Thai Beef Stir-Fry Noodles
I love it when I can find a cuisine that is naturally gluten-free – some part of the world that has gotten along very well, thank you, without using wheat or its gluten cousins. What’s especially nice is when that cuisine is so varied and flavourful and ancient and highly developed that you cannot possibly become any kind of an expert at making its dishes. Thai cuisine is that way, for me. I am happy just to be able to find flavours that are close or reminiscent of the fantastic food I have had at Thai restaurants right here in Calgary. What helps a great deal in this quest to make something fresh and new and vibrant for dinner is that you can count on several manufacturers to provide some of the real essential flavours in a jar or bottle, taking the load off and letting you create something delicious by adding your own vegetables, meat, and even some shortcuts. Today we made Thai Beef Stir-Fry Noodles – with the help of good old GF-dependable McCormick – whose Thai Kitchen line of seasonings and sauces make this dish taste better than having to guess at how to copy its great flavours.
Thai Beef Stir-Fy Noodles start with slow-cooking regular stewing beef in a mixture of coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, and Thai green curry paste. This can braise slowly in your oven all day, letting the final prep phase be just a matter of minutes – perfect for when work takes you right close to suppertime and there isn’t much time to spare on making dinner. You COULD marinate and slice more expensive cuts and stir-fry them with the vegetables, but slow-cooking stew meat in coconut milk gives you some very tender, rich beef. Here’s how you do it:
- 1 lb. stewing beef
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 3 tbsp. Kikkoman (or other) GF soy sauce. I prefer Kikkoman, as it is not as brazenly salty as some other brands.
- 3 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 can of light coconut milk
- 1 tbsp Thai green curry paste
- 1 pkg Thai noodles – vermicelli, or thicker pad-Thai style. Thai Kitchen makes a great stir-fry noodle.
- 1 pkg frozen assorted vegetables – this is quickest, saving time on chopping and julienning vegetables, but if you have the time, of course you can use fresh. I added about half a cup of peas as well.
- Thai satay peanut sauce, optional, to add if you like the peanut-y kick of flavour.
- Set oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium-sized cast iron or similar heavy skillet (with a lid), sauté the stewing beef in some butter until just browned.
- In a separate small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice and water, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the soy sauce mixture to the beef in the skillet.
- Add one can of light coconut milk, and return the pot to a boil.
- Put the cover on the skillet securely, and put it in the oven. Let it braise there for 2-4 hours, until you are ready to assemble dinner.
- Remove the beef from the oven, and set on the stovetop to simmer.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, and once it does, remove it from the heat and put in the noodles. Let them soak in the hot water according to the package directions – usually 8 minutes will do the trick, shorter if you are using very skinny noodles like vermicelli.. Careful not to let them go longer – they DO get mushy in a hurry.
- While the noodles are softening, put a large frying pan on medium-high heat with the rest of the butter.
- Once the pan is hot, add the vegetables and sauté them for a minute or two.
- Remove the beef from the sauce mixture, and stir into the pan to sauté with the vegetables. Let them caramelize, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes.
- Finally, add all the remaining sauce from the beef skillet. Stir well to distribute it evenly, and remove it from the heat.
- Drain the noodles
Serve the vegetables and beef over the noodles. Add some satay peanut sauce, and Sriracha if you like it spicier. Voila – Thai Beef Stir-Fry Noodles. That should hold you till you can make your way back to a good Thai restaurant…