Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tangy Bean Thread Noodles with Cilantro and Lime

Bean thread noodles are what I buy by accident when what I really meant to buy were rice stick noodles.  So they tend to accumulate in the back of my pantry.  Quick and Easy Thai is one of my favorite cookbooks, but I tend to make the same handful of recipes over and over.  I was cleaning out my pantry and found yet another bag of neglected bean thread noodles and found something to make with them.  This dish was pretty quick to make, except for the 1,000 years it takes to prep the cilantro.  I don't like the stems very much so I end up having to take all the leaves off and it takes forever.  I know I should attempt to embrace the stems because it would make my life easier.  But I just can't do it.

We didn't eat this dish as directed.  It's supposed to cool to room temperature.  This was so quick to make because we started dinner late, we were starving, and we wanted to eat ASAP so we could play computer games.  It's also supposed to be eaten with lettuce leaves.  Oops.

That said, the noodles were quite tasty!  They were what I consider to be mildly spicy and what normal human beings would probably consider to be moderately spicy.  The lime juice was significantly more noticeable than I expected.  I figured it would be barely there, maybe the fish sauce helped it out.  I'm definitely going to make them again.  Maybe if I'm not super hungry I'll actually follow the instructions for eating them.
Take note of this artistic presentation.  It'll be all the rage in New York by next week.  

Tangy Bean Thread Noodles with Cilantro and Lime
Supposedly serves 4 but more accurately serves 2 hungry people.  Portion control what?
From Quick and Easy Thai

~ 3.5 ounces dried bean thread noodles or ~3 cups cooked
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped shallots
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
1/4 lb ground pork, beef, chicken, or turkey (I used pork)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (I used the juice of 1 lime, which was about 2.5 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1) Boil some water in a medium pot and drop in the noodles.  Remove from heat and let them cook in the hot water until they are clear and tender, about 1 minute.  Drain, rinse with cold water, then drain again. Spread them horizontally on a cutting board and cut into 2 inch lengths and set aside in a bowl that will eventually be able to hold all the ingredients.

2) In a wok (or medium frying pan), heat the oil over medium heat.  Toss in the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute).  Add the meat and toss well.  Then add fish sauce and soy sauce.  Stir fry until the meat is completely cooked (not very long 1-2 minutes).  Then stir in the noodles and toss until everything is well incorporated.  Put everything in the bowl and let cool to room temperature (or don't, if you're in a hurry).

3) Add the sugar, chili flakes, lime juice, green onions, and cilantro.  Toss well.  Serve in bowls (or on a platter with lettuce leaves if you're feeling fancy).

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