Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thai Steak and Noodles with Shiitake Broth

A few small-portion ingredients and great big, bold flavor—that’s typical Thai, and in this recipe, the broth is key. Spicy, savory, and sour, with rich, earthy depth from the shiitake mushrooms, the broth brings together the tender beef and rice noodles.

I think when a dish imparts a lot of complex flavors—without being a complex recipe—a little goes a long way. This dinner serves four, with only four ounces of mushrooms, four ounces of noodles, and 12 ounces of beef. Small, individual portions add up to a satisfying, flavorful bowl of good, guiltless food.

If you’re a Thai fan, you also may like Scallion-and-Chile-Braised Pork Ribs with Thai Noodles or Spicy Shrimp Pad Thai

Serves 4


For the Broth
  • 4 oz shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 14.5-oz can low-sodium beef broth
  • 3 Thai chiles, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
Solids for the Broth
For the Steak and Noodles
  • 4 oz Thai rice noodle sticks
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 6-oz strip steaks, about 3/4-inch thick
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cilantro leaves and lime wedges, for garnish

For the Broth
  1. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and place in a saucepan. Thinly slice the caps and set aside.
Sliced Shiitakes and Stems
  1. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook slowly 10 minutes.
Solids in the Pan 
Broth Beginning to Cook
  1. Strain the solids from the broth and return the broth to the pan. (Discard solids.) Add the sliced mushroom caps to the broth and cook over medium-low heat 10 minutes.
Shiitakes Beginning to Cook
Cooked Shiitakes in Broth
For the Steak and Noodles
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and remove from the heat. Add the noodles to the hot water, submerging completely. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are soft but still a bit firm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over high heat and brush with oil. Season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper and sear until slightly charred on the outside and medium on the inside, 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 3 minutes.
Strip Steaks Ready to Grill
Steaks Beginning to Grill 
Grilled Steaks
To serve, drain the noodles and divide among 4 shallow bowls. Thinly slice the steaks on the diagonal and divide on top of the noodles. Spoon the shiitake broth over each bowl, and garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges.

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