Tag Archives: rice noodles

Simplified Vietnamese-Style Beef Noodle Soup

Vietnamese food is one of my favorite cuisines.  I love the fresh flavors and the complexity of all the ingredients.  The little details are wonderful.  One signature dish is phó, a traditional soup full of flavor.  There are many ingredients in the traditional versions and one of these days, I plan take the time to do it up right.  This night, however, I was working with the fridge and pantry I had on hand, a short period of time and the inspiration of a beautiful dish.

While this is not a traditional recipe, this faux phó hits some of the high notes and comes together in no time for a simplified Asian-ish homey noodle soup that is wonderful no matter what the season or time of day.  If I had had bean sprouts I would have put a little bunch on top, but alas, I did not.  I made do with thinly sliced red bell pepper and the little cool crunch was just right.

Simplified Vietnamese-Style Beef Noodle Soup

Simplified Vietnamese-Style Beef Noodle Soup

Simplified Vietnamese-Style Beef Noodle Soup

8 oz. sirloin, sliced very thinly across the grain
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
6 cups beef broth
6 oz. rice noodles
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1/2 cup green onion
1 tsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. fish sauce
Red pepper matchsticks and/or bean sprouts for garnish

In a soup pot heat sesame oil over medium high heat.  Add sliced sirloin and crushed red pepper.  Stir fry until beef is browned.  Add mushrooms and carrot and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, place noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over them.  Let them soak for about 5-10 minutes until soft.

Add beef broth, fish sauce, and lime juice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add noodles and green onion.  Simmer another few minutes.  Adjust seasoning if needed.  Ladle into bowls and top with peppers and/or sprouts.

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Spicy Thai Noodles with Spring Veggies

If I owned a grocery store, I would stock latex gloves next to the fresh chile peppers.  Why?  Because I ALWAYS forget to buy them when I’m grocery shopping, and I always wish I had them when my fingers are stinging and I’ve forgotten I shouldn’t rub my eyes after chopping peppers.  Someday I will learn my lesson and buy a case to have on hand at all times.

But until then, stinging fingers and eyes are just part of the sacrifice I’m willing to make for delicious spicy food.  This is a zippy, fresh tasting recipe that makes the most of spring vegetables available right now.  I love how the cold rice noodles are balanced by the hot, spicy stir-fried veggies.  If you are not a fan of spicy food, you can use less (or leave out) the fresh chiles.

Spicy Thai Noodles with Spring Veggies.
(And teenage boy fingers snatching noodles!)

Spicy Thai Noodles with Spring Veggies
(adapted from Cooking Light) 

7 oz. (1/2 package) flat rice noodles
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. walnut oil (or peanut oil)
1 1/2 tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 serrano or Thai chiles, finely chopped (use less if you don’t like it spicy)
2 cups snow peas
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (or more) unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

To cook noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Remove from heat and submerge noodles.  Let sit in the hot water for about 10 minutes until tender.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Place in a large serving bowl.  Add radishes, green onions, basil, cilantro, mint, lime juice and fish sauce.  Toss.

In a large skillet, heat walnut or peanut oil over medium-low heat.  Add garlic, ginger and chiles.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.  Increase heat to medium, add veggies and salt to pan.  Continue to cook and stir about 3-4 minutes, until veggies are crisp-tender.  Add to noodle mixture, toss well to combine.  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

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