This is one of my favorite dishes when I go out for Thai food. Of course, the challenge is finding a place that doesn’t use soy sauce (or uses gluten-free soy sauce). And sometimes rice noodles have a bit of wheat flour integrated or dusted on the noodles. Meaning, sigh, that I haven’t actually found a place that makes this dish gluten-free.
Have I let that stop me? Of course not. This is a fast dish to put together (and can be made with chicken or shrimp if you prefer). You can prep all the ingredients while the noodles are “cooking”. The rest is a quick saute in your wok or skillet.
While this dish is traditionally prepared using fresh rice noodles, I’m having a hard time finding them without wheat flour. So I’ve substituted Korean rice cakes (also known as dduk). Rice cakes are actually thick rice noodles; they have a chewy texture and work well with all kinds of flavors. You can purchase them as a long cylinder or already sliced. I’ve also seen them in a gnocchi-like configuration. They keep well in the freezer, so I buy several packages when I’m out shopping. Find them in the freezer or refrigerator sections of Asian grocery stores.
The best thing about this dish? It can be spicy or mild, depending on your mood. Also, it makes fantastic leftovers.
Spicy Thai Beef and Basil with Rice Cakes
By June 1, 2013Published:
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Prep: 30 mins
- Cook: 10 mins
- Ready In: 40 mins
This spicy noodle dish comes together quickly for a weeknight meal. The chewy, gluten-free rice cakes have great texture (and reheat well).
- 12 ounces rice cakes pre-sliced (see Notes)
- cold water to cover rice cakes
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce see Notes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or to taste
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional, see Notes)
- 1 teaspoon lime juice or to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 pound flank steak thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 - 2 cups carrots, red bell peppers, zucchini, or other vegetables as desired, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup Thai basil see Notes
- green onion thinly sliced for garnish
- lime juice for squeezing over the noodles (optional)
- Place the rice cakes in a large bowl, and cover them with cold water. Set aside for up to an hour.
- While the rice cakes are soaking, mix the soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and lime juice together in a small bowl. Set aside to let the flavors meld.
- Heat the oil in a skillet or wok until shimmering and very hot. Add the flank steak and stir fry for about three to five minutes (hot, cooked through, but not well done). Add the veggies and stir fry until crisp-tender.
- Add the reserved sauce and mix well.
- Add the rice cakes and mix well. Saute until the rice cakes are heated through. Remove from the heat.
- Make a chiffonade from the basil leaves: stack several leaves on top of each other and roll the leaves into a tight tube. Cut the tube into thin strips.
- Garnish the spicy beef and rice cakes with the basil and green onions. Serve with lime wedges on the side.