When I’m craving something quick, tasty and substantial for dinner, this big bowl of saucy Asian-style noodles with ground beef and loads of fresh vegetables is just the ticket. Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you – once all the vegetables are cut up, it comes together in a flash, which makes it a perfect option on a hectic weekday evening.
What I love best about this recipe is that it’s endlessly adaptable, depending on what you’ve got around – change up the vegetables based on your preferences, replace the ground beef with ground pork or bite-sized pieces of chicken breast, or go meat-free by replacing the beef with a soy-based “ground round” or omitting it altogether.
I used The Heat Is On peanut butter as the base for my sauce because we like things spicy at our house, but if you can’t find The Heat Is On (or if you just want a less spicy version), substitute it with an equal amount of Smooth Operator peanut butter and spice things up with a squirt or two of Sriracha sauce.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
4 packets (200g each) fresh udon noodles
¾ cup beef stock
½ cup The Heat Is On peanut butter
¼ cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 carrots, julienned or thinly sliced
1 can (398ml) baby corn, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup sugarsnap peas
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon corn starch
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
¼ cup chopped peanuts
1. Run the udon noodles under warm water for 1-2 minutes to loosen. Drain and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together stock, peanut butter, hoisin, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a wok or large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add the beef, garlic and ginger, and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up meat with spoon, or until the beef is completely browned. Add the carrots, baby corn, snap peas and red pepper, and cook for 3-5 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add the udon noodles and peanut sauce to the pan, and toss until everything is evenly coated with sauce.
3. In small bowl, stir together the water and corn starch until smooth. Stir into the noodles and cook for 2 minutes, or until noodles are heated through and sauce is thickened.
4. Serve immediately, with a sprinkling of green onion and chopped peanuts for garnish.