THAI CRISPY NOODLES WITH BEEF

Rice vermicelli are very fine, dry, white noodles bundled in large fragile loops and sold in packets. They are deep-fried before being added to this dish, and in the process they expand to at least four times their original size.

SERVES FOUR
INGREDIENTS
  • about 450 g / 1 lb rump (round) or sirloin steak
  • teriyaki sauce, for sprinkling
  • 175 g / 6 oz rice vermicelli
  • groundnut (peanut) oil for deep-frying and stir-frying
  • 8 spring onions (scallions), diagonally sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4-5 carrots, cut into julienne strips
  • 1-2 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
  • 2 small courgettes (zucchini), diagonally sliced
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp grated fresh root ginger
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp white or yellow rice vinegar
  • 90 ml / 6 tbsp light soy sauce
  • about 475 ml / 16 fl oz / 2 cups spicy stock
COOK'S TIP
As soon as you add the meat mixture to the noodles, they will soften. If you wish to keep a few crispy noodles, stir some to the surface so they do not come into contact with the hot liquid.
  1. Using a meat mallet or the side of a rolling pin, beat out the steak, if necessary, to about 2.5 cm / 1 in thick. Place in a shallow dish, brush generously with the teriyaki sauce, and set aside for 2-4 hours to marinate.
  2. Separate the rice vermicelli into manageable loops and spread several layers of kitchen paper on a very large plate. Pour the oil into a large wok to depth of about 5 cm / 2 in, and heat until a strand of vermicelli cooks as soon as it is lowered into the oil.
  3. Carefully add a loop of rice vermicelli to the oil. It should immediately expand and become opaque. Turn the noodles over so that the strands cook on both sides, and then transfer the cooked noodles to the prepared plate to drain. Repeat the process until all the noodles have been cooked. Transfer the cooked rice vermicelli to a separate wok or a deep serving bowl and keep them warm while you are cooking the steak and vegetables.
  4. Strain the oil from the wok into a heatproof bowl and set it aside. Heat 15 ml / 1 tbsp groundnut oil in the clean wok. When it sizzles, cook the steak for about 30 seconds on each side until browned. Transfer to a board and cut into thick slices. The meat should be well browned on the outside but still pink inside. Set aside.
  5. Add a little extra oil to the wok and stir-fry the spring onions, garlic, and carrots over a medium heat for about 5-6 minutes until the carrots are slightly soft and glazed. Add the chillies, courgettes, and ginger and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes more.
  6. Stir in the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and stock. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the steak and cook for a further 1-2 minutes (or longer, if you prefer your meat well done).
  7. Pour the steak, vegetables, and all the mixture over the noodles, and toss lightly and carefully to mix, then serve.
Thai Crispy Noodles with Beef