in extra curry paste, to taste (loosen with water first, if needed). Check the seasoning and adjust with salt or fish sauce, if needed.

    If you like a crispier skin, turn the grill to high and grill the whole dish for a minute or two, or until the skin is crispy. Put the yoghurt into a small bowl and stir in the sweet chilli sauce.

    Serve with wedges of lime, sprinkled with chopped coriander and chillies, and with the yoghurt at the table for drizzling.

  • Sticky salmon noodle traybake

    Dominique Woolf's sticky salmon noodle traybake
    Dominique Woolf's sticky salmon noodle traybake

    Dominique says: “If you’re in need of a night off the wok, this all-in-one noodle bake is for you. I confess this is a bit of a cheat’s sauce but it minimizes the chopping and hands-on work, giving you time for a leisurely kitchen clear-up while the oven does its thing. The noodles become delightfully crispy in places and the sweet chilli in the sauce works beautifully with the salmon. An easy, tasty dinner for those days when you don’t fancy ‘cooking’.”

    Serves 2

    Ingredients

    For the sauce:

    • 6 tbsp sweet chilli sauce 
    • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
    • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

    For the traybake:

    • 2 fillets of salmon, skin on
    • 2 portions of pre-cooked medium egg or wheat noodles
    • 1 carrot, cut into thin batons 
    • 1 tbsp sesame oil, preferably toasted
    • 100g sugar snap peas

    To serve:

    • a small handful of coriander, chopped
    • 1 red chilli, finely sliced (optional)
    • ½ a lime, cut into wedges

    Note: This will also work in an oven dish, but you may not have as many crispy noodle bits! Feel free to use dried noodles if that’s what you have – simply cook them while you make the sauce, then rinse and drain.

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

    Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons for later. Add the salmon and coat.

    Tip the noodles into a roasting tray or oven dish and spread out. Add the carrot, then drizzle over the sesame oil and toss to coat. Place in the oven for five minutes.

    Remove the tray, add the sugar snap peas and pour the marinade from the salmon over the noodles. Mix through, then place the salmon on top.

    If the salmon has skin, scrape off any excess marinade and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Return the tray to the oven for 15 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked.

    Drizzle the reserved sauce over the noodles, combine, and serve sprinkled with the coriander and chilli, if desired, with lime wedges on the side.

  • Sweet potato and black bean curry traybake

    Dominique Woolf's sweet potato and black bean curry traybake
    Dominique Woolf's sweet potato and black bean curry traybake

    Dominique says: “Although I’m happy to stand over a hot stove, there are times when I’d rather let the oven do all the work. Ideal for when you’ve got guests over and would prefer to chat rather than cook (definitely my inclination if given the choice!), or when you need a tasty dinner that looks after itself while you negotiate the children’s bedtime.”

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    • 1 stalk of lemongrass
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
    • 1 tbsp grated ginger (approx. 6cm) 
    • 700g sweet potatoes, skin on, cut into approx. 2–3cm pieces
    • 3 tbsp curry powder (whichever heat preferred)
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk 
    • 400ml veg or chicken stock, or water
    • 300g cherry tomatoes
    • 1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained 
    • 75g green beans, halved

    To serve:

    • rice

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

    Prepare the lemongrass. Remove the tough outer leaves and trim off the top end. Bash it with the end of a rolling pin, then chop it as finely as possible.

    Place the lemongrass, onion, garlic and ginger in a large oven dish or tray. Add the sweet potatoes, then sprinkle over the curry powder, cinnamon and one teaspoon of salt. Pour in the coconut milk, then the stock or water, and stir until mixed (don’t worry if the coconut milk is lumpy at this point, it will dissolve as it cooks). The dish will look quite liquidy at this stage but it will reduce and thicken once it cooks. Add the cherry tomatoes, then place in the oven for 30 minutes.

    Take the dish out of the oven and add the black and green beans. Cook for a further 15–20 minutes or so, until the sweet potato is soft. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with rice.

    Dominique’s Kitchen: Easy Everyday Asian-Inspired Food by Dominique Woolf (£20, Penguin Michael Joseph) is out now

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Photography: Richard Clatworthy

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