Friday, November 16, 2012

Stir-fried Kelp Noodles w Beef & Spinach

I love noodles, and as this blog attests I have a soft spot for Asian dishes. It's somewhat amazing, then, that it took me this long to try my hand at making kelp noodles.

So many blog posts and recipes I've read expressed disappointment in the noodles' crunchiness, and I suppose I was a bit worried I'd be put off by their texture as well. Curiosity finally got the better of me, though...

... and the experiment was worth it! I read a ton of different tips and methods as to how to work with kelp noodles, and think I found a winner on the Mark's Daily Apple message boards.

I soaked my Sea Tangle noodles in cold water and some lemon juice for about 5 minutes, while I brought a pot of salted water to a boil. Then I boiled the noodles for about 10 minutes before adding them to the wok with my saucy beef mixture. They wound up quite tender, as if they were traditional cellophane noodles.

The dish I worked around my kelp noodles is also a keeper. I found it in Cooking Light last year, and have made it in my pre-paleo days and now with some modifications. It's nice and simple, with just the right amount of heat.
Stir-fried Kelp Noodles with Beef & Spinach
adapted from Cooking Light

1 package kelp noodles, prepared as described above
1 tbs. olive or coconut oil 
1 cup thinly sliced green onions 
2/3 pound top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips 
2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps 
2 garlic cloves, finely minced 
1 (6-ounce) bag washed baby spinach 
2 tbs. rice vinegar 
juice of 1/2 lime
3 tbs. coconut aminos
2 tsp.grated peeled fresh ginger 
2 tsp. Sriracha (hot chile sauce) 
1 tbs. dark sesame oil (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt 
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onions and steak; stir-fry 1 minute. Add mushrooms and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Add spinach; stir-fry 1 minute or until greens wilt.

Combine rice vinegar and the next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add vinegar mixture to steak mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in kelp noodles, sesame oil (if using), and salt; cook for 1 minute or until noodles are thoroughly heated, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.