Remember when Stir Fry’s became fashionable? Like back in the late 80’s early 90’s? Prior to that they were definitely a dish that for most people was consumed at the local Chinese/Thai restaurant. For some reason, I recall loading them with 100’s of ingredients and what should have been a simple task, was actually quite a chore. We used to throw everything in the wok at one time, the meat would be undercooked and the veggie’s overcooked and it would come out looking a bit like prison slop. Perhaps that was only me and my lack of understanding on how to actually cook a stir fry but over the years, I truly feel I have mastered the method and the ingredients. Cooking a stir fry is a production line of sorts, albeit an enjoyable one and the end result, particularly of this dish, made me realise just how far I have come. It was bang on.
Prep time: 25 Minutes Marinating time: Minimum 15 Minutes Cooking time: 15 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
Oil for frying (peanut, rice bran, sunflower)
500gm of beef fillet cut into strips (you may use a cheaper cut like rump if you like)
2 stalks of lemongrass, white part only
3cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
4 tbs of fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
11/2 tbs of brown sugar
400gm pack of flat rice stick noodles
150gm of snow peas, tops removed and thinly sliced
3 spring onions, white part sliced into 2cm batons, green part thinly sliced diagonally
1 large carrot, peeled and finely julienned
2 long red chillies (seeds removed optional), thinly sliced
1/2 cup of mint leaves
1/2 cup of Thai basil leaves
1 cup of coriander leaves
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1/2 cup of toasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Place the lemongrass, ginger and garlic in a small food processor and blitz until you have a fine paste. Combine the paste with the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and mix well until the sugar has dissolved. Place half the marinade in a bowl with the beef strips and stir to combine. Set the remaining marinade aside and allow the beef to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
In a small bowl combine the coriander, green spring onion, Thai basil, mint and kaffir lime leaves. Pour over cold water and add a couple of ice cubes. Set aside and drain just before serving.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the rice noodles for approximately 6-8 minutes or until just tender. Drain and run under cold water before adding to the wok at a later stage.
While the noodles are cooking, heat a large wok to nice and hot and add a little oil. Stir fry the beef, in small batches until caramelised (2-3 minutes), stirring continuously and moving around the wok all the time. Repeat with the remaining beef and set aside.
Add a little more oil to the wok and stir fry the white part of the spring onion for approximately 1 minute before adding the snow peas and carrot. Return the beef to the wok and add the noodles, remaining marinade and half of the chilli and then use a couple of large spoons or spatula’s to toss everything together.
To serve, divide the beef and noodles between 4 serving bowls and top with a generous handful of the herb mixture. Scatter over the remaining chilli slices and toasted peanuts and serve.
Leftover Lime Leaves? You might want to cook this………