“Shaking” describes how this Vietnamese dish is cooked. Beef cubes, instead of being stir-fried, are browned in a wok. You shake the pan to turn them. The wok or skillet should be very hot before the beef is added so that a crisp brown crust forms.
The beef is served over a bed of warm Chinese noodles flavored with fresh mint and roasted peanuts. The spicy meat and noodles together with the crunchy peanuts make a delicious combination of textures and flavors. This one-dish meal takes only minutes to cook. While the meat is marinating, cook the noodles.
Fresh or steamed Chinese noodles can be found in the produce section of the market. Dried Chinese noodles are found in the ethnic food area. Either can be used for this recipe.
■ Angel hair pasta can be substituted for Chinese noodles.
■ Flank, skirt, sirloin or strip steak can be used instead of beef tenderloin.
■ 4 garlic cloves can be used instead of minced garlic.
■ Marinate beef.
■ Place water for noodles on to boil.
■ Prepare remaining ingredients.
■ Cook noodles.
■ Cook beef.
■ Assemble dish.
To buy: ¾ pound beef tenderloin 1 small package fresh or dried Chinese noodles, 1 small bunch fresh mint, 1 bottle reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 bottle sesame oil, 1 jar minced garlic, 1 package snow peas and 1 small jar dry-roasted peanuts.
Staples: Brown sugar, salt and black peppercorns.
Vietnamese shaking beef and noodles
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil (divided use)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (divided use)
¾ pound beef tenderloin
For noodles with snow peas:
¼ pound Chinese egg noodles
¼ pound snow peas (about 2 cups)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh mint
2 tablespoons dry roasted peanuts
Make the marinade: Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon minced garlic together in a small bowl. Remove visible fat from the meat and cut into ½-inch cubes. Place meat in marinade for 10 minutes. Make sure all the meat is coated with marinade. While meat marinates, make the noodles.
Make the noodles: Bring a pot with 3 to 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add noodles and snow peas. Boil 2 minutes or according to noodle package instructions. Drain and toss with sesame oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dinner plates.
To finish: Drain meat from marinade, reserving liquid. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a wok or skillet until smoking, about 1 minute. Add remaining 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Add drained meat in 1 layer and let sit 1 minute. Be sure every piece of meat is touching the bottom of the pan. Do not stir-fry the meat. Either shake the meat loose or turn it with a spoon and cook another 1 minute. Remove meat to a plate and add marinade to pan. Heat marinade in pan for 1 minute.
To serve: Mix warmed marinade into noodles and snow peas. Spoon meat over top. Sprinkle with mint and peanuts.
Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 683 calories (32% from fat), 24.6 grams fat (7.1 grams saturated, 9.9 grams monounsaturated), 132 milligrams cholesterol, 51 grams protein, 67.9 grams carbohydrates, 6.3 grams fiber, 644 milligrams sodium.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author, most recently, of “Simply Smoothies: Fresh & Fast Diabetes-Friendly Snacks & Complete Meals,” “Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table” and “The Flavors of the Florida Keys.” Her website is www.dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer. Email her at email@example.com.