A 15 minute meal?! Yep, you read that correctly!
I’ve had a few requests for some quick weeknight meals… and to be honest, this isn’t necessarily my forte. For some reason, a lot of my meals take a bit of time to make. But with how chaotic and crazy life can be, and with a certain 8 month old needing more and more attention from me, I was bound and determined to take a few shortcuts and come up with meals that are easy, quick, and don’t break the bank (this is always important to me).
So this recipe is for an easy weeknight stir fry. Feel free to substitute with chicken (it’ll just take a bit more time to cook the chicken through) and jasmine rice (or any rice for that matter). I use rice noodles in this recipe, but you can just as easily use linguine or fettucini for an easy substitution!
Beef Stir Fry with Rice Noodles
- 1 package stir fry beef
- 1 package rice noodles
- 1 bag of frozen stir fry veggies (steam-able)
- 1-1.5 tsp garlic (or 2-3 cloves)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp chili paste or Sriracha (or omit if you don’t like spice)
- 1/4 cup teriyaki
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 tsp olive oil to coat the bottom of the frying pan
- pepper to season
So the key to this is to take the shortcuts. Buy the pre-sliced beef. Get the microwavable veggies (that cuts down on prep time drastically). You may pay a teeny tiny bit more, but it’ll make the cook time so much faster.
I start by getting the water going for the noodles so it gets up to a boil quickly. One trick I always do is keep the lid on the pot. That makes the water boil so much faster. I do this before I start cooking so it’s ready to go when I get to cooking. I also get the liquid portion of the sauce together so it’s ready to go. I combine the teriyaki (I use this Mr. Yoshida’s but it’s difficult to find and any teriyaki would do), soy sauce, and water. You can add a little more of each if you like really saucy stir fry.
I then take the beef and separate it out onto paper towels so that it is dried off. A key component to having any meat brown (and properly seared) is to dry it before you cook it.
I then season it with some pepper and get my pan heated up to medium high. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet because I think it cooks the meat the most evenly (but use whatever pan is in your arsenal if you don’t have one). Once the pan is heated, add a little olive oil and add the meat.
Then DON’T TOUCH THE MEAT. We all have an inclination to stir whatever we put into a pan, but it needs to properly sear on the one side, so don’t mess with it until it starts browning up on the edges (like the photo above).
*At this point, I also cook the noodles to package directions. They take about 8 minutes or so.*
Then flip it over to get it browned on the other side. I then add the chili paste and garlic to the meat. (You can substitute 1 tsp of garlic powder if you don’t have any fresh or minced garlic on hand). We prefer a lot of garlic flavor and a lot of heat, so we add the full amount of both – but you can omit either or both if you don’t.
Stir it all together so it’s evenly distributed amongst the meat. Depending on how well done you like your beef, you may want to add the sauce to the meat. My husband and I prefer our beef cooked medium, so I add the sauce at this point. If you like it more well done, cook the beef a couple of minutes longer before you add the sauce.
I keep the heat up to medium high and let the sauce reduce down (that basically means it gets thicker and has more depth of flavor). Once I add the liquids, I then throw the vegetables into the microwave and cook to package directions (around 3 1/2 minutes). I prefer to buy the asian medley because it comes lightly seasoned already.
I strain the noodles once they’re finished then add them to the beef and sauce combination. I only used about 2/3 of the noodles when it came down to it.
Stir it together so the noodles get coated in the sauce. Add the veggies. And you’ve got yourself a stir fry – in 15 minutes!