Wednesday

Beef Noodle Bento



My niece absolutely loves beef noodle soup.  My son likes it as well, but it's become a bit of a special treat that a make when my niece comes over.  This was never more evident to me than when my son examined the contents of our grocery cart identifying the ginger, the chili, the romaine lettuce and the steak … then squealing my nieces' name over and over again.  :) I have put a few small twists on a very traditional recipe from Ching He Huang. Give it a try ..






Ingredients ...
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chile, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 7 ounces beef chuck roast, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 quart vegetable or beef stock
  • 1 box of organic angel hair pasta
  • 1 bag organic matchstick carrots 
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of chili bean sauce (for the boys and the hubs)  I reserve some extra for niece and myself … hehe along with a few extra chiles
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • Cornstarch Slurry (2 teaspoons of water/1 teaspoon cornstarch)
  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce cut into half inch ribbons
  • scallions and cilantro leaves to dress
This is just better if it's cooked in a wok.  I don't why but it is.  An important thing to remember if you don't use your wok frequently is to heat your oil and your pan together.  (This is really only true if you have a non-treated carbon steal or cast iron wok.)  Heat your oil and your wok.  Add the shallots and onions and cook until softened.  You want them to look translucent not brown.  If the onions are browning too quickly knock back your heat.  Next stir in the ginger, garlic and chiles.  Move them around the Wok for a minute or two.  Next, Add the beef and stir-fry until it begins to brown, and then pour in the beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the meat is very tender.  This takes about an hour and a half. 

When your beef is nearly done.  Cook your angel hair pasta according to package instructions.  The brand I use takes only about 5 minutes to cook.

Toss the cleaned matchstick carrots into the simmering wok and cover for 5-10 minutes.  I like to make sure they are tender but not falling apart.  I do take them past the point of being "crisp" because I serve this to my very young ones.  With a wire or nylon whisk blend the brown sugar, bean sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved then add the mixture to the soup. Now it's time to add the cornstarch slurry into the soup.  Allow the cornstarch to marry with the soup for about a minute.  This will give the soup a thick, glossy consistency.

To serve place noodles inside your bento bowl, stir the Romaine into the broth and ladle the hot soup over each bowl. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro and serve immediately. 

A note about left overs.  This soup is great as a left over.  However, the it's best to keep the "soup", "noodles" and "Romaine" ribbons separated in the fridge. 



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The Wasting Nothing Philosophy

Playing, cooking, reading, exploring, loving, laughing, and making a mess with your little one is NEVER a waste of time! It is priority one! It's not just about getting to know your little one. It's about letting your little one get to know you!