Tuesday November 3, 2009
Chili and Beef Noodle Bowls
Many moons ago, when I was a single 22-year old gal in NYC, I worked around the corner from this magical noodle restaurant. I sprinted there during many a lunch break to enjoy their part Malaysian, part Vietnamese, part Chinese, part Thai, part Japanese cuisine.
Since my love affair with New York has ended, and my love affair with Jay has begun, I’ve only visited the restaurant, REPUBLIC (www.thinknoodles.com) on several dinner dates with friends, but never with Jay. Until the other night.
Our first trip to Republic together began with a few rounds of crisp saki followed by glasses of freshly squeezed watermelon juice (which is unexpectedly delicious). For dinner, Jay ordered their Spicy Beef Broth Noodles, which I frequently leaned across the table to sample myself. As trickles of broth slid down both of our chins, we nodded to each other in mutual agreement: the dish had inspired us to try to create some Asian recipes of our own.
Chili and Beef Noodle Bowls
2 petite beef sirloins
About a quarter cup of veggie oil
1 white onion (1/2 sliced; ½ minced)
7 cloves of garlic
Small bunch of scallions, finely chopped
1-inch piece of ginger root, diced small
Beef broth (32 oz.)
3, 2-inch pieces of lemongrass
A splash of rice wine vinegar
A splash of soy sauce
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
Dry wheat noodles
Freshly cracked pepper
In large pot, bring water to boil (enough for dry wheat noodles). In wok or skillet, sear beef in veggie oil (2 minutes on one side; 1 minute on the flip side). Remove beef from heat and let rest. (If you’re using a different type of beef, just be sure to cook it so that it is very rare.) Add to leftover oil the minced onion, 2 cloves minced garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes and remove from heat. Add to remaining oil all beef broth, a full tablespoon of chili paste, 5 whole cloves of garlic and the lemongrass (before you add the lemongrass, it should be “bruised.” The easiest way to do this is put it on a cutting board and give it a few good whacks with something sturdy, like a frying pan). Bring broth mixture to a boil. Add sliced onion and half of the scallion, 1 1/2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and about a tablespoon of roughly torn cilantro. Add dry wheat noodles to boiling water and cook according to package directions. In large bowls, add cooked noodles, beef, a handful of roughly torn cilantro, a handful of raw bean sprouts, ginger/garlic/scallion mixture and broth. (Note: the noodles will suck up A LOT of the broth. The broth pretty much makes this dish so be sure to add quite a bit of the broth when serving.) Allow the prepared bowls to sit for a few minutes, as the hot broth will continue to cook the beef. Garnish with extra scallions and cilantro.
***Heat can be adjusted according to taste by adding more or less of the chili paste.
****As an entrée, serves one big guy, one small girl and one Tupperware container to take for tomorrow’s lunch.