Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stir-Fry Mung Bean Vermicelli (Sotanghon) with Beef

This is vintage 1950's recipe.

That's what it says in the book "In My Basket: The Cookbook" where I got the recipe. The author Lydia Castillo has been a food section contributor in the local newspaper The Philippine Star, so I have been a regular follower of her column. Naturally, when her cookbook came out, I just have get myself a copy.

This recipe sounds very easy to prepare. We love mung bean vermicelli (sotanghon). Mung bean vermicelli is different from the regular Chinese egg noodles, and rice noodles. As the name suggests, this vermicelli is made from green mung bean starch. It is transparent, this why sometimes, it is also called cellophane noodles. It is more firm and chewy than the other kinds of noodles, which we prefer. My mother-in-law believes mung bean vermicelli is healthier because, well, it is made from beans!

Here is my take on the recipe:

200 gms lean ground beef, marinated in
a dash of pepper
2 T soy sauce
1 T cornstarch

100 gms vermicelli noodles (sotanghon)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 T cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 T fish sauce (patis)
ground pepper, as desired
1 large bell pepper, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 stalk leeks, chopped
1/2 C water or broth

1. Soak vermicelli noodles (sotanghon) in water for 15 minutes. Cut to 2-inch length. Marinate the ground beef in pepper, soy sauce and cornstarch.

2. In a cooking pan or wok, saute the garlic, onion, tomato in the oil. Let the tomatoes cook for a while, then add the marinated meat. Season with fish sauce, and ground pepper. Cover to seal in the flavors. Simmer, stirring every few minutes.

3. When meat is cooked, add the noodles, bell peppers, celery and leeks. Add the water or broth. Stir and mix so that all the noodles will absorb the meat and the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may use salt, soy sauce or more fish sauce.

4. When cooked, transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately.

This is a different take on the usual Filipino vermicelli stir-fry (sotanghon guisado) dish. It uses a tomato based sauce that is made flavorful with fish sauce and beef. Even the combination of beef and fish sauce is quite unique. The result? Very flavorful noodles dish that will surely be a mainstay in my kitchen.

Hmmm... I should have added cilantro. :)

Sharing this dish with the Presto Pasta Nights people, headed by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. This week's host is Nilmandra of Soy and Pepper.


Nilmandra said...

I think it's also called bean thread noodles. I love them and your dish looks good! Thanks for entering it into Presto Pasta Nights.

Unknown said...

looks good and flavorful... :)

Maria Verivaki said...

vermicelli isnt so popular where i live, but i've always enjoyed it in light soups and easy stir-fries - delicious looking dish!

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Hi Nilmandra! Looking forward to the round-up! :)

Thanks Mikky!

Thanks Mediterranean Kiwi! I think in terms of glycemic index, the vermicelli is better than other kinds of noodles. :) so maybe we should eat it more often!

noobcook said...

we call it 'tang hoon' here too ... sounds similar right? hehe ... I love them stir fried too and yours look so delicious.

tigerfish said...

I want this! Can imagine the vermicelli has absorbed all the flavors and "juice" of the beef ;p

Ruth Daniels said...

Great entry for Presto Pasta Nights. Thanks so much for sharing.

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a beautiful entree. It is a stunner.

Lori Lynn said...

Ooh it sounds good to me! I like the RETRO food!

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Hello Noobcook! Yes, we call it "tang hoon" in Fookien Chinese :)

Yes, Tigerfish, the dish is very flavorful. :)

Thanks Ruth! Always looking forward to PPN!

Thanks for dropping by MAry!

Hi Lori Lynn! Yes, LOL! I guess we can call this a retro dish! :)

Gloria Ives said...

you may like mung bean fettucini! I just tried it. nice texture and it has 20 grams of protein per serving!

Anonymous said...

I had always loved eating bean thread since i was akid. In recent years whenever I eat bean thread I vomited and have stomach cramps every single time. I suspect something is wrong and I checked up on what this noodle really is. It is said that cornstarch was used because it is cheaper than mung bean starch and because corn starch is not clear/transparent,it is bleached with chemical and lead concentrations has been found. I never will eat any kind of asian noodles again.I am going for a lead test.

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