STIR-FRIED RICE NOODLES + BEEF + SPINACH

The wonders of Asian sauces working well together and producing a great dish were such fun to discover when making this dish from Cooking Light, April 2011. Normally Cooking Light's Asian sauces in these stir-fried types wouldn't have enough sauce or pizzazz that it often came out bland, but such was not the case with this dish. I stayed mostly true to the recipe, skipping the sesame seeds, and it came out quite nicely, and even more than the listed 4 servings. Even though it seemed like too many ingredients, the steps were really easy. Once you readied your mise-en-place, all would fall into place quickly. 

I think next time we may incorporate some wedged tomatoes and broccoli. And you can certainly make this vegetarian but replacing beef with tofu, or even change it to shrimp. On another note, I didn't read the noodle package directions until I was ready to cook it when I realized I had to soak the noodles in cold water for 30 minutes. So dinner was delayed a bit, so make sure you remember this!

GATHER:

  • 6 ounces uncooked wide rice sticks (rice-flour noodles)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil 
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2/3 pound top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips 
  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 (6-ounce) bag washed baby spinach 
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

MAKE:

1. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain.
2. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onions and steak; stir-fry 1 minute. Add mushrooms and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Add spinach; stir-fry 1 minute or until greens wilt.
3. Combine rice vinegar and the next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add vinegar mixture to steak mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in noodles, sesame oil, and salt; cook for 1 minute or until noodles are thoroughly heated, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.