Easy Asian Noodles

I've made this quick and easy lo mein-style noodle and vegetable dish several times now, and have received rave reviews! My teenage daughter brought it home from her foods class at school and made it for me first. I've tweaked the recipe slightly to include more vegetables and less meat, and replaced some of the soy sauce with oyster sauce to heighten the flavor and to make the dish more authentic. You can replace the oyster sauce with soy sauce or tamari sauce, if you prefer. The dish has very little “kick” with the particular type of Asian chili paste I used, once it is mixed with the noodles and vegetables. Feel free to add more spice with hot sauce (like Thai garlic chili sauce or sriracha sauce) to your liking. Feel free to use a different brand of chili paste in the sauce. Be aware that a different brand or type of Asian chili paste used in the recipe may be much spicier than what I used, so be careful to taste as you go along to assess the spiciness of the sauce. I try to use vegetables that don't take too much time to cut, and take advantage of shortcuts like using a potato peeler to cut the carrots, or by buying pre-sliced Portobello mushrooms or pre-packaged sugar snap peas. I was even able to slice the red bell pepper in seconds with my vegetable spiralizer. Pre-packaged shredded broccoli and carrots also work great in this recipe.  I can make the whole recipe in 20 minutes or less by using these tricks! The leftovers are great, too.
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Noodles Ingredients

1-12 oz. package of angel hair pasta or brown rice noodles 1 Tbsp sesame oil 1 Tbsp high-heat-tolerant oil (like Canola or refined safflower oils) 5 - 6 gloves garlic, crushed 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, finely grated 4 to 5 cups vegetables of your choice (carrots, red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, green beans, mushrooms, cabbage etc…) 1/2 Ib. flank steak, skirt steak, or top loin sirloin steak, thinly sliced (optional)

Sauce Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbsp real maple syrup 3 Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce 1 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce 1 1/2 Tbsp Asian chili-garlic paste Asian hot sauce to taste (optional)

Directions

1) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Using package directions, cook the angel hair pasta or brown rice noodles in the boiling water until cooked through but firm to the bite; drain and transfer the pasta back to the pan. Drizzle sesame oil over the noodles and toss to coat. Cover to keep warm.
2) Mix the soy sauce, maple syrup, oyster sauce, and chili paste together in a small bowl. Set aside.
3) Prepare the vegetables and place them near the stove top. This dish cooks fast, so all of the ingredients need to be ready to be used in quick succession.
4) Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the garlic and ginger in the hot oil until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the vegetables requiring the longest cooking time to the skillet first; cook and stir until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. (Hint: If the vegetables or meat are done and shouldn't be cooked more, just throw them in with the noodles while you cook the remaining ingredients.) Add the medium-thick vegetables and the sliced beef; cook and stir until the beef is almost cooked through. Next, add the sauce and the super-thin vegetables, like spiral-cut red peppers, chopped scallions (the green part), and ribboned carrots to the pan. Add the noodles and toss together with the vegetables and meat. Cook and stir until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add additional hot sauce to taste if needed; combine well and serve hot. Enjoy!