stir-fried beef with lo mein noodles and mixed vegetables

When Eric and I go out to our local Chinese restaurant, one of our regular staple orders is lo mein noodles. A platter of stir-fried meat and vegetables, blended with chewy noodles and a fragrant, spicy sauce is hard to beat. Years ago I "borrowed" the wok from my parents' kitchen and to this day it still lives in our kitchen in Boston. It is a fun cooking tool to have on hand for this kind of dish. The wok is designed to disperse heat evenly across the bowl surface to facilitate rapid, even cooking of vegetables and noodles. I would recommend pairing this dish with your favorite light beer, pilsner or ale.

 

  • Beef steak tips (approximately 1 pound, cut into 3/4-inch cubes)

  • Fresh garlic (2 teaspoons total, finely minced; 1 teaspoon for marinade plus 1 teaspoon for sauce)

  • Fresh ginger (2 teaspoons total, finely minced; 1 teaspoon for marinade plus 1 teaspoon for sauce)

  • Sesame oil (3 tablespoons total; 2 tablespoons for marinade plus 1 tablespoon for sauce)

  • Hoisin sauce (1 teaspoon)

  • Soy sauce (4 teaspoons total; 2 teaspoons for marinade plus 2 teaspoons for sauce)

  • White onion (1 medium)

  • Red bell pepper (1 large)

  • Scallions (2 large bunches)

  • Shredded carrots (1 and 1/2 cups)

  • Green shredded cabbage (2 cups)

  • Sliced mushrooms (2 cups)

  • Green snow peas (2 cups)

  • Lo mein noodles (1 package; can be found in the Asian section of supermarket)

  • Honey (1 teaspoon)

  • Sriracha hot sauce (2 teaspoons)

  • Canola oil (2 tablespoons; or another high-heat oil for stir frying)

 

  1. In a small mixing bowl, unwrap the raw steak cubes. Add the fresh garlic, ginger, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce to the bowl.

  2. Blend the beef and additional ingredients gently with a spatula until all the beef cubes are evenly coated in the marinade. 

  3. Cover the mixing bowl and set the beef in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

  4. While the beef is marinating, prepare the other vegetable ingredients. Cut the white onion in half, and then into very thin half-ring slices. Set aside on a large platter where you can display all the vegetables as you prepare them.

  5. Slice the red bell pepper into very thin strips. Set aside on the platter.

  6. Slice the deep green parts of the scallion bunches into thin rings; set in a small bowl to use as garnish. Cut off the bottom of the white parts (the root); then slice the remaining white parts of the scallion bunches lengthwise into thin strips. Set the scallion strips on the platter. 

  7. Once the vegetables are prepared, boil water in a medium-sized saucepan on the stove.

  8. Per the directions on the lo mein noodle package, boil the noodles for about 5 minutes, or until just cooked through. Use chopsticks to stir the noodles, or gently use a pair of tongs. 

  9. Quickly drain the noodles into a colander and rinse for several minutes with very cold water to prevent the noodles from sticking (use your fingers to ensure all the noodles are rinsed).

  10. FInally, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 2 teaspoons of Sriracha. Taste for seasoning and add additional canola oil if you need to thin out the sauce. 

  11. Now you are ready to stir fry! Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a wok (or a large, deep skillet). Add the beef cubes and marinade to the wok and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the beef is nearly cooked through. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside on a plate (the meat will be added to the wok at the end of cooking). 

  12. Add the white onion, red bell pepper, and scallion strips to the wok and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Set the vegetables aside in a large mixing bowl.

  13. Next add the shredded carrots, cabbage, snow peas, and mushrooms to the wok. If the vegetables are too dry, add another 2 teaspoons of canola oil to facilitate cooking. Cook this round of vegetables for another 4 or 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add these vegetables to the large mixing bowl.

  14. Finally, add the cooked noodles, beef, and sauce to the wok and stir fry until the noodles are evenly coated in sauce. Taste to ensure sufficient saltiness; add salt or extra soy sauce if needed.

  15. Add the noodles and beef to the large mixing bowl and blend until all the cooked vegetables are evenly incorporated. 

  16. To serve, plate the lo mein and top with green scallion garnish and extra Sriracha sauce if desired.

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