This Southeast Asian-inspired recipe is a simple meal that’s meant to be served family-style and promises to brighten up your weekly menu plan. The base of the dish is a tangle of ramen noodles, coated in a citrusy sesame-ginger sauce, which also serves as a dressing to drizzle over the dish. Seared skirt steak strips, quickly marinated in a sweet-and-sour sauce fragrant with lemongrass, infuses an extra wallop of flavor and spice that belies the ease of preparing this dish.
The key to this recipe is assembling the list of Asian ingredients for the marinade and dressing, many of which are common pantry staples or easily found in well-stocked supermarkets. The good news is that they have long shelf lives, so once you purchase them, you can easily prepare other Asian-inspired soups, curries and stir-fries.
Lemongrass is a fresh ingredient found in the produce section of the supermarket. Also known as citronella, it resembles a woody spring onion and has an aromatic floral and lemony flavor that is concentrated in the oil in the center of the stalk. For the marinade in this recipe, the stalk need only be gently crushed with the side of a knife and then sliced to release its flavor. (For other dishes where the lemongrass is eaten, the outer stalks should be removed, and the center stalks minced or pounded to a paste.) If fresh lemongrass is not available, jarred lemongrass paste can be substituted. Simply add 2 teaspoons of the paste to the marinade.
This recipe calls for budget-friendly skirt steak, which is less common in Southeast Asian cuisine. The meat can be quickly marinated, or better yet, let it marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours to build more flavor. Chicken or tofu can be substituted for the protein if preferred.
Spicy Lemongrass and Chile Skirt Steak Noodles
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sweet chile sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, outer leaves removed, stalk gently crushed then thinly sliced (or 2 teaspoons lemongrass paste)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds skirt steak, sliced against the grain in 1-inch strips
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha or Asian hot sauce
8 to 9 ounces uncooked ramen noodles
Vegetable oil for pan frying
1 to 2 red or green jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add the skirt steak and stir to thoroughly coat. Let stand for 30 minutes (or cover the bowl and refrigerate at for up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally).
Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Cook the noodles until al dente per package instructions. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the drained noodles and toss to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and add to the skillet, without overcrowding, in batches if necessary. Sear the steak strips until cooked to your desired doneness, about 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining meat.
To serve, spread the noodles on a serving platter or in a shallow serving bowl. Arrange the skirt steak strips over the noodles. Scatter the chile peppers, cilantro, mint and sesame seeds over and around the steak. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the steak and noodles to your taste. Serve garnished with lime wedges.
CAPTIONS AND CREDITS
Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood