Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Bowl

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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:

serves 4


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

mint leaves

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.




Wandering Chopsticks said...

Great job. You know how I feel about Andrew liking VNese food. ;)

4 tblsp of fish sauce is quite a lot though. Is it very salty? I would only use about 2 tsp to 1 tblsp for 1 lb of meat.

Rita said...

WC - according to Andrew, it is not too salty. I am not sure if it's because there is brown sugar in the marinade, or because it is actually not that much marinade for the amount of meat. It is just enough to coat it. But the sauce is salty, he says, which he likes a lot...

Carla said...

I love this dish, but it's one of those things that I would rather eat at my favorite noodle joint. But now I am curious. What kind of rice noodle did you buy?

Not Another Omnivore said...

I've seen a lot of Vietnamese food popping up lately and I've never tried any of it...although I'm also getting a hunch I am limited by being vegan. In any case, your photos are absolutely beautiful as always!


Anonymous said...

Yum Rita! I love Vietnamese noodle soup. I also like to add a little siracha sauce to the bowl for that little bit of kick. Thanks for sharing! :)

test it comm said...

Great looking beef noodle bowl. It looks nice and fresh and good.

Rita said...

Carla - The label says rice stick, they are like small rice vermicelli noodles. I used to think like you too, but after moving to Seattle we couldn't find a good Viet Restaurant nearby so I started making my own. It's easier than it seems.

NAOmni - I always find vegetarian options at Vietnamese restaurants, I am not a vegan though.

Des - Humm, that's too much kick for me, but Andrew likes that too.

Kevin - thanks, I thinks it's quite a fresh meal.

White on Rice Couple said...

Ahhh, Bun bo nuong! One of my favorite Viet dishes. Well done, Rita. And the pics are beautiful, too. Todd.

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Vietnamese is one of my favorite types of cuisine, I love how they add basil to their dishes, adds that fresh kick!

Rita said...

Todd - thanks for the Viet name translation!

{lovely little things} - it's one our faves too.

Jim said...

Just tried this recipe tonight. YUM!!!

I love going out for korean/vietnamese noodles but we don't have a restaurant anywhere in the area. This hit the spot. What a treat.


Anonymous said...

Made this tonight!!! Thanks for the recipe.... my whole family loved it!!!

Anonymous said...

I like to add julienned english cucumbers to my noodle bowls along with the vegetables you mentioned. Delicious.

gokellyjo said...

My son and I made this dish together and we LOVED it. Even my finicky husband enjoyed it!!!! 5 stars!!!!

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