The weather has gotten a tiny bit cooler and gloomier in the morning. Well, maybe because I have been waking up super early (an hour before sunrise) by Zara. She is an alarm clock; everyday at the same time, she rolls on my tummy and slaps lightly in the face to make sure I wake up to feed and play with her. Yup, she is ready to play by 6am, and that is on a good day.
There’s nothing better than to have a bowl of warm noodle soup for breakfast. Especially on a cold morning, a bowl of Thai Beef Stew Noodle sounds so delicious. Just to switch things up. Do you know in Asian countries, noodle soup is often one’s favorite breakfast choice? My dad used to take my brother and I to go have Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle) on our way to school when we were young living in Vietnam. We believe starting the day with a warm meal keeps the stomach all cozy and fuzzy, which the body would then feel nice and warm. The night before, I would cook a big pot of this Thai Beef Stew to eat as dinner with rice noodle. And would have leftovers to eat as breakfast the next morning.
I don’t often cook with lemongrass. Just because it is not always available at the supermarket. But I love dishes with lemongrass, like this dish which I stumbled upon Bon Appetite one day. I love the aroma it gives off to the dish and the house while the beef is simmered. In this dish, because the lemongrass is processed into a paste, you won’t need to chew on the pieces of lemongrass, which sometimes feel like chewing on grass when the lemongrass is tough and dried.
Note: when select lemongrass, make sure that the color is greenish and smell fresh. To lengthen its shelf life, wrap lemongrass in paper towel or newspaper and store in a dry place in the fridge.
Thai Beef Stew Noodle
modified from Bon Appetite
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
4 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, tough outer layers removed, thinly sliced and minced
6 cloves garlic chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 whole star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoon fish sauce
¼ cup light brown sugar
4 medium shallots, quartered
3 carrots, peeled, diagonally sliced
1 bag of fresh rice noodles
Basil (for serving)
Green onion (for serving)
Lime wedges (for serving)
Throw lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, and 2 chiles into a food processor. Blend until a fine paste forms.
Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook beef, turning occasionally, until browned. If necessary, work in batches till all the beef is cooked. Transfer to plate. Set aside.
In the same pan, cook lemongrass paste, stirring often, until lemongrass is beginning to soften, 5–8 minutes. Mix in star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, beef with any juice, and 10 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beef is tender and liquid is slightly thickened, 2 – 2.5 hours.
Add shallots and carrots to stew and cook, partially covered, until vegetables are soft and beef is falling apart, 35–45 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.
Divide noodles among bowls and ladle stew over. Top with basils and green onions. Serve with lime wedges.
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, beef stew
, cold weather
, healthy eating
, soul food
, Thai food
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