There is something infinitely satisfying about presenting a complete dinner heaped on one platter. The arrangement suggests a family-style feast. It’s a fun method for casual dining, which allows everyone to dig into a balanced meal combining meat, greens and grains, or in this case, noodles.
This Vietnamese-inspired recipe embraces budget-friendly skirt steak, a flavorful cut of meat that loves a good marinade, piled over a tangle of Asian noodles. A sweet and sour marinade is perfumed with lemon grass, a key ingredient in Vietnamese and Thai cuisine, which infuses the meat with flavor and spice. The longer the beef marinates, the better the flavor, but that’s the only time-consuming step in making this dish, which requires little effort — only advance planning to allow for marinating.
Lemon grass, also known as citronella, is commonly used to flavor stir-fry dishes, marinades and curries. It looks like a woody spring onion and has a uniquely fragrant lemon-floral flavor concentrated in the oils in the center of its stalk. For a marinade, the stalk need only be sliced to release its flavor. For other dishes where the lemon grass is eaten, the outer stalks should be removed and the center stalks minced or pounded to a paste. Lemon grass is sold in the fresh produce section of well-stocked supermarkets or in Asian markets.
If you can’t find fresh lemon grass in the produce section, it’s also sold as jarred paste. Simply add 1 tablespoon of the paste to the marinade. The other marinade and dressing ingredients are available in the international section of grocery stores and in Asian supermarkets. Once the ingredients are on hand, this dish comes together quickly for a family-friendly weeknight dinner that will have everyone reaching for seconds.