Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Oodles of Noodles of Rice

Tagliatelle di Riso con Peperone, Macinato di Manzo & Menta
Rice Noodles with Peppers, Mint & Beef

There was no real rhyme or reason to me picking up the bag of rice noodles as Mrs. Wongs stall at the market hall on Saturday. It was not as if I had any kind of plan in particular... and yet this evening, I found myself a little short on time (as ever!), very hungry... and with a small amount of ground beef left over from yesterday evening... The outcome of course was inevitable!

I improvised this dish on the Thai glass-noodle salad that my dear old friend Mrs. Müller taught me, many moons ago. I taught her how to make lasagne- she taught me the yummy, minty noodle dish that has become a great favorite in my family and a good time was had by all! But still, this evening, I decided to make a dish with similar flavors, but one to enjoy warm... and you know what? I think she may even have approved!

This was the first time I had ever prepared these wide rice noodles and I am glad I read the instructions... and followed them for that matter! These are a little different to prepare to regular noodles as you need to soak them in water for 10 minutes before boiling. I suppose this is in order for them to soften up a little and to give off some of their starch, so that they do not stick together so much or so easily. The other thing is that once they have soaked for 10 minutes or so, the cooking time is much, much less than with regular noodles and they were done in just 2 minutes or so! Amazing!

And as for the other ingredients- of course 10 minutes is plenty to get those ready too! Turn the heat on that frying pan, get it nice and hot- and I will tell you everything you need to know so you can get cracking!

The first thing into the pan is of course the ground meat- I didn't add any oil as of course the meat has plenty of it's own. Once it was sizzling away, I added a little finely chopped garlic and ginger, a sliced Spring onion and some finely sliced red pepper. And whilst that was then sizzling, I chopped up both a handful of fresh mint and coriander very finely and added that too. I seasoned with fish sauce, soy sauce, the juice of a whole lime, a half teaspoon of 5 spice powder and a little tamarind paste. These all went into the pan, were stirred in well and then in went the noodles, right on top!

I flipped the noodles a couple of times so as to get them well coated and added a little sesame oil, just for the flavor. Flipping the noodles is a good thing if you can do it- they do tend to be a little softer than other noodles and do not stand up well to stirring, but as soon as all of the ingredients had been equally integrated, it was ready to plate up and serve!

A light sprinkle of sesame seed was a nice finishing touch, although some chopped salted peanuts would have been better! But- you use what you've got, right? And I hope you've got some of these yummy noodles at home too- so you can try it for yourselves!

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