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Cold Asian noodles with beef

Random funny story of the day:

I was making a layered Mexican dip the other day, and I since the dip was for Stephen and his friends, I asked if he thought sliced green onions would be good on top. He said nah… a few seconds later, he says something like “Oh, what about some of those chives in the fridge? That would be really good!” That would be the green onions

(No husbands were harmed in the making of this joke. Stephen thought it was hilarious when I told him he was actually thinking of the green onions.)

Anyway…

I have a level of deep love for cold Asian noodles that Stephen would call abnormal. And sometimes he does. But that’s ok, because whenever I make it, it means more for me. Room temperature or cold Asian noodles make my heart sing.

I made this recipe (inspired by this) for dinner one night when Stephen wasn’t there and then ate it for lunch for over a week. It was glorious. And that’s coming from me, the person who can barely stand eating leftovers more than once. I have by no means mastered Asian cooking (or even Asian noodle cooking, for that matter) but this recipe works for me and my noodle cravings.

Ingredients

Supposedly this is awesome with medium-rare sliced sirloin. I, however, do not keep spare sirloin steaks in my refrigerator for noodle purposes. I keep sell-it-before-it-goes bad clearance-sale super-thin-cut beef ¬†in the freezer. Sometimes. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. Or something.

  • A few pieces of very thin-cut steak (we’re talking like less than 1/4 inch thick, maybe even 1/8 inch, as you can see in the picture)
  • Salt
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (I use the Great Value low-sodium stuff. Classy.)
  • 3 Tbs sesame oil (Please do not think you just need oil for oil’s sake and use something else. Sesame oil has a distinct Asian taste, and as much as I substitute ingredients for everything, there is no replacement for sesame oil.)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot chili oil (or a little more if you like your lips to tingle. Or a little less if you have wimpy¬†delicate tastebuds.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (insert love song for my garlic press)
  • a small sprinkle of powdered ginger (I am not a fan of strong ginger flavors, so you may want to add more if that’s your thing.)
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 pack (about 8 oz?) of thin spaghetti or rice noodles (though if you don’t want it totally doused in sauce, you can use the full pack and get a lighter flavor)
  • fresh cilantro

Please keep in mind that these are guesses at measurement. I ended up with a ton of noodles last time I made this, so I might have doubled the amount of noodles that time. Or just added extra chili oil. I can’t remember. Obviously you can play around with the proportions and measurements and it will turn out just fine.

Directions

It comes together pretty quickly, but it’s much better if it sits in the refrigerator for at least a few hours.

  1. Salt both sides of the thin steak and “grill” it quickly on a skillet with medium-high or high heat. If it’s as thin-cut as the one I used, you want to flip it over as soon as the surface is brown, and then take it off as soon as the other side is brown too. You don’t want it to get tough. Set it aside to cool.
  2. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, chili oil, garlic, ginger and brown sugar in a bowl.
  3. Put the meat in a plastic bag along with a few tablespoons of the oil mixture and zip to seal. Shake it up a little bit and let it sit in the refrigerator for a while so the flavors can mix.
  4. Cook the pasta, drain, and place in a bowl. Pour the rest of the dressing over the noodles and toss with green onions. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to cool and let the flavors mix and mingle. I like my flavors to be sociable.
  5. To serve, toss the noodles with cilantro and place some in a bowl. Cut the meat into thin strips and place some on top of the noodles.
  6. Eat with chopsticks. It tastes better that way. Unless you’re not good with chopsticks, in which case the bitter taste of defeat might in fact make the noodles worse instead of better.

I like to let it come to room temperature before eating it because I think the flavors come out better that way, but it’s good straight from the fridge too.

Mmmm….

Spicy beef noodles

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