October 14, 2009

Spicy "Beef" Noodles

This recipe began life without the quotes around the word Beef, but I have since adapted it to a vegetarian version. You can use most any kind of meat substitute, such as tofu, tempeh, seiten, or just leave it out altogether. In this rendition, I used those Smart Strips, fake chicken pieces that are quite tasty and versatile in many recipes.

I also used a gluten-free fusilli pasta. These pastas have come a long way from when they first came out. I can hardly tell the difference sometimes, and the rice flour-based pasta we get from OrgraN and Tinkyada are wonderful.

But the star of this dish is the chili oil. A good chili oil will go a long way to improving any dish. Chili oil readily available in most Asian markets or any well-stocked super market; just go to the international aisle. The one we get I cannot read because it is in Chinese, but it has a picture of a grumpy looking Oriental woman. I encourage all to stock their fridge with some chili oil. You can jazz up most anything with a little dab of this tasty fire: rice, tofu, vegetables, even meat.

Spicy "Beef" Noodles


½ lb fusilli pasta
3 T olive oil, separate
1 package Smart Strips
1 onion, halved lengthwise and cut into thin wedges
3 c broccoli florets
3 T soy sauce
1 T chili oil
ground pepper
3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges


1. Cook the pasta according to the directions until just tender (not much more, as it will cook more later).

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 T oil in a large skillet and brown the chicken strips, about 5 minutes. Remove strips to a plate, add the remaining 1 T of oil and heat. When hot, add the onions and cook until it just turns brown, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the broccoli and cook until it is bright green, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, chili oil, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, about 3 more minutes.

4. Add reserved chicken strips and tomatoes. Stir well and heat about another minute to heat through. Serve hot with a sprinkling of parsley or cilantro.

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