Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Bored with minced beef

Last night we had some minced beef set out for dinner. DD loves Spicy Szechuan Beef and wants to have it every time we buy mince. As I've said before, I find that dish pretty heavy and even though I've gotten quite practiced at it now, I still feel it's fairly stodgy. So I went looking for something lighter.

While I was searching I was quite curious about what I would find. I mean, when you think of a light dish it very rarely involves mince beef. Then I found a recipe for Spiced Beef Rice Noodles on from an old edition of Super Food Ideas.

It had a small amount of mince browned in garlic and ginger infused oil before being sprinkled with some Chinese five-spice and kecap manis. It's then mixed with some shredded Chinese cabbage (wombok) and rice noodles and sprinkled over with coriander. I love Chinese five spice, so I was pretty excited about the recipe anyway but it turned out really really well. I only used a very small amount of mince and I substituted the rice noodles for soba noodles and I didn't have cabbage, but it was lovely and exactly what I was after - a flavourful light mince dish. It's definately one I'll make again. The recipe below serves four, I amended it to serve me, but I didn't measure anything and just eyeballed everything and it still turned out great. Maybe a touch more kecap manis next time though. I also added a squeeze of lime when serving. I highly recommend that extra step.

Spiced Beef Rice Noodles
from Super Food Ideas, May 2006 p35

serves 4

250g packet rice stick noodles (I used soba noodles)
1 tbs vegetable oil (I used grapeseed oil)
3 garlic cloves, crushed (I used minced garlic)
1cm piece ginger, peeled and finely grated (I used minced ginger)
550g beef mince
2 tsp Chinese five spice
1/4 cup kecap manis
1/4 cup Chinese cabbage (wombok), roughly shredded
1 cup coriander leaves
(I also added a squeeze of lime before serving)

Place noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain.

Heat a wok over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add mince. Stir-fry for 5 minutes or until browned. Add five spice and kecap manis. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened slightly.

Add cabbage and noodles to wok. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until cabbage is wilted and noodles warmed through. Top with coriander and serve.


  1. Spicy Szechuan Beef isn't stodgy, it's delicous. Thank you for helping me make it last night. Belissimo.

    *stodgy: of a thick, semisolid consistency; heavy, as food.

    I did not know that :)

  2. Thank you my dear, but it is a little stodgy. It doesn't make it any less tasty though - it's just a little heavy.

    Mine was better :)