Mongolian Beef with Crispy Noodle Nests Recipe | Abel & Cole

Mongolian Beef with Crispy Noodle Nests

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Mongolian Beef with Crispy Noodle Nests

Tonight you're going to ride across the Mongolian steppes and serve up a quick beef stir-fry with crispy noodle nests in the yurt you've pitched under the stars. Or you could make this marvellous Mongolian meal at home in your kitchen. It's up to you.

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  • A thumb of ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 chilli
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp China 5 spice
  • 250g beef stir-fry strips
  • 2 bundles of Thai rice noodles
  • 1 tsp + 3 tbsp olive oil
  • A bunch of spring onions
  • A handful of coriander
  • 2 carrots
  • 50g baby leaf spinach

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 15 mins

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1. Peel and grate the ginger and garlic. Halve the chilli and flick out most of the seeds. Finely chop it. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli to a bowl. Pour in 1 tbsp of the tamari and 2 tsp China 5 spice. Add the beef stir-fry strips. Stir to combine, then leave to marinate.
2. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Drop in 2 noodle bundles and cook for 3 mins. Drain the noodles into a colander, reserving 100ml of the starchy water. Shake the colander to remove as much excess water as possible.
3. Trim the spring onions. Cut the dark green parts off and set aside. Finely slice the white parts and add to the noodles. Use a fork to make a nest by sticking it into the noodles and twirling to swirl some strands and spring onions together. Slide off onto a plate. Repeat to make 4 nests. Set aside.
4. Trim and peel the carrots, then cut into thin matchsticks. Cut the reserved spring onion greens in half lengthways. Roughly chop the coriander. Set your oven to its lowest temperature.
5. Heat a deep frying pan or wok over a high heat for 1 min. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the beef along with its marinade. Stir fry over a high heat for 3-4 mins. Pour in the reserved starchy water from the noodles. Bring to a bubble, then add the carrots and green spring onion tops. Cook for 3-4 mins to soften the carrots.
6. Tip the beef and carrots into an ovenproof dish and keep warm in the oven. Wipe the pan clean. and set it back on the heat. Pour in 2 tbsp olive oil.
7. Place 2 nests in the hot oil and cook for 2 mins. Flip them over with a spatula. The bottoms should be golden and crisp. Fry for 2 more mins to crisp the top. Lift out of the pan and sit on some kitchen paper to drain. Repeat with the remaining nests.
8. Stir the spinach through the beef to wilt it. Serve the beef with the crispy noodle nests, scattered with the chopped coriander.
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Grendel's Mother


This was a truly delicious stir-fry, and easy to prepare ... apart from the noodles! Maybe it's because I've never tried to cook Thai rice noodles before, but I found the nests completely impossible to produce (plus the noodles stuck together and didn't cook properly). I think that this recipe would benefit from a few more words about HOW to cook the noodles (no advice on the packet). The beef etc was fabulous, though - will definitely do this again. Incidentally, just in case anyone else is as ignorant about noodles as I was, each packet contains 3 bundles!