Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
A rather strange culinary crossover, this recipe comes from an Uzbek meat marinade and a Japanese fried noodle dish. To me, it feels like maybe they met somewhere in the middle geographically: China!
Regardless of the heritage and ancestry of it, the noodles are deliciously smooth, slippery, and spicy, while the beef complements it with a savory and complex flavor. It is a filling and appetizing dish and, besides a lengthy marinating period, not that difficult to make. Furthermore, it is also quite simple to modify and change. Personally I would be fine with just the noodles on their own, which are deliciously flavorful and hot!
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This recipe is principally my own because I've combined and modified it based on inspiration from other recipes. To start with, I used the same marinade as in Uzbek marinated lamb kebabs, a previous recipe of mine, which produced a superb barbecued lamb dish. Personally, in this recipe, I thought that it wasn't as good as the previous one, probably because the beef was sautéed instead of barbecued or grilled. But regardless, it was still quite delectable, and I made some modifications to better fit this recipe. I also drew the noodle recipe from Japanese Cuisine by Xiuli Chen, again with modifications for my recipe.
- 1 pound beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 onions
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound 6 ounces Udon noodles
- 1/2 head of cabbage, diced
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 teaspoons dried red pepper
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 3 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 carrots, chopped
- The marinade should be made at least 12 hours and up to 48 hours beforehand, although be wary about leaving the beef to soak too long: in my experiences this produces negative effects for this quality in relation to red wine. Combine 1 grated onion, the red wine, the fennel, the garlic, the paprika, the cumin, and the 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl, then add in the cubed beef. Allow to marinate for the desired length of time, covered, in the refrigerator, and occasionally being turned. Add additional wine if there is trouble getting an appropriate liquid marinade.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, then drop in the udon noodles briefly. Remove them and drain.
- Heat oil in a large wok, until it is very hot. Then add in the beef, with the marinade juice removed as much as possible (but some is good to provide the liquid) sauté briefly, then add the chopped cabbage, remaining 1 onion which has been sliced to rings, and the chopped 2 carrots. Cook for a few minutes.
- Combine together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper in a small bowl. If there is sufficient room in the large wok, add the udon noodles there, if not, bring additional oil to a high heat, then drop in the udon noodles. Cook briefly, then add in part, perhaps around 1/2, of the above mixture, while adding the remainder of the mixture into the meat and vegetables. If they are both in the same pan then add all into the pan.
- In a small cup add together the sesame seeds and the red pepper, then pour an equal amount of both into both the noodles and the meat. Add additional seasonings such as more spices if desired, test for doneness of the meat and of the noodles (the meat should have fried for somewhat over 10 minutes, the noodles don't require very long, perhaps half of that), and then turn off the heat, place the noodles into the bottom of a large serving dish, and layer the meat and the vegetables over it. Serve.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas