Weeknight Shorts: No Ordinary Noodles

We all need super weeknight dishes that can get assembled in a half hour or less. This is why I'm introducing the Weeknight Shorts series. When you see one of these posts show up here, you know you can rely upon it to get you a great dinner idea that involves a half hour or less of prep time when it's time to get dinner on the table. Sometimes, you might need to do a little work up front, like cutting steak into thin strips and tossing it into a super-easy marinade, but when it's time to cook, you can have it ready in short order:

This first dish is great because it takes some pretty mundane items like round steak and noodles and transforms them into a dish your family will be craving even when there's more time to cook. It was inspired by a recipe I found via Penzeys and tweaked a bunch to include different assembly methods and ingredients, although I highly recommend favoring their granulated garlic in this and other dishes and I always keep their wasabi powder on hand. I'm particularly fond of blending simple items with strong flavor elements like freshly-grated ginger (I used baby ginger from our CSA box), wasabi, and garlic. Depending on who is sitting around my table, I've been known to add extra ginger and garlic to the sauce stuff when making this dish, too!

Another great thing about this dish is that it's a meal on its own. You can, of course, have egg rolls or spring rolls on the side, but if you are turning to this recipe because you are looking to save time, you can just serve it as is. Also, you can use any number of vegetables in it. I opted to include peas and green onions here, but it also works well with peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, green beans, snow peas, carrots … the list is really long! It boils down to what you have on hand, have time to prepare, and are in the mood to pair with your steak. Also, you can opt for different cuts of steak or even sliced chicken or pork. I chose round steak because it stands up to the strong flavors in the dish well and is relatively inexpensive and turns out beautifully after having a long period of marinating prior to hitting the skillet. I hope you enjoy this short order gift for you and your loved ones.

Ginger-Wasabi Steak & Noodles

  • 16 oz. well-tenderized round steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1-2 T. freshly-grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 T. canola oil, divided
  • 8 oz. wide egg noodles
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 T. rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. wasabi powder plus 2 T. water OR 2 tsp. wasabi paste
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 T. sesame seeds

Up to 5 days ahead of time, cut the round steak into thin strips and place it in a resealable plastic bag. Add the grated ginger (more for stronger ginger flavor, less for milder ginger flavor), powdered garlic, ground pepper, and 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

When you are ready to make the meal, cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain.

Meanwhile, heat the other tablespoon of canola oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the marinated steak and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. After 5 minutes, add the peas and the green onions and cook another minute. Then add the rice vinegar, wasabi powder and water OR wasabi paste, and the soy sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce bubbles a little. Toss the noodles into the pan and stir to coat them. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve hot.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time