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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

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Pressure Cooker Pho Ga/Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

Made this awesome popular noodle soup in a pressure cooker and it was super-easy. Shortcut cooking method but not a shortcut in flavor--Check out this authentic recipe!Pho Ga has become so mainsteam that most folks refer to the dish by its Vietnamese name rather than the translated name “Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup”. What is it about this unassuming soup that has captured everyone’s hearts and tummies? The answer:  simple ingredients–rice noodle and chicken served in an intoxicating broth layered with earthy, aromatic spices. The dish is then enjoyed with abundant fresh herbs and garnishes which further enhance the gastronomic journey! In a word, it’s AMAZING! 🙂

Now that your mouths are watering, let’s get to the recipe. In this post, I share a non-conventional approach for making Pho Ga in a pressure cooker. It’s easy, convenient and allows you to enjoy authentic, homemade pho with minimal fuss. I love this recipe because it’s so easy. I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

The pressure cooker I am using is the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W. This electric appliance takes the guesswork out of using a pressure cooker.  It’s super easy to use and to clean.

Make the chicken stock from scratch if you have time. (Check out the recipe I shared earlier.) If you’re pressed for time, a store-bought organic chicken broth works great too.

When charring the onion and ginger, it can get fairly smoky so turn on the exhaust fan. The onion and ginger get pretty black but don’t worry as the skin will be removed. If you’re not comfortable with roasting over an open-flame, use a cast-iron pan.

Washing the chicken is a very important step. It rinses away any residual blood and bits that often make the soup cloudy. I use a big bowl to catch the rinse water and this way I can tell the chicken is clean when the water is clear.

If your pressure cooker has a tendency to burn the food touching the bottom of the pot, put down a layer of celery or carrots and then place the chicken on top. The vegetables will buffer the chicken and serve as a natural sweetener for the soup.

After the cooking time elapses, the pressure cooker switches over to a Keep Warm function.  This will keep the soup perfectly hot until you’re ready to serve.

Pho noodles come in different thicknesses and are sized as small, medium and large.  There are no hard and fast rules so choose what you like.  I prefer the medium-sized noodles and cook them for 4 minutes.  The noodles are tender but not mushy.

1 lb of dry rice noodles makes about 2 1/2 lbs cooked rice noodles.  This is a lot but some people like lots of noodles while others love lots of broth.  Most likely, you’ll have some noodles leftover.

Note that I do not season the broth with salt or fish sauce. Each person should salt his or her bowl to taste. When serving this soup, always make sure you provide a generous side of fish sauce. Avoid adding fish sauce directly to the entire soup pot because when the soup is refrigerated, it has a tendency to turn sour.

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 Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu).

Ingredients

1 small yellow onion
2-inch section ginger
2 whole star anise
2 cardamom pods
5 cloves
1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
3/4 oz rock sugar
1 Saigon cinnamon stick

5 lb whole organic chicken
2 Tbsp salt
9 cups chicken stock
1 lb rice stick/pho noodles, size medium

Garnishes and Accompaniments
2 green onions, chopped
ground black pepper
2 cups bean sprouts, washed and trimmed
Thai basil, sawtooth herb, cilantro, washed
red chilies
jalapenos, thinly sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges
fish sauce
hoisin sauce
sriracha sauce

Directions

Cut the onion in half. Remove the skin from one onion half and then thinly slice. Place into a small bowl and set aside for now.

Set the heat to Medium Low.  Place the remaining onion half and ginger directly over the flame. Cook each side for 5 minutes until charred. Rinse with cool water to wash off the loose char. Remove the outer layer of skin from the onion and ginger. Using a small knife, scrape off the char. Rinse again with cool water.  Use a pestle or meat hammer to slightly smash the ginger.

In a skillet over Low heat, add the star anise, cardamom, cloves, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cinnamon. Stirring occasionally, toast for 7-8 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Place the spices into a tea filter and tie shut with twine.

Sprinkle salt on the outside and inside of the chicken. Gently rub the salt into the skin. Wash the chicken thoroughly using a steady stream of cold water.

Trim off any visible fat and discard.

Put the chicken into the pressure cooker.  Add the onion, ginger, rock sugar and spices bag.  Pour in the chicken stock.

Cover with the lid and seal.  Set the cooker to High pressure, the timer to 30 minutes and let everything cook.

After the timer goes off, turn the valve to release the pressure.

Uncover the cooker.  Remove the onion, spices bag and ginger if visible.

Using a large slotted spoon, carefully transfer the entire chicken into a large bowl.  Cover the chicken with ice water and allow to soak for 2 minutes.  Drain the water.  Cover the bowl and allow the chicken to cool further.

Skim the broth and remove any bits floating at the top.

Soak the rice noodle in hot water for 10 minutes until limp.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil over High heat.  Add the drained noodles and swirl in the hot water.  Boil the noodles for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently.  Drain the noodles and then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain and rinse again with cold water.  Toss the noodles to shake off the water.  Use a salad spinner to spin the noodles dry.  Cover until ready to serve.

When the chicken is cooled, remove the breast pieces and cut into thin slices.  Remove the remaining meat from the thighs and body and shred by hand or cut into thin strips.

To serve, add some rice noodles into a large bowl.  Add some sliced onions and chicken.  Ladle in a generous amount of the broth.  Top with green onions and freshly ground black pepper.  Enjoy the soup with the fresh herbs (Thai basil, sawtooth herb and cilantro), bean sprouts, and assorted chili peppers.  Add fish sauce, hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce and lime juice to taste.  Enjoy!

Yields:  5-7 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

    

Delicious homemade pho fast-tracked using a pressure cooker. Check out my recipe!

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup/Pho Ga would not be completed without a refreshing plate of herbs, lime wedges and chilies!

*This post contains affiliate links.

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