Rice Noodle Bowl With Stir-Fried Beef (Bun Thit Bo Xao)

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Los Angeles Times


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1 teaspoon cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons light (regular) soy sauce

1 pound flank steak, cut across the grain into strips about 3 inches long and a scant 1/4 inch thick

Leaves from 1/2 small head red or green leaf lettuce, cut crosswise into 1/4 -inch wide ribbons (about 2 packed cups)

1 pickling (Kirby) cucumber or 1/2 small English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into matchsticks

2 cups bean sprouts (about 1/3 pound)

1/3 cup roughly chopped assorted fresh herbs such as cilantro, mint, red perilla (tia to), Thai basil (hung que) and Vietnamese balm (kinh gioi)

2/3 pound small dried round rice noodles (bun), cooked in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, drained and flushed with cold water

3 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil, divided

1 small yellow onion, halved and sliced lengthwise 1/4 -inch thick (aim for a moon-sliver shape and the onion will look really nice)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup crispy caramelized shallot

1 1/2 cups basic dipping sauce

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot, from 1 very large or 2 to 3 smaller shallots

3 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil

1/3 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)

1 tablespoon unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar (optional)

3 tablespoons sugar

2/3 cup lukewarm water

5 to 6 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste

2 or 3 Thai or serrano chiles, thinly sliced

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