A Recipe for the Forager in You: Braised Beef, Dandelion Leaves, and Clear Noodles

A recipe from Tama Matsuoka Wong, using foraged ingredients.

Dandelion leaves with braised beef and clear noodles. Photo by Tama Matsuoka Wong
Dandelion leaves with braised beef and clear noodles. Photo by Tama Matsuoka Wong

In cool weather, many Asian families enjoy rustic “hot pot”-style meals, where everyone gathers around a large pot set over a one-burner gas stove (like a camping stove). Everyone digs into dinner, which often includes a wild green or other dark leafy vegetable. Eddy [Leroux, chef de cuisine at restaurant Daniel and co-author of Foraged Flavor] was inspired by these traditions to meld the fatty and sweet qualities of beef and clear rice noodles with the sharper dandelion leaves.

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Foraged Flavor


Braised Beef, Dandelion Leaves, and Clear Noodles
Serves 4

1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 (3-ounce) package thin, clear rice noodles, such as vermicelli
12 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes
4 small spring onions or scallions, white and light green parts, sliced
1 ounce (1 cup) snipped wild garlic greens (optional)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce or tamari
1⁄4 cup mirin
6 ounces (4 1/2 cups) young dandelion leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
8 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large pot, bring water, the salt, and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for about 2 minutes, or until soft. Drain and reserve.

2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the beef and sear until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Add the spring onions and wild garlic greens, if using, turn down the heat, and cook for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and mirin, followed by the dandelion leaves and sugar. Gently stir so that the large volume of dandelion leaves can cook evenly.

Add the noodles and tofu and gently stir so that the noodles soak up the gravy and turn a light brown. Season with pepper and serve.

Reprinted from Foraged Flavor. Copyright © 2012 by Tama Matsuoka Wong and Eddy Leroux. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, LLC.

Meet the Writer

About Tama Matsuoka Wong


Tama Matsuoka Wong forages for restaurants in the New York City area. She’s also co-author of Scraps, Wilt & Weeds: Turning Wasted Food into Plenty (Grand Central, 2017) and of Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmers’ Market (Clarkson Potter, 2012) She’s based in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

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