In cool weather, many Asian families enjoy rustic “hot pot”-style meals, where everyone gathers around a large pot set over a one-burner gas stove (like a camping stove). Everyone digs into dinner, which often includes a wild green or other dark leafy vegetable. Eddy [Leroux, chef de cuisine at restaurant Daniel and co-author of Foraged Flavor
] was inspired by these traditions to meld the fatty and sweet qualities of beef and clear rice noodles with the sharper dandelion leaves.
Braised Beef, Dandelion Leaves, and Clear Noodles
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 (3-ounce) package thin, clear rice noodles, such as vermicelli
12 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes
4 small spring onions or scallions, white and light green parts, sliced
1 ounce (1 cup) snipped wild garlic greens (optional)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce or tamari
1⁄4 cup mirin
6 ounces (4 1/2 cups) young dandelion leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
8 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large pot, bring water, the salt, and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for about 2 minutes, or until soft. Drain and reserve.
2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the beef and sear until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Add the spring onions and wild garlic greens, if using, turn down the heat, and cook for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and mirin, followed by the dandelion leaves and sugar. Gently stir so that the large volume of dandelion leaves can cook evenly.
Add the noodles and tofu and gently stir so that the noodles soak up the gravy and turn a light brown. Season with pepper and serve.
Reprinted from Foraged Flavor
. Copyright © 2012 by Tama Matsuoka Wong and Eddy Leroux. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, LLC.
About the Author
Tama Matsuoka Wong is the forager for restaurant Daniel in New York City and enjoys relationships with organizations that include the Audubon Society and Slow Food. After more than 25 years as a financial services lawyer, she launched Meadows and More, LLC, to connect experts in the field of meadow restoration, botany, and wildlife with people in the community. In 2007, she was named Steward of the Year by the New Jersey Forest Service.
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