From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I have, all of my life, been a list maker and planner, so, I guess it's only natural that I'm drawn to lists compiled by others. I normally wouldn't bother you with my findings, but I came across one that I think all food lovers can have some fun with. Cuisines of the world are now ranked by popularity and I think you'll have great fun impugning the intelligence of the list makers who put your favorite choices in the wrong slots. A complete list of one group's choices for the ten most popular cuisines can be found here. I know many of you don't have time to follow links, so I'll briefly summarize their results for you. The countries, first to last, are China, Italy, Thailand, India, the United States, France, Mexico, Japan, Spain and Lebanon. While no methodology is given for the study, I think these folks are brilliant. My favorite cuisine was a clear winner. Actually, China and France tie for first place in my kitchen. I have a lot of family friendly Chinese recipes that I haven't posted yet and this bit of silliness is my segue into one of them. Glass or cellophane noodles are a type of transparent noodle made from mung bean starch and water. Once softened, they cook quickly and that makes them perfect for a fast family meal. This recipe combines them with minced lamb that is flavored prior to stir-frying. You can control the heat in this dish by varying the amount of chili paste you use as it is assembled. I found the recipe for this stir-fry on the Sheep Creek Farm site several years ago and I prepare it whenever I want to serve something that is Asian but not too highly spiced. This is not an authentic Chinese dish, but it is a delicious Chinese-ish interpretation of a noodle bowl that I hope you will try. Here's the recipe.
Minced Lamb with Glass Noodles...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Sheep Creek Farms
1 pound lean ground lamb
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, divided use
2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided use
2 teaspoons dark Asian sesame oil, divided use
6 ounces cellophane noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sliced scallions, white and tender green, divided use
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1-1/2 inch ginger root, peeled, chopped, and minced
2 teaspoons chili paste, or to taste
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons scotch or dark rum
1 teaspoon sugar
1) Lightly mix lamb with 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a non-reactive bowl. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.
2) Soak noodles in warm water to cover about 15 minutes. Drain, place cold water, and drain again. Cut into 3-inch pieces and set aside.
3) In a wok or a large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add lamb and chili paste and stir-fry mixture, breaking up any lumps until well cooked.
4) Add garlic, ginger and half the scallions, stir-frying just until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add noodles, broth, scotch or rum reserved soy sauce, reserved rice vinegar and sugar. Simmer, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the noodles have absorbed all the liquid. Transfer to a warm serving platter and drizzle with the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil. Sprinkle the remaining scallions and the cilantro over the top as a garnish. Yield: 4 servings.
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