Asian-Inspired Meal Prep
Easy 30-Minute Mi Xao or Stir Fry Noodles
Part of the entire adventure of growing up is relying on yourself. I remember the first day I was in my own apartment and had the opportunity to cook my own food. I've helped my brother and sister-in-law a lot, but never helmed the kitchen. I started off calling my mom every night for recipes and, before I knew it, I was making up my own recipes! My thought during that time was "When you're an independent woman or man who can cook their own dinner, that's when you know you've made it." Here's where to start: An easy (snow) peas-y stir fry noodle dish! When I say easy, I promise you that you can edit it as much as you want and it'll still turn out delicious!
A week ago, I went to World Market with a few of my co-workers because they're closing down in East Village (Downtown San Diego). I tried to refrain from buying too many things, but I got hooked in the food aisle which was set up near the cash register. I'm always on the lookout for noodles to try new Asian recipes, but the options are usually limited when it comes to main stream stores like Vons, Ralph's and Trader Joe's. While I'd love to head to the Asian market to get my fix of noodles, it's a bit far off for me. All of this is why I ended up taking home a pack called Chuka Soba (which is essentially a type of egg noodle). Usually, I'm not a huge fan of egg noodles but I had to try! I've been obsessed with mixing up sauces—some simple and some more time consuming—of every variety, so this purchase inspired me to make some stir fry to meal-prep for lunch! It turned out so well that I came back a few days later to clear the Chuka Soba rack. Not ashamed! Of course, with this came a few new dishes and bowls from World Market as well.
I came home a little late on the day I made this, so I opted for something simple to meal prep for the next few work days. With the Chuka Soba, I just had to cook it for 2 min and it was ready to be fried. You can also find similar egg noodles at any Asian market (99 Ranch is a great Asian supermarket chain) and sometimes in the Asian aisle of regular franchise markets. You can also swap this out for udon or thick rice noodles. Do as you please! This recipe doesn't have any strict guidelines, so you can opt for substitutes as you please.
What to Buy
1 package of Chuka soba, or other asian noodles
1 lb. Ground beef or ground turkey (replaceable)
1/4 cup sliced onions
6 oz. Or 2 cups sugar snap or snow peas, cut in half
Two cups of broccoli
Additional veggies that you love (maybe baby corn?)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 tbsp of minced ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoison sauce
As much sriracha sauce as desired
Step 1: Start Your Stir Fry With The Meat
Heat up wok or large pan on medium heat to start your stir fry adventure! Add the meat and 1/4 cup sliced onion onto the pan until cooked evenly! I usually use ground turkey because it's nice and lean! If you're off at a Japanese market, you might be able to find "Silky Pork." <-- This is by far the best thing you can use! It's tender and soaks up sauces perfectly. If not, you can choose between ground turkey/beef, thin cuts of flank steak or pork belly. If you're dealing with beef, I would recommend undercooking it a bit so it doesn't get too tough as you continue cooking.
Step 2: Create Your Delicious Stir Fry Sauce
While the meat is cooking, mince 4 cloves of garlic. Toss this into a small sauce bowl or a short cup. Next, peel and mince a thumb of ginger, then add that in too! Take out your soy sauce, Hoison sauce and Sriracha sauce. While I have a recommended amount for each, I suggest adding the sauces based on your taste! Soy sauce will give it a saltier taste; Hoison sauce is sweeter. This is by far the simplest form of my stir fry sauce, and it still works wonders! Mix it well and then let the garlic, ginger and sauces soak in the sauce while you continue cooking. Make sure you're tasting it to see if it has the right flavor. If it's too salty, add a tad of hot water or fine sugar. A good rule of thumb is to make your sauce slightly saltier than you'd like it. Once you mix it into the stir fry, it'll even out!
Step 3: Next, Toss in The Veggies
Have your broccoli, snow/sugar snap peas and other desired veggies prepared! For the peas, make sure you're cutting off any stem remnants and then cutting the whole pod in half! Other great vegetables for a stir fry include sliced carrots, bean sprouts and cabbage. Once you have all of this together, toss it into the pan—in order of firm veggies to soft—with the meats and let it all continue cooking on medium heat for about six minutes.
Step 4: How to Prepare The Noodles
As your veggies and meats are cooking, get your noodles prepped. It's simple: All you do is boil up some water and cook the noodles as you would pasta. Just make sure you're gentle with your noodles so they don't break! Check the package for variations on cooking times. If you're buying freshly packed noodles (the best option), you might just have to blanche them for a few seconds.
Once the noodles are done cooking in the water, dump them out into a tight strainer (one where the holes are smaller than the noodles). Give them a little rinse, let them drain and then toss them into your stir fried veggies and meats!
Step 5, a.k.a. Finishing Touch: Stir Fry Sauce
Now, you're ready for the grand finale! Take that beautiful mixture of sauce and drizzle it over your stir fry, gently mixing the noodles, meat and veggies as you go. Once the sauce is evenly mixed through, you're ready to serve your yummy lunch / dinner! If you want some more spice, try this Japanese seasoning: