Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beef Chow Mein

I think I may like noodle dishes a bit too much. Ok, not as much as tacos, but a lot. Sesame noodles, spicy noodles, Thai noodles, or cold noodle salad, I’ll take them all. And that’s what drew me to this Beef Chow Mein recipe on The Creative Pot. The noodles look so tasty, with great umami flavor coming through, plus tender meat and crunchy veggies for a whole meal in a bowl. I bumped up the recipe a bit by adding jalapeno, onion, sesame oil, and some chili oil. I think it could still be rounded out a little more but it’s definitely a good base to start from. I also used ramen noodles instead of chinese egg noodles because I didn’t like the egg noodles the last time I used them, but I think if I make this again I’ll give them a shot. The ramen noodles were fine too but might not have soaked up the flavor the same way the egg noodles would have.

1 package Chinese egg noodles
Vegetable oil
½ pound beef, cut into strips
1 medium carrots, peeled and cut into strips
1orange bell pepper, cut into strips 
½ white or yellow onion, cut into strips
1 jalapeno or Serrano, chopped small
4 spring onions, chopped
1/4 cup beansprouts
4 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1-2 tsps chili oil (to taste)
1/4 cup water

Soak the egg noodles in hot water for 2-3 minutes, then drain and set aside. (Since we used ramen, we skipped this step and just made the noodles according to the package instructions). I also think if we make this again that we would add a little salt and pepper to the beef before browning. Heat your vegetable oil in a wok and add the beef in batches to brown. We used stir-fry beef from the store because the recipe didn’t specify what kind. Once your meat is browned remove it and set aside. Add a little more oil if necessary and cook the carrots for about 1-2 minutes before adding the bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno. Stir fry those for another 2 minutes or so. You don’t want them to get soft, but just a little more tender. Finally, add in the beansprouts and spring onions and cook for another minute before setting aside in a bowl.

The original recipe called for me to heat the garlic separately, but I forgot and added it into the sauce when I was gathering ingredients. Not sure it made much difference, but if you want to take that step, go for it. Heat a little more oil and fry the garlic for just under 30 seconds until fragrant but not burnt. Then pour in your oyster sauce, soy, sesame oil, chili oil, and water and stir. I actually premixed all of these to make it easier. Add in the noodles and turn the heat down to low as you mix them. You want to make sure that the noodles get fully cooked and that they soak up the flavors. Then add the beef and veggies back into the wok and toss everything together. Make sure everything is warmed through and you’re all set to serve!

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