Friday 18 July 2014

Spicy Speedy Beef and Lime Noodles

I probably shouldn’t even be putting this recipe up on Fancy-Ass Food, it’s far too simple. But I’ve been cooking this tasty little number for years and it’s my go to “I can’t be arsed to do anything more complicated” dinner, so I thought I’d share it.

I’ll let you away with it this time.

    Slice some beef into thin strips. Heat up a bit of oil in a pan and start frying the meat with a sprinkle of chilli flakes. Cut up a whole bundle of spring onions and add them to the pan, then squeeze a lime into it. Boil a pot of water and put your noodles on to cook. Slice a big red pepper into strips and cook with the beef and onions.

    Drain the cooked noodles and mix them into the frying pan, tossing with sesame oil. Crack a couple of eggs on top, stir frantically, and serve when they set. Shake a little soy sauce on it and tuck in.

Do I need a longer version?

No, you really don’t. But we’ve kinda got a thing going on here.


  • 400g sirloin or flank steak
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • a bunch of spring onion
  • a lime
  • a red bell pepper
  • 2 free range eggs
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • cooking oil
  • a pack of noodles

    If you want to get all your chopping out of the way before you start frying, you can (just slice everything fairly thinly). But the key to saving time when cooking is to do your prep work while you’re already cooking, essentially eliminating the preparation time altogether. So let’s do that.

    Heat up about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a big frying pan or wok. Get it nice and hot, so use an oil with a high smoke point, like rapeseed, grapeseed, or just plain old vegetable oil. While it’s heating, slice your slab of steak into thin, long strips, across the grain. Just lay the meat out on your chopping board, look for the grain lines that run through it (just like with wood) and cut perpendicular to them. Meat fibres are very tough, and if you cut parallel to them your teeth will have to do all the hard work of breaking them down. Cutting across the grain means that the knife has done the tricky part, and all that’s left are bundles of very short fibres, which are easy for your teeth to pull apart. The result is meat that is far more tender, which is exactly what you want. If you’re having trouble finding the grain, it usually runs the length of the steak (alongside the fat), so cut widthwise.

    Chuck the beef slices into the hot pan, add the chilli flakes and move it around a bit. As that’s browning (it only takes 2 minutes), slice all your spring onions. It might seem like a lot, but they’re mild when cooked and they shrink right down. Toss 'em in with the meat and squeeze your lime juice all over. The juice will soften the onions, and in no time they’ll be shrunk, but still a lovely green.

    While the spring onions are softening, cook the noodles like their packet tells ya. I’m seriously not going to explain how to cook noodles. No way, no how. Okay, maybe just a little. Drain them while they’re still slightly undercooked. They’ll cook a little bit more in the frying pan, so otherwise they’ll be overdone and mushy by the end. As they’re boiling away, slice the red pepper into strips and add to the pan. They don’t need to cook for very long, they should still have a bit of crunch when you’re eating them.

    Once the noodles are done and drained, toss them in with everything else. Pour in maybe a teaspoon of sesame oil, stir to coat, then crack your eggs on top. Turn off the heat and stir everything like a madman. Not the ones who drink scotch at work and make misogynistic comments. The ones who go stir crazy. Didja like that one? Plenty more where that came from.

    When the egg is cooked, serve in a bowl and sprinkle with soy sauce to taste. If you like it spicy, throw on a few more chilli flakes. Chopsticks optional.

(If you find it tough to chop quickly enough to keep up with the cooking, consider getting a decent knife. A good, sharp knife will last for years and save you time. They’re also just badass. There are plenty of knife skills tutorials on youtube, and it’s never too late to pick up a few new effort-saving tricks.)

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