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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fiery Dan Dan Noodles- improvised

Everyone who knows me, knows I'm IN LOVE with Jamie Oliver. If Jamie ever knocked on my door saying, "Kerry, I remember you from my book signing in 2003 in London and I haven't stopped thinking about you.  I will give up Jools if you say you'll be mine."  Ok, I'm in!  There's no doubt about it, not that I want to be a home wrecker or anything or wish that on anyone. I'm truly happy that he has found his soulmate and has 4 beautiful children (grumble, grumble).  But I'm sort of going off on a tangent here, so where was I.  Oh, yes... so tonight I made his Fiery Dan Dan Noodles recipe from his cookbook Jamie's America.  Except (always an except) I improvised a few things.  I don't eat red meat so I substituted salmon (slice the meat from the skin and cut into cubes; these will break up as you fry them with the vegetables).  Nor did I have any of the veggies found in his recipe.  So, I cut up one purple and one orange carrot (into coins, yes speaking like a true chef), some bell peppers in various colors (having an array of colors in your food is always fun) and sliced up some brussel sprouts (rather than making one cut down the center, I cut it like you would cut up a head of lettuce) to replace the bok choy.  For seasoning I added,  a little ginger, some Chinese Five Spice, a bit of Sumac (still don't really know what this spice does but I do like it), a wee bit of basil, some Old Bay and a new one called Marrakesh Za'atar (just wanted to see how this tasted).  I used buckwheat noodles and followed everything else from his recipe (oh, no garlic or onions but put them in if you like them).  Totally simple and quick!

Here's Jamies original recipe:
Recipe serves 4.

500g minced beef
2 tablespoons runny honey
500g wheat noodles
4 handfuls mixed green vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, bok choi, etc), cut into 1cm strips
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons Szechuan pepper
4 tablespoons chilli oil
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped (you might want to omit this if you don't have a good tolerance for chilli, as it's quite hot already if you only use the oil)
2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 lime, quartered, to serve

  • Throw the beef into a dry pan on a medium to high heat. Keep it moving about for about 10-15 minutes, or until it's becoming golden and crispy. Drain out any excess fat and stir in the honey, mixing it in well, and continue to heat for around 40 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Cook your noodles on the hob according to packet instructions. When they have about a minute to go, chuck in the green vegetables. They should be heated through but still really crunchy.
  • Drain the noodles and vegetables in a colander. Tip them back into the hot pan with a mugful of water. Add the garlic, soy sauce, Szechuan pepper, chilli oil and fresh chilli. Give it all a good stir.
  • Put the beef back on the heat for 30 seconds so it's piping hot.
  • Divide the noodles into 4 bowls. Sprinkle the crispy beef on top. Throw on the spring onions and serve with a lime quarter.

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