Noodle Bowls

 So, I’ve tried a total of 4 new recipes this past week in hopes to bring you something awesome. No such luck. While nothing was bad, nothing was worth a blog post. We had some seared scallops, butternut squash ravioli, chicken tortilla casserole and some no bake breakfast cookies. I say this so you know that I have been working in the kitchen…waiting for some inspiration.

In the meantime, I want to share a delicious recipe from my friend, Jen. (Thank you, Jennifer!) We brought our 2 little ones over to spend time with her, her husband and their 3 little ones. And, all the kids are 6 and under! Bring on the wine….!! She made this recipe and it was a BIG hit with the adults and kids alike. And, the leftovers are an added bonus. The recipe calls for beef, but we had it with chicken and I made it with both when I tried this recipe the following week. It’s a super easy recipe and the thing that takes the most time is preparing and cutting all the yummy veggies you will use. I can’t wait to make again with some goodies from my garden this summer!

LEMONGRASS MARINADE:

  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, outer ends discarded and the rest sliced like a green onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbls Asian Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbls Soy Sauce
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbls Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp sesame oil

NOODLE BOWLS:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs flank steak, Skirt steak or sirloin, sliced in thin strips
  • 1 pkg Thai rice noodles or Vermicilli noodles prepared according to package directions.
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup julienned cucumber
  • Optional items according to your liking:
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, whole or sliced into strips
  • 1/2 cup cilantro or mint leaves, whole or sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
  • 1/4 cup french fried onions

SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 3 Tbls fresh lime juice or vinegar
  • 2 Tbls brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 Tbls Chili Garlic Sauce depending on how hot or mild you like the sauce.

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 drops of hot sauce
  • 1 minced garlic clove

Mix together and add in 1/2 cup water until desired consistency.

First, you are going to marinate the meat for 2-8 hours (I used flank steak and chicken breasts). One thing I learned is that you should not marinate chicken breasts for more than 30-35 minutes, especially when using lime juice as you are with this recipe. So I used 1/2 the marinade on the beef and put the other 1/2 aside until I later marinaded the chicken. The marinade is super yummy! It was the first time I used lemongrass. It has great flavor and aroma and really adds to the dish. The recipe calls to slice the meat before marinating. I did not. The less I have to handle raw meat the better. I did score the meat by making a tic tac toe board on it with a knife. This allows the meat to better absorb your marinade.

Next, prepare your sauce and put in the fridge covered until it’s time to serve. I used 1 TBS of sriracha and it was pretty spicy so be careful on that step.

Next, prepare your veggies. I used all that were listed other than the cilantro or mint. Thought I’d include a couple pictures of how to julienne the carrots and cut basil for those that need a little visual.

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You will julienne the cucumber the same except don’t use the seedy stuff in the middle.

When you are cutting basil, just place the leaves on top of each other. Then, roll like a cigar and slice. Like this:

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Place all your veggies in a big bowl or serving platter.

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Now, is a good time to marinade your chicken and make your peanut sauce. One thing I would do different is to not use a natural peanut butter. I think (unfortunately) a good ol’ regular, like Jiff, would work better for this recipe. You’ve been warned.

I fired up the grill and got the meat cooking. Then cook your noodles according to package directions. I used the wide rice noodles. Once your meat is grilled to your liking, thinly slice (if you haven’t already) and arrange on a platter. Visually, this is very appealing and fun for everyone to dish up their own bowls.

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Start with noodles, then add veggies and meat, add on some peanuts, fried onions and peanut sauce…then add about 1/4 cup of the fish sauce. Yum!

I forgot to take any more pictures after this point. Oops! But, I’ll leave you with a picture of my leftover noodle bowl the next evening. Hope your family enjoys as much as ours!

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