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About the Dish

4 ounces Spaghetti
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon White Cooking Wine
1 packet Tamari
1 packet Turbinado Sugar
8 ounces Ground Grass-Fed Beef
4 each Green Onion
1 small Ginger
2 cloves Garlic
4 sprigs Cilantro
3 medium Radish
1 each Lettuce
Per Serving
Calories 530
Total Fat 24 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 65 mg
Sodium 810 mg
Total Carbohydrates 54 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugar 7 g
Protein 29 g
Nancie McDermott

Nancie McDermott is a cookbook author and cooking teacher fascinated by the people, stories, and places behind the food. A NC native and graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, she loves exploring the history, culture, and distinctions within the regional cuisines of the American South. Nancie is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Association of Food Journalists, and the Southern Foodways Alliance, and lives with her family in Chapel Hill NC. "My first memories of cooking involve being in the kitchen with my grandmother when I was very small, 5 or 6, watching her make biscuits. My grandparents had a dairy farm about an hour away from our suburban home, and I got to go stay with her during the summer and on weekends. I thought I was cooking, because that’s how she made me feel, but I’m sure I was anything but helpful in truth. What I remember is an enormous bowl and lots of flour, and her energy and pleasure in being in her kitchen, working and creating, keeping me happy, and making something for us to enjoy. I didn’t learn a thing about how to make biscuits (except that making a mess with flour is part of the deal), but I learned that the kitchen is a good, fun, busy place, and that it’s fun to cook with and for people you love." BOOKS: Fruit: a Savor the South Cookbook; Southern Soups and Stews; Southern Pies; Southern Cakes; Quick & Easy Chinese; Quick & Easy Thai; Simply Vietnamese Cooking; Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking; 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes; Real Thai; The 5 in 10 Pasta and Noodle Cookbook; Real Vegetarian Thai; The Curry Book; Quick and Easy Vietnamese; Holiday Cookies You Can Make. PUBLICATIONS: Saveur; Edible Piedmont; Bon Appetit; Food & Wine; Fine Cooking; Cooks Illustrated; Every Day with Rachel Ray; Family Fun; Food Arts; Los Angeles Times. AWARDS: 2016 IACP Cookbook Awards Finalist Cookbook of the Year (American) To learn more about Nancie, visit


Fill a medium saucepan half full with about 6 cups water. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and place over high heat. This is your pasta cooking water.
Prepare your mise en place: Trim green onions, discarding root ends and tips of green portion. Cut in half, dividing white parts from green. Halve white portion lengthwise, and finely chop crosswise. Finely chop green portion, keeping separate from white parts. Peel and mince ginger; you should have about 1 tablespoon (save any extra for another use). Peel and mince garlic. Trim bottom 2 inches of cilantro stems, and discard. Chop remaining cilantro stems and leaves. Trim and thinly slice radishes; slice again into thin sticks. Separate lettuce leaves, and select the 12 best cup-shaped leaves (reserve any extra lettuce for another use). Wash them by dipping into a bowl of cold water. Shake well, and blot dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel (not terry cloth).
When water comes to a boil, stir in pasta, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring and lifting noodles now and then with fork or tongs, to keep noodles from sticking together as they cook. Drain pasta thoroughly, but do not rinse. Return pasta to pot, and toss with 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Cover and set aside.
While pasta cooks, in a mixing bowl combine remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil, cooking wine, 1/2 the tamari packet (3/4 teaspoon), sugar and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to mix well. Add ground beef, and use your hands or a large wooden spoon to mix tamari mixture into the meat evenly and well.
Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add 2 teaspoons cooking oil. When the oil is shimmering, add green onion whites, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and shiny but not browned, about 30 seconds. Crumble in the seasoned ground beef. Use a spatula or a big, slotted spoon to break up beef and spread out over the hot pan to help it cook evenly. Cook undisturbed until it changes color, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip meat with spatula, and cook undisturbed 30 seconds more. Break up any large chunks.
Remove from heat. Stir in half of cilantro, and set beef mixture aside while you prepare the noodle salad.
To complete the noodles, uncover the drained pasta in the pasta pot, and add remaining 1/2 tamari packet, radishes, green onion greens and remaining cilantro. Toss well to distribute herbs, radishes, and seasonings evenly. Taste and adjust salt as desired.
To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on 2 plates. Spoon ginger beef into each lettuce cup. Divide noodles between the 2 plates. Serve at once, and enjoy!