Funchoza (Uyghur Noodle Salad)

Ingredients:
  • 250 gm (~1/2 lb) of ground beef (85% lean is ideal)
  • 1 bag of (12 oz) of rice or mung bean (cellophane) noodles
  • 2 tomatoes cut in cubes or julienned
  • 1 medium onion julienned
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 240 ml (1 cup) cilantro finely chopped
  • 2-4 medium cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 tblsp soy sauce
  • 2 tblsp lemon vinegar
  • pinch of red chillie powder
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) of oil, 
  • Salt, pepper, powdered cumin to taste
Method:
  1. Prepare rice noodles by boiling for 10 minutes in water. Remove the cooked noodles and rinse well in cold water. Cut the noodles into 6″ pieces.
  2. Julienne carrots and green bell peppers. 
  3. In a small container put carrot, bell peppers and garlic. 
  4. Add soy sauce, lemon vinegar, pinch of chillie powder and mix well. Place in a sealed  container and refrigerate.
  5. Stir fry onions for a minute and add ground beef with a little vegetable oil. 
  6. Add salt, pepper and cumin according to your own preference. 
  7. On medium high heat keep stir frying the meet for about 5-8 minutes, add half of the tomatoes and mix until tomatoes are very soft. 
  8. Add half of the cilantro, mix it once or twice and turn off the heat. 
  9. Drain off the excess oil with a strainer.
  10. In a large mixing bowl mix  the cooked ingredients including the beef, the noodles, peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and the rest of the tomato.
  11. Further seasoning maybe added by diners.

(Here's a tip: The roots of the coriander (cilantro) are a fantastic concentration of true coriander flavour. If you smash these with the side of a cleaver or large knife and chop them they cook well with much less loss of aroma than the green leaves & stems. So go ahead, crush the clean roots, chop them up and add them to the cooking ingredients. They are too pithy and a little too strong eaten raw)
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