My exploration of the cookbook Helen’s Asian Kitchen: Easy Asian Noodles continues with this Thai-inspired recipe. I am loving this cookbook!
The recipe calls for 1/2 lb of flank steak but I had this sirloin roast and used it instead.
For the flank stead, cut with the grain along full length of meat into long strips. Then cut long pieces against the grain into 1/8” thick pieces.
Normally I substitute shallots for onions but in this case it called for a sweet onion and I just could not resist.
You will need 1 cup sliced sweet onions (I chopped mine out of habit), 5 oz snow peas, ends snapped off and string removed, 1 cup loosely packed fresh Thai basil/sweet basil leaves and 3 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish.
You will also need 10 oz wide, flat rice noodles, medium to extra large width.
In a medium bowl whisk together cornstarch and wine.
Add to beef, mixing thoroughly.
Mix together in a small bowl 2 tsp Chinese wine or dry sherry, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce (I only had light but do as she says, use dark!), 2 tsp chili-garlic sauce and 2 tsp sugar.
I went light on the chili-garlic sauce which I do not recommend. You will need the 2 tsp. Trust me!
In a large pot of boiling water cook noodles approximately 5 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water.
Set aside to drain again.
In your wok or stir fry pan, heat oil over high heat but not smoking hot. Add garlic and stir until sizzles.
Add beef and stir a few times to separate. Add onions and cook, stirring until beef is partially cooked. About 2 minutes.
Add snow peas and basil. Stir for about 30 seconds.
Sprinkle noodles with some tap water to loosen and add to pan. Add sauce.
Cook together another minute or so until meat is cooked but not dry.
Garnish with cilantro. Or not. A lot of people hate cilantro but I personally think that if you want those true Thai flavours, it is essential.
When Reg and I first started eating this dish, we were not sure if we liked it at first. Some of these flavours are very new to Reg in particular. But then we started to like it. A lot! It is complex, fascinating and quite a roller coaster ride for the taste buds which is what you want with a Thai-inspired dish.
As I mentioned, this dish requires heat. If I had followed the recipe and added more chili sauce, we would have loved it even more. Ditto on the dark soy. You want that dark salty flavour.
Another winner from Helen’s Asian Kitchen: Easy Asian Noodles. Not only was I impressed with the flavours, this dish was so easy to make and I already had most of the ingredients in my pantry. I give it four and a half out of five wooden spoons.