I mentioned before that Andrew loves Vietnamese food, and even though this type of cuisine is fairly new to me, I try my best to learn a few dishes to cook for him. This noodle bowl is one of his favourites, and it's much easier to make than the Vietnamese summer rolls, another favourite of his. I believe the main flavour comes from the beef marinade which is a mixture of lemongrass, garlic, sugar and fish sauce.
The meat I use varies, sometimes it can be thin cuts of beef I find at my local supermarket or a sirloin steak that is thinly sliced across the grain. For the dish pictured on this post I used sukiyaki meat, normally found at Asian markets, they are marbled beef slices that cook very fast because they are so thin.
Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Bowl Recipe:
For the noodles:
8 oz of rice noodles
1/4 cup of canola oil
4 tablespoons of chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, chopped
Cook the noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the scallions and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, be careful not to burn the garlic. Toss the noodles in this oil mixture and divide into bowls.
For the beef:
If you are using thinly sliced meat, it's best to stir-fry them quickly using a wok or skillet. If using a piece of meat such as a sirloin, grill it and then slice it thin across the grain.
1 piece of lemongrass, about 10 inches long (the amount sold in herb-like packages)
2 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon of canola oil
4 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 lb of meat (see note above)
cooking spray or vegetable oil
Place all ingredients except the beef in the food processor and pulse until lemongrass is finely chopped and mixture looks combined. Pour marinade into a plastic resalable bag or a baking dish, add the beef, making sure it's well coated by the marinade. Let stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 4 hours in the fridge.
Heat a wok or a large skillet over high heat and spray with cooking oil or add a little bit of oil and cook the beef, moving it around the wok or skillet until it's browned and cooked though. This should be quick, since the meat is very thin. ( If using sirloin, grill meat and then slice it across the grain)
Top each noodle blow with a portion of the beef.
For the sauce:
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of fish sauce
3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice or vinegar
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 small dried or fresh red chiles
Mix all ingredients well and serve alongside the noodles.
Toppings: use any one of these, according to your taste
dry roasted peanuts, crushed
basil leaves (Thai or regular)
carrots, shredded or julienne
Napa cabbage, shredded
If you have spring rolls at home, such as frozen ones, you can cook them, cut in half and add to the noodle bowls as well.
I am submitting this recipe for this round of Weekend Wokking, an event created by Wandering Chopsticks that features a different secret ingredient every month. This month's host is Palachinka and the secret ingredient is beef.