This recipe is one of my frequent 'something from nothing' dinners - when it looks like there's nothing in the fridge, cupboards, house that will make a good dinner for two ... and then, always, there IS.
I was looking at one steak, some slightly-past-their-best vegetables and wondering what to make when I saw there was also just one layer left of the dried rice noodles - like they were signalling to me to use them as well.
So I did.
I wouldn't naturally put beef with Thai green curry flavours, which are much more usually combined with seafood or chicken .... so I was thinking what to do with red curry, but I wanted something with lime and I was just drawn to the green curry paste, so that's what I did.
And a quick word on using a paste ... IT'S FINE!
When I lived in Thailand everyone went to the market in the morning to get meat and fish and vegetables and also to stop at the curry paste stalls to buy curry paste - you add your own touches to it when you use it, but you don't have to make your own.
I like the one in my photo of the ingredients which I buy from the local Thai supermarket but my nearest Sainsbury's now stocks it too, so it might be in your supermarket - if you don't already have a favourite curry paste - and if not, it'll be available online. They last for EVER (pretty much) in the fridge so well worth getting.
Usually I add the sauce-flavour-ingredients straight into the pan when I cook, but recently have been experimenting with combining them first - in dishes that this feels right to do of course - as with this sea bass recipe - so decided to play with that again for this.
It was quick and easy and really good .... do try!
For two people, you'll need:
1 layer of dried rice noodles, prepared according to pack instructions
1 steak - I like rump best but sirloin would work too
A few dashes of light soy sauce
1 heaped teaspoon of good Thai green curry paste *
1 generous tablespoon light soy sauce *
1 generous tablespoon fish sauce *
the juice of one good juicy lime *
1/2 teaspoon sugar *
(NOTE: if i'd had any toasted sesame oil I'd have added 1/2 a teaspoon of that too) *
some vegetables, sliced ready to stir fry - anything you like really - I had red and yellow peppers, broccoli and spring onions
Start with the noodles and prepare according to pack instructions - I usually throw them into a pan of boiling water, remove from heat and let sit for five minutes then drain and run under cold water to stop them cooking further and becoming gloopy and sticky.
And sprinkle a couple of dashes of light soy sauce over your steak so it's got a kind of marinade while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
So the noodles are already done and the steak ready to cook.
Now just chop the vegetables and we want them in quite small pieces so they'll cook quickly, and also mix also the sauce ingredients (marked in the list above with an '*') in a bowl so it's ready to add.
Cook the steak to your liking - I use a very hot griddle and like mine medium rare which is usually 3-4 minutes on one side and another 2-3 on the other then rest for a minute.
While the steak rests, put a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of cooking oil (not olive oil as it cooks at too low a temperature - vegetable or sunflower is good - my favourites are rapeseed or grapeseed).
When hot, add the vegetables and fry for around three minutes, stirring all the time, and adding a splash of water if it looks like it's sticking.
Then add the noodles and the sauce and mix it all together and stir fry for a minute or two more until it's all cooked and hot and the noodles and beautiful and not stuck together - and do add a splash more water if needed.
Remove from the heat, pour into a serving dish or individual bowls and top with slices of the steak.
You'll understand, this being a 'something from nothing' dinner that I didn't have a lot of fresh herbs to hand - but if I had I might have added some chopped fresh coriander and/or mint to garnish.
Oh, but I did garnish with some toasted flaked almonds - literally just seconds in a dry pan gets them toasty and delicious, well, I wanted SOME kind of garnish, final flourish!