Sweet noodles in coconut milk

OK, so I was shopping and I saw this packet of Asian noodles, all in different colours. This, to us, is the sort of thing you buy and then find out how to cook. I bought it. Now, what’s interesting about these noodles – apart from their cheerful vegetable-based colouring – is that they are presented in the form of little nests, ideal for making individual portions. The hardest part of this dead easy recipe is keeping them that way.

Sweet noodles in coconut milk

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 6 coloured noodle nests
  • 4/5 tsp sugar
  • Just enough water for cooking
  • Flavouring: whatever you fancy – rosewater, orange-flower water, saffron, cardamom…
  • 1 small pack of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Fresh or tinned fruit, ice cream to garnish (optional)


  1. Bring water to boil in a medium-sized pan, add sugar and flavouring (if using a spice that needs time to infuse). Reduce to a light syrup. There should be just enough liquid remaining to cook the noodles, if that. Don’t forget you’ll be using the coconut milk as well and you don’t want the final result to be mushy.
  2. Talking of the coconut milk, mix it with the honey.
  3. Once the syrup is ready, add the flavouring if delicate, like rosewater or saffron, and the noodles. Cook gently, taking care that the noodles don’t stick to the pan or start to dry out again. This will only take a few minutes.
  4. Once the noodles are ready, remove from heat, pour away any remaining syrup and cover the noodles sparingly with the coconut milk mixture. Cook very gently until the noodles have absorbed as much as possible.
  5. Serve by placing each noodle nest in its own dish, garnish to taste with the fruit, ice cream or otherwise dessert-worthy topping of your choice. Eat.

  • If you’re cooking different colours of noodle at the same time, use separate pans or the colours will mix and spoil the effect.
  • If you can only find plain, uncoloured noodles you could always add some blue-coloured tapioca to the recipe and call it Blue String Pudding.
  • You can, if you insist, try this recipe with pasta. I find the result too stodgy and floury.


Go on, bother me. You know you want to.

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