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Mango and Beef Rice Noodle Salad

Rice noodles are a very popular ingredient not only in Chinese cuisine but also in many other different Asian countries. You can stir-fry them, add them into a soup and you can also make a delicious rice noodle salad with all kinds of different ingredients.

So today I’m sharing with you this delicious sweet and sour “mango and beef rice noodle salad” recipe. This recipe is not an authentic “Chinese” recipe as such but I was inspired by the flavours of South Eastern Asian cuisine for this dish. If yu’re not a fan of beef then you can replace it with chicken, pork or even different kinds of seafood including mussels, prawns, fish, crabmeat and more.

I soak the rice noodles in cold water for around 15 minutes to soften them before I blanch them in boiling water. This will help the rice noodles to cook better. If you like your rice noodles a bit softer then just cook them a little longer in the boiling water. Equally if you like your noodles a little al dente, cook for less time. You can also have a look at this article to get information on how to cook different kinds of Chinese/Asian noodles. “Asian Noodles-types of Asian noodles and cooking time”.

You can also use different vegetable for this dish. You don’t have to stick with carrots, mung beans sprouts or bok choy. You can add pepper, napa cabbage, spring onion, salad leaves or different kind of bean sprouts. I would personally stick with using mango for this dish rather than other kind of fruit. Because this dish needs the smell and taste of mango to give it a kick.

I will use lean beef for stir-fry or minute steak in this dish. You can also use sirloin or other parts of the beef if you fancy. You can also adjust the amount of seasonings to suit your personal taste.

This is a dish I make very often at home because it’s just so easy to make. It’s also delicious and full of nutrition from all the vegetables, meat and fruit.

A bit of update with my life:

Since I graduated from university and quit my part time job, I have been super busy. My illustration business has turned really busy and I literally have never been this busy before. For example, this month I’m working on 6 projects with 2 projects at the beginning of the month, 2 projects are my regular monthly work and I have another 2 projects to work on at the end of the month. So I’m juggling all of these projects, this food writing job, family and of course my food blog. This is why, especially now, that I’m focusing a lot on “weeknight dinners” and “life saving recipes for a career mom” type of recipes. Chris, my husband, is out almost all the time with either work or college so he never has time to cook so right now we’re having ready meals and takeaways at least a couple nights each week.

But I’m not complaining at all! I love being busy and I love working in my dream job! I love working as an illustrator and I’m over the moon with my illustration business booming as it is now. I feel like all the hard work, studying and looking after my family in the past 5 years is finally paying off. Now I just need to find more time to cook for my food blog, so wish me luck!

mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
 

mango and beef rice noodle salad
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Mango and Beef Rice Noodle Salad


Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 280 g lean beef julienne it
  • 125 g rice noodle
  • 140 g mango julienne it
  • 85 g carrot julienne it
  • 85 g mung bean sprouts remove the roots
  • 85 g bok choy julienne it

Marinade for beef

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp potato starch or corn flour
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Pinch ground black pepper

Ingredients for dressing

  • 1/2 tbsp mint chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp basil chopped and preferably Thai basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chili remove seed and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 lime juice only
  • 1/2 tbsp demerara sugar or caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and leave aside.
  2. Soak rice noodles in cold water to soften them first.
  3. Marinade beef for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Boil a medium saucepan of water and blanch carrot and mung bean spouts. Cool down in ice water immediately. Drain and leave aside.
  5. Use the same water to blanch the rice noodles for 3-5 minutes. You can adjust the time in which you blanch the noodles if you want them softer or more al dente. This is entirely up to you.
  6. Soak the rice noodles in cold water to cool down immediately. Drain and leave aside.
  7. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet or wok and stir-fry the beef for 30 seconds. Turn off the fire and leave aside.
  8. Mix all the ingredients with some dressing evenly. Season with some salt if need it. Ready to serve.

Squid salad with Taiwanese five-flavour sauce

Salad is always one of the best foods to eat during the summer time. In fact salad is great to eat anytime of the year but one of my favourite summer dishes is this squid salad with Taiwanese five-flavour sauce (五味醬). My husband is only now really warming to salad in his mid thirties but I made this the other day and everyone, my daughter included, loved it.

Taiwanese five-flavour sauce is a popular dipping sauce for seafood in Taiwan. Taiwanese people serve this sauce with raw oysters, cooked prawns, cooked squid, octopus and mussels. You will see this sauce in every seafood restaurant in Taiwan.

This five-flavour sauce as the name suggests embraces five different flavours; sour, sweet, bitter, spicy and pungent. I added some olive oil to this recipe because I hope people can use this sauce as a salad dressing rather than just a dipping sauce. You can adjust the amount of seasonings as per your personal preference. I found the kitchen I got from the supermarkets here in the UK is quite sour so sometimes I will add a little extra sugar to make this sauce sweeter. You can replace the vinegar with rice vinegar, sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar as you wish.

If you are not sure about cross-cutting the squid or you think it’s simply too much hassle or will take too long, then cut the squid into rings or simply dice it. Any method is complete fine. Cooking should be both enjoyable and free and you should never be bounded by a recipe. When I worked as a fine dining chef we were bound by recipes, and that was fine for that cooking scenario, but in my personal cooking I like to improvise a lot. That way rather than eating someone else’s preference you’re discovering your own.

Also if you don’t like boiled or blanched squid, then you can try to chargrill the squid.

I hope you like this simple, quick and delicious salad dish from my home country Taiwan.

 

A little bit of an update about my life:

I’m now working on a few exciting illustration projects right now which is making me really happy but also super busy. As you’ll know I was a full time fine dining chef a few years but I’ve spent the past five years studying illustration to try to turn my life and career around. Now instead of working all kinds of awful hours with poor pay and even worse conditions I’m now able to
dictate how much and when I’m work, so I’m super happy about that.

I’m also trying to find a new home right now. Over five years ago Chris and I working not brilliant jobs and even though Chris’ earnings went up my earnings hadn’t because I sacrificed work to become a student. So right now we’re still renting and we’re looking for not only a bigger flat with more space and a bigger kitchen we’re also looking into catchment areas f
or our daughter’s school.

In case you’re not familiar with a catchment area, in the UK your child can only go to the school designated for the postcode you live in. The small block of flats we live in is fine but the nearest primary school is in Muirhouse which is a really god awful area. Have you ever watched Trainspotting? Well Irvine Welse, the author, is from Muirhouse and the ideas and story
behind Trainspotting came from Muirhouse. Statistically out of 86 primary schools in Edinburgh, our local is the worst. So we need to move.

So right now I work as an illustrator during the day time but at night I’m a food writer and food blogger. So you can imagine I need a really decent size kitchen t work in. My current kitchen is the size of a birdcage so making complex dishes, the ones where you need to cook multiple things at once while having all the space you need for prep, plating etc is really difficult. As it stands we’ve applied for a new housing development being built in a good area of Edinburgh but Edinburgh is so damn expensive nowadays (easily £1000 a month for a 2 bedroom flat) we’re also considering moving just outside of Edinburgh so Amelia can have a garden, we can have a bigger property and we can save money.

So wish me luck finding a new property and hope you like this recipe for Squid Salad with Taiwanese Five-Flavour Sauce.

 

 

Squid salad with Taiwanese five-flavour sauce

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 370 g squid tube clean, wash and cross-cut
  • 140 g broccoli cut into small florets
  • 6 babycorn cut into half
  • 6 cherry tomatoes cut into half

Ingredients for five-flavour sauce

  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp black vinegar
  • 1 tsp ginger finely chop
  • 1 tsp garlic finely chop
  • 1 tbsp coriander finely chop

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients for five-flavour sauce in a small bowl and leave it aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Boil some water in a saucepan and blanch the broccoli until it’s tender. Take it out from the water and cool down immediately under cold water. Then drain the water. Leave it aside.
  3. Keep the water from blanched broccoli and blanch the baby corn in the same way. Cool down immediately under cold water then drain the water. Leave it aside.
  4. Use step 3 water to blanch squid for 30 seconds then cool down immediately under cold water. Then drain the water and leave it aside.
  5. Place broccoli, baby corn, cherry tomato and squid on a serving plate and you can drizzle the sauce on top or you can just serve the sauce on the side. So people can use the sauce as dipping sauce.

Green Papaya and Sirloin Salad

Nothing is better on a hot summer day than a big delicious bowl of salad. This green papaya and sirloin steak salad isn’t exactly an authentic Chinese or Taiwanese dish but it’s more like an Asian inspired salad dish that I really like.

As I live in Scotland, we don’t really get any “summer”, at least not the kind of summer that I was used to when I lived in Taiwan or China. In China and Taiwan, the temperature can reach a sweltering 38 degrees or even hotter but in Scotland right now the temperature is around 16 degrees.

I’m still wearing long sleeves as for me it’s still a bit cold. Chris and I were talking about eating hot pot soon as recently it’s been raining quite a lot and every time it rains the temperature drops. Sometimes the temperature can be as low as 8 degrees in Edinburgh on a summer day.

For this you can replace the cucumber, onion and even green papaya for other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, peppers and celery. You can even try to add in apple or Asian pear if you wish. I improvise my cooking a lot of the time as there are so many ingredients from the East I simply can’t get hold of in the UK so after years of living in Edinburgh I have learnt to improvise and adapt my food to the ingredients I can get here.

Also, please feel free to adjust the seasonings for the marinade and sauce. If you want the sauce to be more sour then add more lemon but if you want to cut down the amount of salt you eat then leave the salt out of the sauce.

I garnished this dish with some chopped mint. Mint is hot a herb we usually use in Chinese cuisine but as explained earlier this is an Asian influenced dish so I added mint because I think the flavour of the mint compliments this dish perfectly.

green papaya sirloin salad

If you are not a fan of red meat, you can use chargrill chicken or pork instead of the steak. You can also use prawn or fish to replace the steak and you can even use horseradish instead of wasabi to give the dish a different kind of flavour.

I didn’t use a lot of wasabi in this recipe because I worry maybe it’s too strong for some people’s tastes but I personally really enjoy that special kick the wasabi gives to this recipe so personally I put a lot of wasabi in this dish when I make it at home.

Green Papaya:

green papaya ingredient
green papaya ingredient

You can purchase green papaya in local Chinese/Asian supermarket or Amazon.

You can also use green papaya make a soup. Check out my recipe for green papaya soup on about.com.

To learn about all health benefits of papaya check out this article: http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/papaya-health-benefits/

 

 

Green Papaya and Sirloin Salad

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 700 g sirloin steak
  • 200 g green papaya julienne
  • 70 g cucumber julienne
  • 85 g onion julienne
  • 1 chili remove seeds and julienne
  • Mint just for garnish

Marinade for sirloin steak

  • 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp demerara sugar

Ingredients for sauce

  • 1/4 tsp wasabi
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Marinade the sirloin stead for 30 minutes. If you have time leave it to marinade longer.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce evenly and leave aside.
  3. Mix the julienned green papaya with a couple pinches of salt and leave it aside for at lease 10 minutes.
  4. Chargrill the steak to how you like it then leave it aside to cool down.
  5. Mix all the vegetables together and place on a serving plate.
  6. Slice steak and put on top of the step 5.
  7. You can pour the sauce on top of the steak or pour the sauce on top of the green papaya salad as you wish.
  8. Garnish the dish with some chopped mint and grilled lemon. Ready to serve.