Saturday, November 29, 2014

Easy Beef Lo Mein

My son woke up one day last week with the flu.  Ughh!  Y'all have all been there, I'm sure.  You instantly have to switch modes, change the game plan, call the doc, get them on meds, the whole deal. Towards the end of the day, I asked him what he would like for dinner.  I thought the answer may be something like "soup."  Much to my surprise, the answer was "something Asian."  Okayyyyy...  "Surprise me," he said.  I sat there with a blank face for a good five minutes, I'm sure.  HaHa!!

This beef lo mein was very simple to make.  Basically, I marinated the beef for a while, cut up all my veggies, then stir fried everything in the wok before adding my noodles.  Okay - so this is quite an Americanized version.  I didn't run by the Asian market for fresh lo mein egg noodles, I'll admit.  But I figure you guys will probably have more access to linguine, too, right?  Remember... this is the fast and easy version.  I'm sure if you use the real noodles, they would be phenomenal.  :) 

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Ingredients:  (serves about 6-8)
  • 1 3/4 pound top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce + 2 Tbsp (divided)
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil, plus more for cooking
  • 16 oz linguine noodles (or fresh lo mein egg noodles)
  • 3 - 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 4 oz bean sprouts
  • 2 medium carrots thinly julienned 
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 8 oz sugar snap peas
  • 4 green onions/scallions, cut into 2 - 3" pieces
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp + 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
Step-by-Step:
The first thing I did was to get my meat "marinating."  I got the butcher to cut the steak for me into thin 2-3 inch strips.  *Just ask them!  It's a big time saver for you.  I added 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 3 Tbsp cornstarch, 3 Tbsp canola oil, and 1/4 tsp baking soda.

*I read that adding a little baking soda to the beef helps to tenderize it, so I decided to give this method a try.  For my 1 3/4 pounds of beef, I went with 1/4 tsp baking soda.  I was pleased with the outcome and texture of the beef.

Now we can just sit this aside for a while while we get all the other stuff cut up, etc.
I will have my linguini noodles cooked, thoroughly rinsed, drained, and ready to add later.
 
Before you begin cooking, have ALL of your vegetables cut up and ready to go!  From here, everything goes really quickly. 

The first thing we are going to get cooking is the beef, then we will set it aside.  Get your wok or skillet really hot (like almost smoking).  Add a couple tablespoons of oil and quickly sear the strips of beef.  It shouldn't take long at all.  Just a few minutes.  Then take the beef out and set it aside.  
canola oil
marinated beef strips
Except for my green onions, I added all of the veggies to the wok.  It will look like an enormous amount at first... but something weird happens, and it just wilts down to hardly anything.  Stir fry on medium-high'ish for a minute or so. 
2 med carrots. 1 red bell pepper. 4 cups Napa cabbage.
2 cloves garlic. 8 oz sugar snap peas.
stir fry a couple of minutes
Then start adding in the seasonings....  the rice vinegar....
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
the chili garlic sauce... *Control your heat here!
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
toasted sesame oil...
3 Tbsp + 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
 Do you wonder, at this point.... What happened to all of my wonderful Napa cabbage?
brown sugar...
1 Tbsp brown sugar
bean sprouts...
4 oz bean sprouts
Now just let all that cook for a few minutes until the firmer vegetables (like the carrots) begin to get tender.

Now add in the drained linguine (or lo mein noodles if you are using them), as well as the beef.
16 oz cooked, rinsed, drained linguine noodles
Stir fry another few minutes and adjust seasonings with additional soy sauce, salt, etc.  Mine tasted a bit "flat" without the addition of a bit more salt.  Hard to believe, right?  But we just added a lot of pasta to this.  
seared beef
Give everything a good stir.  Add in the green onion tops.  
4 green onions/scallions cut into 2-3 inch pieces
2 Tbsp soy sauce
Plate and serve.
Are you are still wondering about the patient?  Turns out, this was just what the doctor ordered!  Well, not really.  The doctor prescribed some pretty expensive medicine.  But the patient really enjoyed his dinner.  So that made for one happy mama... and one satisfied patient!  :)  This dinner had a little something for everyone.  Those of us who loved veggies had plenty.  The pickier ones had enough noodles and beef to definitely have their fill.  All-in-all, definitely a winner.  And for me - a great lunch for the office the next day!  WooHoo!!

I hope you enjoyed this simple and delicious recipe!
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Written Method:

The first thing I did was to get my meat "marinating."  I got the butcher to cut the steak for me into thin 2-3 inch strips.  *Just ask them!  It's a big time saver for you.  I added 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 3 Tbsp cornstarch, 3 Tbsp canola oil, and 1/4 tsp baking soda.  Now we can just sit this aside for a while while we get all the other stuff cut up, etc.  *I read that adding a little baking soda to the beef helps to tenderize it, so I decided to give this method a try.  For my 1 3/4 pounds of beef, I went with 1/4 tsp baking soda.  I was pleased with the outcome and texture of the beef.

I will have my linguini noodles cooked, thoroughly rinsed, drained, and ready to add later.

Before you begin cooking, have ALL of your vegetables cut up and ready to go!  From here, everything goes really quickly. 

The first thing we are going to get cooking is the beef, then we will set it aside.  Get your wok or skillet really hot (like almost smoking).  Add a couple tablespoons of oil and quickly sear the strips of beef.  It shouldn't take long at all.  Just a few minutes.  Then take the beef out and set it aside.

Except for my green onions, I added all of the veggies to the wok.  It will look like an enormous amount at first... but something weird happens, and it just wilts down to hardly anything.  Stir fry on medium-high'ish for a minute or so, then start adding in the seasonings:  The rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce (Control your heat here!), toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, bean sprouts.   Now just let all that cook for a few minutes until the firmer vegetables (like the carrots) begin to get tender.

Now add in the drained linguine (or lo mein noodles if you are using them), as well as the beef.  Stir fry another few minutes and adjust seasonings with additional soy sauce, salt, etc.  Mine tasted a bit "flat" without the addition of a bit more salt.  Hard to believe, right?  But we just added a lot of pasta to this.  Give everything a good stir.  Add in the green onion tops.  Plate and serve.

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