Friday, November 12, 2010

Ginger Beef or Chicken Patties with Lime Noodle Salad

Ginger Beef or Chicken Patties with Lime Noodle Salad
As shared from the Kitchen of Mari's Once Upon a Plate

Yields 2 very generous meal size servings


4 ounces thin rice "cellophane" noodles* (for alternatives see note below)

Fresh mint leaves, and/or cilantro leaves, a few or up to 1/2 cup
Handful snow peas, sliced and blanched
Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
One or all of the following:
2 or 3 thinly sliced scallions (green onions) (plus extra for patties, see below)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red or other color bell pepper, thinly sliced

For the Gingered Meat Patties:

8 to 10 ounces ground meat: (one of the following: beef, buffalo, chicken, turkey or pork)
¼ cup Chinese oyster sauce, Use Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce if at all possible
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 green onions (scallions) finely chopped 1 or 2 cloves garlic minced

Optional (for more flavorful patties):
3 teaspoons very dry sherry (not cooking sherry)
1 or 2 teaspoons soy sauce

For frying the patties:
1 tablespoon  vegetable oil


2 tablespoons fish sauce (May omit and use 1 tablespoon water mixed with 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, instead.)
2 ½ to 3 tablespoons lime juice
1 ½ tablespoon sugar (more if you like) 
Optional If you like it spicy: Add a few drops or more of your favorite hot sauce (such as Sambal Oelek, or Sriracha, etc.)

If using rice noodles: Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain and run under cold water until cold. Set aside.
If using traditional egg pasta noodles:  Cook until al dente (don't overcook), drain and run under cold water until chilled. Set aside.

Chop half the mint and/or cilantro leaves, and two finely chopped scallions, place in a bowl with the ground meat, oyster sauce and ginger (and sherry and soy sauce if using.) Mix well to combine. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Divide the ground meat mixture into small patties and cook for 2–3 minutes each side or until cooked through. (I make the patties about the size of a half-dollar, or just a bit larger.)

Place the noodles in a bowl with the snow pea, tomato, onion and remaining mint and/or cilantro leaves and toss to combine. Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar (plus hot sauce if using) and stir well to dissolve sugar; pour over the noodles. .Add the patties to the salad to serve.

* Alternately:  Use angel hair pasta or very thin spaghetti (cooked until al dente), and rinsed with cold water until chilled.  I usually use Barilla brand whole grain very "Thin Spaghetti".

Note about the oyster sauce: Of all the brands I've tried  Lee Kum Kee brand is by far the best. And don't worry if you detest oysters ~ this really doesn't taste like oysters at all, it just adds a deeply rich savory and slightly sweet balance to the meat.

Recipe loosely inspired from a Donna Hay recipe

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