Firecracker Beef & Long Life Rice Noodle Salad for Chinese New Year

My family loves this, and it’s perfect for Chinese New Year! Firecrackers are meant to scare off evil spirits. This isn’t loud like a firecracker, but it sure is spicy! It’s not so spicy that a non-spicy-eater couldn’t handle it, though. It has really intense, wonderful tangy hot flavor. You can always make it more spicy for the true spice lover – just use a hotter red chili garlic sauce during the preparation, or serve it on the side.

I wish I knew where this original recipe came from. I’ve modified it over the years, but I’d love to credit the originator!

recipe - Firecracker Beef on Long Rice Noodle Salad ©MostlyMommyhood

Firecracker Beef on Long Life Rice Noodle Salad

Firecracker Beef on Rice Noodle Salad – serves 8

Please note: I tend to eye-ball these amounts, but this is as close to exact measurements as I can provide.

1.5 pounds steak – I buy it already thinly sliced – which makes it all very easy to prepare.


  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chili garlic sauce (or get super hot chili garlic sauce!)
  • 1 Tbsp of Chinese 5-spice
  • 1″ of fresh grated ginger
  • 5 cloves of roughly chopped garlic
  • black pepper to taste – about a teaspoon
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil – I like to use sesame oil

Mix that very well and refrigerate the beef in the marinade for 1 hour.

2 packages of rice sticks.  Boil the noodles for 4 minutes, they cook fast,  then rinse them in very cold water and drain very well. As soon as they seem drained, but before they start sticking together, add:

  • 1 Tbsp of fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp of sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 cup of shredded carrot
  • 2 green onions, diced

Toss with the noodles. If the noodles seem to dry, add a splash more of sesame oil and rice vinegar and toss more. Refrigerate until needed.

In a very hot preheated dry pan, sear the beef for about 45 seconds per side, just a few pieces at a time so the pan isn’t crowded.   If you do it in batches, be sure to let the pan heat back up between batches. Once it’s all seared, remove the pan from the heat and add all the beef back in the pan to stay warm while you finish the salad.

While the beef is resting in the pan, add to the noodles:

  • 2 more Tbsp of rice vinegar,
  • 1 more Tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

Just before serving, top the cold tangy salad with the hot, spicy beef. Sprinkly some chopped peanuts on top and garnish with whole sprigs of cilantro.

It’s so delicious!


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