Shainghai-Style Noodles with Spicy Meat Sauce - Easy

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Hey Fat Choy or Happy Chinese New Year!  No matter how you say it,  celebrate the Year of the Dog with this easy to make dinner.  Only 20 or so minutes from lining up  the ingredients to sitting down to eat.

 Thin pasta, like spaghettini or vermicelli works here as well, but I prefer rice noodles for this dish.  Just take care not to overcook them or they turn mushy.

 Warning -- this dish is slightly on the spicy side.  But if you are the type who thinks even saltines burn, cut back the red pepper flakes to a quarter-teaspoon, or omit completely and just add a pinch or two of black pepper instead.

Shanghai-Style Noodles with Spicy Meat Sauce
Adapted from:  Genius Kitchen
Yield:  4 servings

1 (16 ounce) packages rice noodles
1 Tbl. sesame oil
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbl. grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp. ground ginger)
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
1 lb ground beef
1 cup chicken broth, divided
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 Tbl. cornstarch
1/2 cup sliced green onion (scallions), green parts only

Heat a medium-sized pot of unsalted water over high heat until water comes to a boil.  Add rice noodles, stir a few times, then turn off heat.   Leave noodles in the water for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice to separate strands.  Drain noodles in a colander, then run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.  Let drain completely, then transfer noodles to large serving bowl.  Toss with sesame oil and set aside.

While waiting for water to boil, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic, ginger, and red pepper;  stir constantly with wooden spoon or spatula for 10 seconds, then add chopped onion.  Saute for 5 minute, stirring frequently until onions soften and become translucent.

Add ground beef.  Continue to saute, breaking meat up as you go along, until beef is no longer pink.

Whisk together 1/2 cup of chicken broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sherry.  Stir into beef mixture.

Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Uncover skillet.  Whisk cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth, then slowly pour broth mixture evenly over meat.  Stir until sauce thickens (this will happen quickly).

Ladle meat sauce over noodles; toss gently to coat noodles evenly.

Divide mixture evenly over 4 dinner plates or pasta  bowls.  Garnish with chopped scallions, if desired.  Serve hot.