A summery salad of cold noodles, steak, crunchy sugar snap peas, and cucumbers punctuated with mint and cilantro hits the spot for a quick dinner or for lunch during the week.
Rice noodles, drizzled with a miso ginger dressing, are chewy and satisfying. You’ll want to eat this on the porch all summer long or make the noodle bowl for lunches any time of year.
What Steak to Buy
I chose lean flank steak for this recipe. Normally, flank needs a marinade to make it flavorful, but I skipped it with this recipe to save a little time. There is plenty of flavor in the dressing added after the steak is cooked to justify skipping this step.
This means that a quick sear on top of the stove is all it takes to get supper going. Because it is lean, flank steak is not as tender as some other cuts of beef, but when seared quickly and thinly sliced across the grain, it won't be tough. Its speedy preparation should make the weeknight cook happy.
The truth is, any slices of leftover steak, grilled or pan-seared, would work well in this recipe, so if you are grilling on the weekend, you could throw a steak on the barbie to slice later in the week.
Look for Wide Rice Noodles
Rice noodles are gluten-free, made with only rice flour and water.
I like the flavor and texture of wide noodles. I happened to have these stir fry noodles on hand but you could use any wide noodles you like. Most supermarkets stock rice noodles, but if you have an Asian food market near you, you will find lots of choices.
Rice noodles are sticky. If they clump together once you’ve strained them and they’ve cooled, simply separate them with your hands by tossing them gently under cold running water.
The Ingredients for the Dressing
The lime-miso dressing for this noodle bowl is salty (miso), a little sweet (brown sugar), spicy (ginger), and tangy (lime), making for a piquant accompaniment to the steak and noodles.
I prefer to serve it separately so that each person can add as much or as little as they like.
You can cook the steak, noodles, and vegetables, and make the dressing up to four days ahead. Store them separately in the refrigerator to assemble when you want. The noodles can stick together. If they do, just rinse them under cold water while separating them with your fingers.
How to Assemble and Serve
Toss the steak with the noodles and vegetables in a large bowl, add the herbs, and toss again.
Serve in bowls with the dressing on the side and sprinkle each bowl with sesame seeds.
Looking for More Bowl Recipes?
- Easy Vietnamese-Style Bowls with Chicken
- Soba Noodle Bowls with Spinach and Poached Eggs
- Zucchini Noodle Chicken Pesto Bowl
- Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
- Sesame Noodle Salad
Steak Noodle Bowls with Miso-Lime Dressing
- For the miso lime dressing:
- 1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon red, white, or yellow miso
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- For the salad:
- 1 pound flank steak
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces wide rice noodles
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas
- 3 cups packed (4 ounces) baby spinach
- 2 Persian cucumbers
- 1/2 cup packed mint leaves, torn or snipped, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves, torn or snipped, plus more for garnish
- sesame seeds, for garnish
Make the dressing:
In a blender or the bowl of a food processor pulse the ginger and garlic until finely chopped. Add the lime juice, water, miso, soy sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, and sesame oil. Blend or process until smooth.
Cook the steak:
Pat the steak dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. In a cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the steak and cook for 3 minutes, or until browned. Turn over and cook on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the steak registers 135oF for medium-rare.
Set aside and let rest for at least 5 minutes while you prepare the noodles. (The temperature will rise a few degrees as the steak rests.) Cut across the grain into thin slices.
Trim the snap peas:
Remove and discard the stem end and string from each of the snap pea pods. (Note, if you don’t mind the strings, you can skip this step.)
Cook the noodles and snap peas, and wilt the spinach:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and add the noodles and snap peas. Cover the pot and let sit for 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the snap peas (they will float on top of the noodles) to a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
Cover the pot again and let the noodles soak for another 4 to 5 minutes. (See package directions for precise amount of total time for the noodle brand you are using.) Stir in the spinach leaves, which will immediately wilt a little. Drain the noodles and spinach in a colander, rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer to the bowl with the snap peas.
Assemble and serve the salad:
Add the cucumbers, mint, cilantro, and sliced steak to the bowl with the noodles. Toss to combine. Taste and add more salt, if you like. Divide among four bowls and sprinkle each with more mint, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Serve the dressing on the side so each person can add as much or as little as they want.