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


Serves 4


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………

Lime Leaf Chicken with Coconut, Ginger and Snow Pea Rice