I like making Valentine's Day a little special, but also tend to avoid traditional expectations. No boxes of chocolates or bouquets of roses. We're more likely to visit our favorite bakery for a decadent treat. And then there's the steak and seafood dinner … but with a twist. Before you grab a steak knife, consider the brilliance of turning to a fantastic noodle bowl that looks like this:
It has it all: chunks of tender steak, beautiful juicy shrimp, glass noodles bathed in a hoisin-miso sauce, crisp vegetables that bring a rainbow to the dish, and a meal that's quick, beautiful, delicious, and light enough to leave room for dessert! When it comes to dinner ideas for Valentine's Day, it hits all the marks and gets extra points for being the best kind of unexpected surprise. Beyond that, because there are several quick steps involved, it's a perfect recipe to make together. Now that's a romantic dinner for two!
You can, of course, tweak this dish quite a bit. Use different kinds of noodles, although bean thread noodles (sometimes called cellophane or glass noodles) are absolutely delightful and pretty in this dish. Try a different broth for preparing them. If steak and shrimp aren't your thing, try pork tenderloin and scallops. Even the selection of vegetables can change. Use what you like. I am, however, here to tell you that the combination of seared beef and the sautéed tomato is one of my favorite things on this planet. If you haven't had it before, I highly recommend giving it a try!
- 1 T. miso paste
- 2 c. water
- 1-2 small packages bean thread noodles
- 1 T. peanut oil
- 8 oz. sirloin steak
- 4 oz. grape tomatoes
- 1 c. coarsely chopped red cabbage
- 2/3 c. shredded carrot
- 1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
- 8 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 T. hoisin sauce
- 1 T. fried garlic, for topping
- Hot sauce, for topping (optional)
In a medium saucepan, dissolve the miso paste in the water and bring to a low simmer over medium heat. When bubbles begin to form, add the bean thread noodles, cover the pan, and turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and brown the steak well on both sides, allowing 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the steak from the pan and allow to rest on a cutting board.
Add the grape tomatoes, cabbage, carrot, and about half of the green onions to the skillet and sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cover the skillet to allow them to cook and turn entirely pink. Slice the steak into bite-sized pieces while you allow the shrimp to cook.
Return the steak to the skillet and, using a pair of tongs, remove the softened bean thread noodles from the saucepan and add them to the skillet as well. Add the hoisin sauce and toss the contents of the skillet to evenly coat everything. If needed, add some of the broth from the saucepan to the skillet. Spoon the noodle dish into serving bowls and sprinkle with the reserved green onions and fried garlic. Drizzle with hot sauce as desired before enjoying.
- Yields: 2 servings
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes