Spicy food is always a little tricky in our house. I like spicy dishes, whereas my husband has no head for heat whatsoever. I was a bit nervous about tackling the Chili Beef Noodle Soup as my next recipe in my challenge to cook all of How To Eat, in case I melted his tastebuds.
It’s interesting to remember that I’m working from a book that is twenty years old. Most of the recipes are pretty classic, but I think if this recipe were written today, it would be a little different (in fact, I think Nigella has actually written a revamped version).
This recipe was first written before everyone and their Mum ate ramen on the regular, and it’s definitely a heavily Westernized version of noodle soup.
The broth is a fairly classic stock, but with some added dried chili for heat. I think if I made this again, I’d throw in a dash of lime to add a hit of sour to the spiciness.
It’s not a dud recipe, by any means, but the flavour profile is a little outdated, I think. It needs a lighter broth, with a wider mix of flavours in there.
The beef, however, was absolutely killer. You’re supposed to marinade it for half an hour before cooking in a mix of soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and garlic. After the soak, sear the steak, then cook it for two minutes on each side. The result is tender, juicy steak that is perfectly medium-rare, with a sweet, tangy flavour. I might not bother with the soup again, but I will definitely make this steak again!
So far, I’m enjoying the challenge of cooking every recipe in How To Eat, and this has been the first one where I’ve felt the age of the book. I wanted to learn new skills from this book, but this one showed me I maybe have more knowledge than I thought, as I was able to recognise how this would probably be made now.
Next stop, Bakewell Tart!