Crunchy beef noodle salad is perfect when you want something light to eat, with an asian influence. There’s practically no cooking involved. It’s really just about chopping up vegetables of your choosing, boiling a pot of water to cook the noodles, and spending 10 minutes frying the mince. When you throw it all together, what you have is a whole bowl of wholesomeness. Who wouldn’t want that?
This is straight out of Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food, although I’ve given it a more colloquial name. “Asian crispy beef brown rice noodles and loadsa salad” is just too much of a mouthful. The original recipe serves 2, so I’ve increased the quantity of beef mince, and the amount of noodles to ensure there’s plenty for 3. Rather than making one big salad, I set out the number of bowls we need and make single servings. It’s an easy way to make sure everyone gets a bit of everything.
I couldn’t recommend this salad highly enough. It’s a great recipe to cook with others too: one person cooks the beef and noodles; two chops the veg; and number three comes along and constructs the bowls, piling one thing on top of the other forming a mountain of goodness to be broken down and mixed together with the dressing. Making the dressing usually falls to person number one as their job finishes first…but who’s counting. Speaking of dressing, the original recipe is very light on the dressing: doubling it works a treat.
When I first made this, it was met with derision (…from one – the one who insists they hate asian flavours, but happily indulges in pad thai). But I’m not one to be put off. My philosophy is: make it every so often, and they’ll start to get used to it until one day, out of the blue, comes a request for crunchy beef. And so its become a firm favourite. Give it a try and tell me what you think. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon unsalted peanuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 5 cm piece of ginger
- sesame oil
- 2 star anise
- 250 g lean beef mince
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 limes
- 250 g brown rice noodles
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced
- fresh salad veg: lettuce, carrot, cucumber, capsicum
- fresh coriander
- Lightly toast the peanuts in a dry frying pan, then crush in a mortar and pestle and set aside. Alternatively buy some roasted crushed peanuts and save yourself the effort.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger, and divide into two piles - one for the beef, one for the dressing.
- Put 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and the star anise into a frying pan on medium heat. Add the mince, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Add half the garlic and ginger and the honey. Stir-fry for 5 minutes or so to crisp up and get golden brown.
- Meanwhile, crush the remaining ginger and garlic into a paste in the mortar and pestle, then add the fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice to make a dressing.
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
- Prepare the spring onions, chilli, carrot, cucumber, and capsicum by finely slicing them.
- Place the broken up lettuce leaves in the bottom of the bowl, add the noodles, then the vegetables. Sprinkle over the crispy beef, chilli, spring onions, crushed peanuts and some coriander leaves.
- Spoon over the dressing, then stir to mix through.