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Crispy Noodle and Beef Stir-Fry (Mi Xao Gion/Don)

Scrumptious Bird's Nest Crispy Noodle Stir-Fry--This is a Must-Try Dish | recipe from runawayrice.com

In this scrumptious dish, thin egg noodles are transformed into crispy golden nests, piled high with savory stir-fried beef, shrimp and crunchy vegetables and then topped with a light gravy. The combination of crispy noodle and savory stir-fry is full of flavor, texture and simply mouth-watering. This dish is a restaurant favorite because it seems too complicated to make but that’s just not the case. The next time you get a hankering for this dish, do yourself a favor–skip the restaurant (and save some money), and showcase your culinary skills with this easy-to-follow recipe. Enjoy!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

You can vary the meat and vegetables depending on your preferences. Love seafood? Add scallops, crab and squid. Alternatively, use tofu, chicken or pork instead of beef.

What’s a nest without some eggs? I used the canned quail eggs for convenience. Optionally, hard-boil fresh quail eggs. If you can’t find quail eggs, use little fish balls and they’ll be just as tasty and appealing.

The fresh egg noodle that I am using comes in a 1 lb package consisting of 4 bundles. I divide each bundle in half and make a total of 8 nests. They are a hearty size and measure approximately 6-inches in diameter once fried.

The spider or skimmers I am using measure about 5-inches for the larger one, 2.5-inches for the smaller one. I bought these at my local Asian grocery store and similar spiders can be purchased online.

The oil should be approximately 380 degrees Fahrenheit (plus or minus 5 degrees is okay). Use a thermometer to check the temperature or test by dropping a section of noodle into the oil. The oil should bubble vigorously and the noodle should puff up right away indicating the oil is hot enough. It takes just 8-10 seconds to fry the noodles. Don’t over-fry or the noodles will be really oily.

If using dried egg noodles, boil first and air-dry for at least 1 hour. Then fry until crispy.

I prefer potato starch as a thickener as it yields a smooth and creamy gravy. It also doesn’t turn watery or into a thick glob when refrigerated. You can also use tapioca starch, corn starch or all-purpose flour. If you love gravy, I would recommend doubling the recipe.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Stir-Fried Egg Noodles (Mi Xao Mem).

Ingredients

Beef and Marinade
3/4 lb thinly sliced beef
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp Vodka 5-Spice Marinade
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp vegetable oil for stir-frying

Shrimp
1/2 lb size 21-25 shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp vegetable oil for stir-frying

Crispy Noodle/Bird’s Nests
1 lb thin egg noodle/wonton noodle
vegetable oil for deep-frying

Gravy
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp potato starch
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Stir-Fry Sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp potato starch

Stir-Fry
12 oz broccoli crown
1 large red bell pepper
2 medium carrots
1/2 medium yellow onion
6 oz mushrooms
8 oz bok choy
8 oz baby corn
16 hard-boiled quail eggs
1/2 tsp vegetable oil for stir-frying
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Combine the beef with soy sauce, oyster sauce, Vodka 5-Spice Marinade, vegetable oil, minced garlic and ground black pepper. Let marinate in the refrigerator.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and let marinate in the refrigerator.

Transfer the quail eggs into a strainer. Rinse with cool water to remove the brine and let drain.

Cut the broccoli into florets and then into bite-sized pieces. Trim and core the red bell pepper. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut the onion into chunks approximately the same size as the peppers. Peel the carrots and cut at a slight angle into coins about 1/4-inch thick. Separate the bok choy leaves from the stalk. Trim off the end of the bok choy stalks and discard. Cut the stalk into thin strips. Separate the mushrooms from the root. Transfer the baby corn into a strainer and rinse with water.

Take one bundle of noodle and gently loosen and separate the strands. Divide the noodle in half. Repeat the process with the remaining bundles making 8 batches.

Fill a medium wok about 2/3 full with vegetable oil. Heat the oil over Medium High heat until it’s approximately 380 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take the first noodle batch and arrange evenly in a large spider or skimmer.  Place a smaller spider on top.  Immerse the noodles in the hot oil and fry for 8-10 seconds or until they are puffy and golden. Transfer the nest to paper towels and allow to cool. Continue frying the remaining noodle batches, making a total of 8 nests.

To make the gravy, first prepare the thickener by mixing together 1/4 cup chicken stock and potato starch in a measuring cup. In a small saucepan over Medium heat, add 2 cups chicken stock and oyster sauce and whisk together combining well. When the stock starts to boil, stir the thickener again to remove any settling and then add slowly while stirring the stock. Continue whisking everything well. Add ground black pepper and combine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn-off the heat and set aside and let the sauce continue to thicken.

To make the stir-fry sauce, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and potato starch in a measuring cup.

Heat a large wok over Medium High heat and add 1/2 tsp vegetable oil. Add the marinated beef and stir-fry until the beef is slightly pink. Transfer to a clean bowl.

Clean the wok and again heat over Medium High heat. Add 1/2 tsp vegetable oil. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until it’s mostly cooked. Transfer to the same bowl as the beef.

Over Medium High heat, add 1/2 tsp vegetable oil into the wok. Add the minced garlic and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add the broccoli along with the water and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add the red bell peppers and onions and stir-fry for another minute. If the vegetables are dry add 1-2 Tbsp water. Add the bok choy stems and baby corn and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the bok choy leaves, mushrooms and quail eggs and toss together. Mix the stir-fry sauce and pour on the stir-fry. Toss together combining everything with the sauce.  Add the beef and shrimp, combine together and cook for another minute or so. Turn off the heat. Add the sesame oil, ground black pepper and toss together.

To assemble the dish, place one of the crispy noodle nests on a large plate. Fill the nest with the stir-fry piling it high. Drizzle a generous amount of the gravy on top of the stir-fry. Serve with a side of soy sauce and chopped chilies. Enjoy!

Yields: 8 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Crispy nest of noodles loaded with savory stir-fried beef, shrimp and crunchy vegetables and then topped with a light gravy--Yum! | recipe from runawayrice.com

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Won Ton Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh)

Won Ton Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh) | recipe from runawayrice.comAs the weather cools I gravitate toward soupy dishes and my favorite soups always have lots of noodles like this delicious Won Ton Noodle Soup.  The soup is quite eclectic with its variety of ingredients.  It has hearty meat-filled dumplings, savory roast pork, succulent shrimp, leafy greens, oodles of egg noodles, sprigs of fresh herbs and a sautéed garlic topping to add the right amount of spice.  (Are you drooling yet?)  This belly warming dish is a great meal to make when you have leftover roast pork as  you don’t need much for this recipe.  As for the home-made won tons, with practice, you’ll get really good and can wipe out 16 of these dumplings in a matter of minutes.  If you don’t have time to make the garlic topping, you can buy it at your Asian grocer.  (This topping is fantastic to have around and adds wonderful taste and texture to soups and stir fry.)  You can’t go wrong with this one-bowl wonder!  Enjoy!

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Vermicelli Soup with Chicken, Steamed Pork Roll and Egg (Bun Thang) and Thick Noodles and Fish Cake Soup (Banh Canh Cha Ca).

Ingredients

for the Won Ton
1/4 lb ground pork
6-size 31/40 shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2 Tbsp finely minced onions
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
16 pieces won ton wrapper

for the Noodle Soup
14 oz package won ton noodles (thin egg noodles)
3-14.5 oz cans chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 sweet onion, quartered
8-size 31/40 shrimp, cleaned and deveined, tail on
8-10 sprigs chives, washed and cut into 2-inch sections
4 bunches baby bok choy, washed

for the Garlic Topping
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Serve with
3-4 oz roast pork
2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

Making the Noodles

Remove noodle bundles from packaging and place in a large colander.  Use your fingers to loosen the strands.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Drop the noodles into the water.  Stir the noodles in the hot water and cook it for just 1 minute.

Pour the cooked noodles into a large colander and rinse several times with cool water to stop the cooking process.

Toss the noodles in the colander multiple times and remove as much of the remaining water as possible.  Place a piece of paper towel on a large plate.  Spread the noodles evenly on the plate and allow to air dry.

Making the Won Ton

Cut the shrimp into thin slices.   Add shrimp to the pork along with all seasonings.  Mix everything together combining all ingredients well.

Take a won ton wrapper and place it on a cutting board with one of the corners pointed toward you.  Place approximately 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper.  Dip your finger in water and run it along the top edges of the wrapper.  Take the corner closest to you and fold it over, lining up the edges to form a triangle.  Gently press your fingers along the edges to seal the wrapper.

With your index finger, gently push up at the center point of the won ton making  a small indentation.  Dip a your finger in water and dab the right corner of the won ton.  Now pull the 2 corners together so the wrapper overlaps.  Pinch the wrapper together to seal.  Continue making the won tons until all of the filling is used.

Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil.  Drop the dumplings into the hot water, a few at a time.  Gently stir the won ton making sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.  Cook the dumplings for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Don’t allow the water to boil too rapidly or the dumplings will break.   Use a slotted spoon to remove the dumplings and place into a colander.  Allow to drain.

Making the Garlic Topping

Add minced garlic and oil to small skillet.  Saute the garlic over medium high heat until it’s golden brown–approximately 2-3 minutes.

Making the Soup

Add chicken broth, water and onions into a stockpot.  Cover pot and bring the broth to a boil.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove the onions and discard.  Taste the broth and add more salt if desired.  Add the bok choy and cook for 1 minute.  Turn off the heat and add the shrimp.

To serve, add a generous amount of noodles into a bowl.  Drizzle 1/2 tsp of sesame oil on the noodles.  Add the won tons, roast pork, bok choy, shrimp and fresh chives to the bowl.  Ladle a generous amount of broth filling the bowl.  Spoon a bit of the garlic topping.  Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Enjoy while hot!

Yields: 4 servings

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