Cellophane Noodles With Beef

This simple beef stir-fry is flavored with a combination of southeast Asian-style ingredients like Thai sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, fresh cilantro and unsalted peanuts and served over cellophane noodles. Bok Choy, braised in coconut milk (recipe follows) makes a terrific side.

Cellophane Noodles With Beef
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  • Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces cellophane noodles
  • 1 lb boneless strip steak, fat trimmed and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, chopped

Preparation:
Place the sliced steak in a large bowl, add the vegetable oil, minced garlic and grated ginger. Toss to coat thoroughly and set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Rinse, drain thoroughly, cut into manageable lengths and set aside.

Mix the soy sauce, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce and rice vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat a wok or a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tiny amount of oil to the bottom and swirl to coat. Add the beef and stir fry about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until it reaches the desired doneness. You may have to cook the beef in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.

Immediately add the reserved sauce, then add the noodles, tossing them to coat with the sauce. Shut off the heat, add in the bean sprouts and diced scallions and remove to a serving platter. Top with the chopped cilantro and peanuts and serve.

Serves 4 as a main course.

Recipe Notes:
We used Korean sweet potato vermicelli for this dish. In addition to a springy texture, they absorb the flavors from the sauce beautifully. Cellophane noodles made from mung beans would work just as well and may be a bit easier to find.

  • Coconut Braised Baby Bok Choy:
  • 6 baby bok choy
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup regular or low-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Preparation:
Wash the bok choy to remove any grit, separate the leaves and pat dry.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sliced garlic. Cook until garlic begins to soften and turn golden (do not brown).

Add the coconut milk, sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the bok choy and toss to coat with the coconut milk mixture. Continue to cook for about 4 minutes, or until the bok choy is tender. Remove the bok choy to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the coconut milk mixture for a few extra minutes until it thickens and reduces. Pour the sauce over the bok choy and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe Notes:
If you use low-fat coconut milk, you may need to allow a few extra minutes for the sauce to reduce as it tends to be a little thinner than the regular variety.

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