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Cumin Beef Noodles
with Asian cucumber salad

Active: 40 minTotal: 40 min

This noodle dish comes from the Xi'an region of China where there are lots of Middle Eastern influences. It's smoky and a little bit spicy (if you want it to be) and is all about comfort. Pair it with a light, crunchy cucumber salad for a delicious weeknight meal.


Cumin Beef Noodles:
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp
  • Cooking wine (opt) - 1 tsp
  • Vinegar, rice - 1 tsp
  • Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp
  • Steak, sirloin (sub flank or skirt) - 1 lb, sliced against grain
  • Fettuccine (sub similar noodle) - 8 oz
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped
  • Chilies, Thai (opt) - 2, sliced
  • Onions, red - 1/2, sliced
  • Cabbage, napa (sub green cabbage) - 1 lb, sliced
  • Cilantro (opt) - 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Cumin - 1 1/2 tsp + 1 tsp
  • Cornstarch - 1 Tbsp
  • Stock, chicken - 1/2 cup
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
Asian Cucumber Salad:
  • Cucumbers - 1 lb, chopped
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
  • Cilantro (opt) - 2 Tbsp, chopped
  • Sugar - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Vinegar, rice - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Hot sauce (opt) - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Make marinade for beef - Mix together first part of soy sauce, cooking wine, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. (Can be done anytime)
  2. Marinate beef - Slice beef against the grain (i.e., perpendicular to the fibers to prevent toughness). Pour marinade over beef and tenderize with a fork. Marinate for up to 1 day. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  3. Cucumbers - Prep as directed. Place in a colander and sprinkle with some salt. Let sit / drain for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Cook noodles - Cook noodles according to package instructions. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  5. Garlic (for cucumbers and noodles) / Green onions / Chilies / Red onions / Napa cabbage / Cilantro (if using for cucumbers and noodles) - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  6. Marinate cucumbers - Heat up sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and hot sauce in a microwave (30 to 60 seconds) or in a small saucepan. Add garlic (cucumber’s portion), cilantro (if using) and sesame oil. Toss with cucumbers and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Make stir-fry sauce - Mix together first part of cumin, cornstarch, second part of soy sauce, and chicken stock.


  1. Heat up a wok or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and then marinated meat (with marinade) to heated oil. Saute for ~2 minutes. Add in half the green onions and chilies. Saute for another 30 seconds and then use tongs to transfer meat out of pan into a bowl. Leave any liquid from cooking in the pan. Toss meat with second part of cumin.
  2. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add red onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add in cabbage and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Push all the ingredients to the perimeter of the pan, forming a hole in the middle (like a donut). Give stir-fry sauce a stir before pouring it into the middle of the pan. Add garlic (portion for the noodles) to the sauce. Wait for sauce to bubble and darken. Then add cooked noodles and toss everything together. Season to taste with any of the previous seasonings - soy sauce, cumin, salt, and / or hot sauce.
  4. Divide into bowls and top with cooked beef and remainder of green onions and chilies. Enjoy with cold, crunchy cucumber salad!

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This meal has 57 reviews

I loved this, but I did make a few mods. O used coleslaw mix instead of cabbage, I used red bell peppers instead of chiles, and doubled the marinade. The cumin is such a wonderful flavor. Wish I had more limes to squeeze on the top. Also, if you slice the beef while it's partially frozen you can get really thin slices.

By: Meryl
Posted: May 07, 2019
Diet: Original

This was okay, but it seemed like something was missing. I don't love cumin, but my husband does and even he wasn't thrilled with this one. We wound up putting the cucumbers on the noodles and squeezing on some lime. The sauce from the cucumber salad definitely improved the flavor, but I still wouldn't make it again. The cucumber salad, on the other hand, was delicious!

By: Victoria
Posted: Nov 07, 2016
Diet: Original

This was very tasty, but took me ages to make

By: Jenna
Posted: Oct 28, 2016
Diet: Original

One of Cooksmarts' classic stir fry dish + noodles. Did without Thai Chilies, turned out fine.

By: Sam
Posted: Oct 04, 2016
Diet: Original

Couldn't find thai chillies so we used jalapeno... DON'T DO IT! Way too hot.

By: Jenna
Posted: Sep 21, 2016
Diet: Original

Odd flavors.

By: Lisa
Posted: Sep 18, 2016
Diet: Original