Sunday, April 22, 2012

Minced Lamb with Glass Noodles

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
Cilantro, chopped


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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Love glass noodles in Vietnamese cuisine.

Love lists, too.

Diane said...

This sounds delicious, I love lamb but we do not eat it often as it is expensive here. Maybe I should have a look around and see if I can find some specials:) Have a great day Diane

Becki's Whole Life said...

I love lists, too Mary! I would say this one is pretty accurate across the globe, but my favorite is definitely Thai food. However, I love them all and I love the fact that we can access so many products these days from across the globe.

These noodles sound wonderful - we are actually having lamb tonight. The glass noodles are such a hit with everyone and the flavors in this are perfect!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I'll have to try glass noodles. I wonder what the list makers considered "United States cuisine?"

SallyBR said...

I love glass noodles, never paired them with lamb, that's a very interesting idea...

I bet it tasted awesome! said...

This is a first for noodles and lamb..but knowing you it must be delicioso!

Jane said...

I have never heard of cellophane noodles, but I will have to look for them! They look so pretty!

David said...

Mary, I love lamb and this sounds like a great new way to enjoy it! Thanks for the recipe! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Ginny Hartzler said...

This looks really good, and I never knew what glass noodles were or how they were different from others,now I know!

Sprigs of Rosemary said...

I wish I wasn't the only lamb lover in this house! I do happen to have some cellophane noodles in the pantry -- must have been a hopeful day I bought them. This is one I'll save for another hopeful day!

A Paixão da Isa said...

gostei muito mas menos do coelho pois é uma coisa que eu nao como mas nao deixo de dizer que esta com um bonito aspceto parabens bjs

Claudia said...

The alcohol surprised me! I don't expect that in Chinese cooking - but I know so little about that cuisine. I have some ground lamb and didn't want to do shepherd's pie so this would be great fun. Even if it's not authentic!

Lenia said...

What a wonderful dish!Have a lovely week,dear!

Manju @ Manjus Eating Delights said...

I love glass noodles...they literally melt in your mouth...this recipe sounds great.

QembarDelites said...

I don't cook with noodles often as they stick the wok! The way this dish is cooked is so much easier and looks delicious!

Rambling Tart said...

What an interesting way to use lamb, Mary. :-) I never would've thought of combining the two, but seeing the dish I can imagine it is quite scrumptious. :-)

Catherine said...

Dear Mary, Sounds wonderful. I love making my own Asian style food. This would be lovely. Hope all is doing well. Blessings dear friend. Catherine xo

BeetleBuggy said...

Chinese is one of my favorites too and having lived in Singapore, I hold Chinese and a lot of other Asian cuisines very close to my heart. I love glass noodles and this paired with the minced lamb look absolutely yummy!

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