When my Mom and I decided to make a Filipino dish called Pansit for Thanksgiving, we set out to find the correct noodles to go in the dish. It's been a while since we've made Pansit and we weren't sure exactly what noodles to buy as all the packaging seems to have changed. We found some "Oriental Style Vermicelli" at a Korean grocery store. The ingredients were listed as 'Mung Bean Flour and Starch'. They looked like the noodles we usually use...where you just put them in really hot water to soften up.
Not wanting to wait until the holiday to make sure we had bought the correct noodles, I tried to find a recipe in one of my cookbooks that could incorporate the noodles. I found this recipe for Meat Sauce Over Rice Stick Noodles in the Martin Yan Quick & Easy cookbook. The recipe called for Rice Stick Noodles but I figured the noodles I had would work.
Alas, these noodles were the kind you had to boil for 5-6 minutes to be usable. Yes, it was amusing watching me stand over the noodles in a bowl full of hot water for ten minutes trying to make them pliable. I finally boiled some water and tossed them in for a minute to get the noodles right consistency.
Other than having to deal with the noodles issue, this recipe was fairly quick to put together. You do have to let the ingredients marinade for a bit, but the meat sauce comes together quickly and you can be cooking the noodles while prepping the meat side of this dish.
Great flavor in such a small package. Not serving the meat sauce on the requested noodles wasn't a problem as Martin Yan says that it can be served over wheat noodles or steamed rice (I'm thinking even thin spaghetti noodles would work). Yan also said you could add some rich broth or pickled vegetables to the recipe. I found the meat sauce had a wonderful deep flavor and made a nice comforting dish while I panicked about not finding the right noodles for the Pansit dish!
MEAT SAUCE OVER RICE STICK NOODLES
(from Martin Yan's Quick & Easy)
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 pound ground pork, beef, or chicken
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
4 cups cooked rice stick noodles
Chopped fresh cilantro and green onions for garnish
To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add the ground meat and stir to distribute evenly. Let stand for 10 minutes.
To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Place a stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the garlic and the 2 green onions and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
Add the ground meat and stir-fry until browned and crumbly, about 3 minutes. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, about 30 seconds.
Divide the cooked noodles among 4 large soup bowls. Ladle about 3/4 cup of the meat sauce over the noodles in each bowl. Garnish with the cilantro and green onions to serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Note: Per Yan, it's important to use dark soy sauce as it adds an intensity you can't get with regular soy sauce. I found some in my local grocery store and at a local Asian market.
Note: I used pork. I used dry sherry.
Note: I don't own a conventional wok. I own a Pampered Chef wok looking non-stick pan. It works fine for most dishes like this I stir-fry.
Really nice flavor to this. Lots of ingredients, but once they are measured out everything comes together pretty quick. I'd definitely make this again using any type of noodle I happened to have in the pantry (or even rice).