If ever there was a comfort food invented, it’s fideo. Easy to make, quick and filling most of us in South Texas have fond memories of fideo. And for those of you that aren’t familiar, the name doesn’t rhyme with video. It’s pronounced fi-DEH-yo.
Fideo is a Traditional Comfort Food
There are so many different ways to prepare fideo that I had trouble deciding which one I would share. The most typical is with stew meat and potatoes. In my opinion, the stew meat never cooks long enough to tenderize because the thin vermicelli noodles cook so quickly. Albondigas, or meatballs, seem to be a better fit because ground beef is already tender. And yes, most albondigas are made with uncooked rice, but again, this dish can’t be stewed all that long because the noodles might fall apart.
The noodles are usually pan toasted before the stewing liquid is added, which helps the noodles hold up while the fideo stews. Even so, stewing for 10 minutes is not enough time for rice embedded in a meatball to cook, nor for a cube of stew beef to tenderize. This is my favorite recipe for all of the practical reasons mentioned above.
A Very Versatile Dish
If you are trying to jazz up yesterday’s roast chicken or pork, simply cube the leftover protein and add it to the pan after you add the broth. If you want a meatless fideo, simply skip the meatball prep, and add the full 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil to the pan and toast your onions and noodles as directed. Vegetarians can use vegetable broth and may opt to add some cubes squash or carrots. The recipe is incredibly versatile.
I usually top my fideo with chunks of avocado, or even a little crumbled queso cotija. It’s especially good for a quick hot lunch. And of course, the kids love it.Print
Fideo con Albondigas (Noodle Stew with Meatballs)
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Latin American
1 lb. ground beef (500gr)
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (42gr)
1/4 cup milk (60ml)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (30ml)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil (15ml)
1 medium onion, chopped
7oz. fideo (vermicelli noodles) (200gr)
4 cups chicken stock (1L)
1 ripe medium, tomato, peeled seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small potato, peeled and cut into ½”/1cm cubes (optional)
1 fresh chile serrano (optional)
Cilantro for garnish
Lime wedges for garnish
Place the ground beef in a bowl along with the breadcrumbs, milk, egg, salt and pepper. Stir or knead together with your hands until well combined. Divide into 16 portions and roll into meatballs.
Once the meatballs are formed, heat 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil in a 4 qt. Dutch oven (4lt.) Place the meatballs in the Dutch oven and brown over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and brown for another 5 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the pan, and place on a clean platter.
Add the remaining tbsp. of vegetable oil to the Dutch oven. Add the onion and fideo. Brown and toss until the fideo is golden and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients along with the browned meatballs, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. (If adding the potato, make sure it has cooked enough to easily be pierced with a fork.) Garnish with cilantro and serve lime wedges on the side.
This is for a drier verson of fideo. If you want a soupier version, simply double the amount of added broth.