I like to think that person who created stir-fry was a busy parent. It really is the perfect meal for a crazy, running-the-kids-to-and-fro kind of night.
We had this for dinner on one of our crazy evenings, and it reminded me that I need to make stir fries more often. The meat and veggies in this version could easily be substituted with other things I have hanging out in my fridge. Gotta love a meal that’s easily adaptable.
Instead of serving this one over rice, it incorporates some fun, chewy, cellophane noodles into the mix.
Cellophane noodles don’t boil for a while on the stove like pasta. You bring some water to a boil, remove the water from the heat, put the noodles in the pot, and let them sit in the warm water to soften up for a few minutes.
When they were softened, I drained the noodles, tossed them with a dab of canola oil and then laid them out on a few sheets of paper towels while I finished slicing up my veggies.
After the veggies, I thinly sliced up a half of a pound of flank steak.
Once that was done, I mixed together my sauce, which was a concoction of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and brown sugar.
Then, I was ready to cook!
This meal comes together so quickly that I didn’t even have time to get decent pictures of the process!
Just trust me, it’s easy. The prep time takes longer than the cook time, but not much longer. One thing sizzles in the pan and then you add the next, and the next, and then…it’s done. This meal goes from the cutting board to the dinner table in about ten minutes!
Let’s hear it for the busy Chinese mom who may have started it all!
STIR FRIED NOODLES WITH BEEF AND VEGETABLES
Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 3 oz. bean threads (cellophane noodles)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 lb. flank steak
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small zucchini, halved and sliced thinly, crosswise, into half-moons
- 1 cup matchstick cut carrots (1-2 carrots, depending on the size)
- 1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise into half circles
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Bring a 3-quart pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and remove from the heat. Let the noodles sit until they have just softened, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse well under cool water. Toss with 1 Tbsp. of the canola oil, and spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and brown sugar. Set aside.
- Trim the beef of excess fat, and then slice it thinly across the grain. Cut the slices into 2-inch pieces. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
- In a 12-inch nonstick skillet or large stir-fry pan, heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the canola oil over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering.
- Add the beef and cook, stirring, until it loses most of its “pink”, about 1 minute. Transfer the meat to a plate.
- Add the remaining oil (1 1/2 Tbsp.) and the zucchini, onion, and carrot to the pan. Cook, stirring, until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the beef and the noodles. Stir to combine.
- Stir the sauce mixture and drizzle it over the noodles in the pan. Cook, tossing the mixture, until everything is evenly coated with the sauce and the veggies are cooked through, about 3 more minutes.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately, topped with the sesame seeds.