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Make your own take out! Rach makes a crushed cucumber salad to go with spicy cumin wide noodles and your choice of lamb, beef or pork. 

Rach's Tip: "For the chili oil, store-bought is fine," Rach says. "But this is easy to keep in the pantry for weeks and is a great use-up of chili products if you keep a lot on hand."


For the chili oil:
  • 2 tablespoons chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chili-garlic paste or sauce
  • 1 teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground Sichuan pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
For the crushed cucumber salad:
  • 1 seedless cucumber, sliced on bias ¼-inch-thick then place in baggie and crush a bit with mallet so cucumbers will absorb dressing
  • ½ red or white onion, halved through root end then thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce or other soy sauce of choice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped or grated
  • Salt
  • 4 scallions, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
For the meat and marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing or sherry
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1¼ pounds lamb, beef or pork tenderloin, halved lengthwise for beef or pork, well- trimmed of silver skin or tendons, very thinly sliced
For the spice blend:
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed (2 scant palmfuls)
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
For the sauce:
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup chili oil
  • ¼ cup Shaoxing or sherry
  • 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • ½ cup bone broth or stock, chicken or vegetable
To prepare noodles:
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ small cabbage, shredded
  • 2 ribs leafy celery, very thinly sliced on bias
  • 1 red or white onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 4 green or red chili peppers, seeded and thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • 7 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed and sliced or chopped
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound wide-cut wheat or semolina pasta, such as pappardelle, or wide Chinese noodles, also known as planed noodles or pulled noodles
  • 2 scallions, sliced on a bias, to top
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped, to top


Serves: 4


For the chili oil, combine in small jar.

For the crushed cucumber salad, combine cucumber and onions, whisk up dressing and add to cucumbers, top with scallions, sesame seeds and serve. 

For the meat and marinade, combine in small bowl and add meat, coat and refrigerate an hour or a few hours before making dish.   

For the spice blend, toast in pan and grind in spice mill. 

For the sauce, whisk up in bowl and reserve. 

For the noodles, bring water to boil for pasta, 5 to 6 quarts. 

Heat a large pan over medium to medium-high heat with oil, add meat and season with salt and pepper and brown a couple of minutes, add cabbage, celery, onions and spice blend and let wilt. Next add chili peppers, garlic and ginger, toss 3 to 4 minutes more, add sauce and bring to bubble, and reduce heat to low.   

Cook pasta 1 minute less than directions, Chinese noodles to package directions, then drain, toss with sauce and serve with scallions and cilantro on top right from the pan.