Friends, this SAUCE. ♡ Soy-garlic-lime-peanutty goodness with a big kick of fresh ginger is my new favorite! Spice it up or down as much as you want with red pepper flakes, sweeten it a little with a sprinkle of brown sugar – I was literally licking the spoon. And then dipping the spoon right back in for another.
The rest of the salad is pretty kickin’ too. Layers and layers of good fresh veggies, sesame-seared beef, and just-al-dente rice noodles are about to be your new favorite easy dinner. Let’s do this!
The beef is a nice savory addition for us omnivores, but this noodle salad totally doesn’t need meat – it’s completely vegan- and vegetarian-friendly without it! Bonus, you don’t even need to turn on the stove.
Kirk and I are both happily meat-eaters overall, but most of our meals lately have none to be found and we’re pretty okay with that. For a million little reasons: meat is expensive, ethically-sourced-sustainable meat even more so (not to mention is-that-even-a-real-thing), it goes bad in the fridge too quickly… it’s a long list that we’ve all been learning more and more about recently.
So while I did pick up some super-on-sale beef round for this version, chances are the next time I make this, and the next, it’ll just be a rainbow assortment of veggies and noodles with too-much sauce. And it will be mmmmmingly tasty all the same.
- 2 oz. rice noodles
- 2 T. sesame oil
- 1 lb. beef, thinly sliced across the grain
- 2 carrots, peeled & julienned
- ½ cucumber, thinly sliced
- 4 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 8 small radishes, thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, diced
- ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup water
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 1 T. lime juice
- 1 t. brown sugar
- ½ t. red pepper flakes
- pinch of salt
- Puree ginger and garlic in a food processor.
- Add remaining sauce ingredients and pulse into a smooth sauce. Add more water by tablespoons to thin if desired.
- Prepare the rice noodles according to package directions, usually just by soaking in hot water for a few minutes. Toss with 1 T. sesame oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
- Heat 1 T. sesame oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the sliced beef and stir-fry for just a couple minutes, until mostly cooked through. Remove from heat.
- Layer noodles, beef, and vegetables in a large serving dish or in individual bowls. Drizzle generously with sauce and serve!
No need to julienne the carrots if you're short on time - just peel the outside as usual, then use the peeler to make long thin strips.