Asian Crispy Ground Beef Noodle Salad – Ground / minced beef are stir-fried in aromatic five-spice powder until dry and crispy and pile on noodle and salad and drenched in sweet, sour, and spicy dressing! It’s hard not to get addicted. Can be made low-carb.
This Asian crispy ground beef noodle salad is another one of those recipes you should keep in your recipe list for that easy and delicious weeknight meals.
WHAT MAKES THIS ASIAN CRISPY GROUND BEEF NOODLE SALAD GOOD?
1. The beef is stir-fried until dried and crispy. Now, it’s not that kind of potato chips crunchy you are imagining. It doesn’t make any crunch, but the beef pieces are dry and slightly charred, which makes a great topping for salad, rice, or noodles.
2. The noodle salad is then drenched with a dressing made of fish sauce, honey, lime juice, garlic, and chili. Speaking of taste bomb! It’s right here baby! The dressing ties everything together, yet it’s such a light dressing that you don’t feel guilty pouring it on top of your salad and noodle.
3. The contrast of texture in this salad can be addicting. The fresh crunchy salad with slightly soft and chewy noodles, the crushed peanuts, crispy ground beef and that umami-loaded dressing! I guess enough said?
WHICH CUISINE DOES THIS ASIAN CRISPY GROUND BEEF NOODLE SALAD BELONG TO?
I call it “Asian” because it is actually inspired by Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine. The use of Chinese five-spice powder and the dressing is totally Thai and Vietnamese inspired. So, it’s an Asian Fusion.
This blog post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission when you made purchase at no extra cost to you. Learn more.
SPECIAL INGREDIENTS USED IN THIS SALAD
I labeled them as “special” because not everyone is familiar with Asian ingredients.
1. Fish sauce
Fish sauce has gained its popularity in Western cooking these days. You can find it not only in Asian grocery store, but mainstream non-Asian grocery stores carry them too.
2. Five-spice powder
Five-spice powder is commonly used in Chinese cooking. It is made of five spices: star anise, cloves, cardamom, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns. There are also other varieties with slightly different spices. The one I used here is Chinese five-spice powder. They are commonly used to marinade meat and poultry.
TIPS ON MAKING THE GROUND BEEF CRISPY
Like I mentioned before, it’s not the potato chips crispy we are talking about here, but the ground beef is dry and separated into little granule-like and slightly charred
1. Use lean ground beef
Lean ground beef will make your task easier in making the beef crispy. Don’t worry about the meat being dry and all after you cook it because we don’t serve it as is. The dressing really makes up for it in this recipe
2. Let the meat comes to room temperature
Remove ground beef from the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to cook. Pat it dry with an absorbent paper towel to get rid of excess moisture
3. Use a reasonable-size pan
You don’t want to use a small pan in this case. If you don’t have enough space to cook the ground beef in even layer, they will end up steaming in the pan. At least 10 inches of pan if I may recommend so
4. Really heat up that pan/wok
Heat up the pan/wok until it’s really hot. Add some oil as called for in the recipe. Swirl it around and add the meat in covering the bases of the pan or wok in even layer
5. Leave it alone
Yes, please leave it alone. Don’t worry about breaking it up or anything. Just leave it there until the beef is slightly charred with a crispy edge and dark brown. Flip over and repeat
Now..eating salad has never been so delicious with all the amazing flavor and aroma.
Asian Crispy Ground Beef Noodle Salad
Crispy ground beef:
- 1 lb high-quality ground lean beef
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp five-spice powder
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 red Thai chili finely sliced
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Fresh salad greens of your choice
- Noodle/pasta of your choice Such as somen, soba, egg noodles, spaghetti, linguine, etc
- ½ cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts chopped
Preparing the dressing:
- Place all the ingredients for dressing in a bowl and stir to mix. This can be prepared one day before and can keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week
Cooking the beef:
- Get the beef out from the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to start cooking. Preheat your pan/wok over high heat. When it's hot enough, add in sesame oil. Swirl around to coat the base of the pan/wok. Add the ground beef and use a spatula to smash it to cover the base of the pan/wok. Make sure it's even layer. Let it sit there cooking over high heat. It may ooze out some liquid and bubbles a bit. Don't worry. Don't flip it until you see crispy edges and the beef started to turn dark brown
- Flip it to the other side to let it brown and crispy the same way you did earlier. Once both sides have crispy edges and textures, sprinkle in that five-spice powder, honey, and fish sauce and use your spatula to start breaking the meat apart while stir-frying at the same time. Stir-fry, while lightly pressing it against the pan/wok until the mixture is absolutely dry again. Remove from the heat to a plate.
Putting it together:
- Cook the noodle of your choice according to the direction and rinse in cold running water. The amount depends on how much noodle you want in the salad. For low carb version, you can omit noodle altogether
- Pile your plate with some salad greens, portion of noodle if you choose to include some. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, crispy beef, and then few spoonfuls of that dressing until you are happy. Serve immediately
Other ground beef recipes you might like:
BURGER DAGING SAPI (INDONESIAN BEEF BURGER)
MARTABAK MESIR (INDONESIAN BEEF STUFFED PANCAKES)
This was a really nice recipe! Made as described except I didn’t have any lettuce so I stir fried chopped carrots, bell pepper and scallions with the beef. Dressing poured over at the end was fantastic. Husband said it was like in a restaurant!
Hi Brittany, I’m so happy to hear that you guys enjoyed it. You made nice substitution too. This is one of our favorite salad too 🙂 Thank you for letting me know!
A beautiful salad! I have never made salad with ground beef, but I am sure I would love it!