Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lo Mein

1 lb flank steak
1 small head of broccoli
sno peas, I don't know how many. A big handful.
1 cup of bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger, I like fresh, but the dried stuff works.
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or mashed or pressed or however you do it.
3-4 tbls of hoisin sauce
1 tsp sugar (or more if you like a sweeter marinade)
couple turns of cracked black pepper.
1/2 pound of cooked pasta (I usually use spaghetti.)

Combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar and pepper in a sealable container. Add beef and marinate for 30 minutes to several hours. Cut the broccoli into medium chunks and trim the snow peas, if needed. Remove meat from marinade, reserving any liquid and garlic/ginger chunks you can. Pat the meat dry with paper towels, slice it in half along the grain and then in 1/4 inch slices against the grain. Stir fry the vegetables until almost done, set them aside. Stir fry the beef until almost done, in two shifts, then set it aside. Pour the reserved marinade in the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and add hoisin sauce, stir. Add pasta, stir to coat. Add everything else, stir until well combined. Let it sit, stirring occasionally until everything has finished cooking, 1-2 minutes (maybe less).


What I'm making here isn't really very authentic, since I'm using spaghetti, but that's ok. I kind of made it up as I went along anyway and it has evolved into this. You can make a whole bunch of different sauces for it, but my favorite is hoisin and soy sauce. So that's what I'm making. First, meat. I like flank steak, but you can use steak tips, chicken breast, pork loin, whatever. You don't have to use meat either, tofu works... I assume. Frankly, I'm not going to try. Tofu is gross. You could also just leave out the meat altogether and just have pasta, veggies and sauce. But I'm not going to, I'm using flank steak.
Yeah. 1.9 pounds of sweet, beefy goodness. It is also twice as much as I need, so it gets chopped in half. Half goes in the freezer, half goes in a ziploc bag. In with the meat goes the 1/4 cup soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar and pepper. If you mix them together before hand it is much easier. Trust me. Get as much air out as you can and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to several hours. Now lets prep the vegetables. Broccoli, chop off big florets then slice them in half. Like so. I can only get packaged snow peas right now so I like to trim the ends off, since they are all dry.Chop the onion into fairly big pieces. Or smaller ones, whatever you like. I don't care. I'm not even going to show you mine, so there. Bean sprouts don't need any prep other than a quick rinse. Carrots are also good, so are peppers (I like the orange ones best for this) but I don't have any right at the moment. Now the beef. Take it out of the marinade, keeping any liquid that's leftover. I like to scrape as much garlic and ginger off the meat as I can, since the marinade is the base of the sauce. I let this marinade for four hours. Lovely. Pat the meat dry with some paper towels, it helps reduce the liquid when you stirfry them. Slice the steak in half along the grain, then in quarter inch slices against the grain. Heat up some oil in your wok, stirfry pan or whatever you are using. I have an oil that is a mix of canola, garlic and ginger that I really like. Toss in the broccoli (if you were using carrots they would go in first), stir them for a little bit. Then toss in the snow peas, stir them too. The goal here is to cook them a little shy of how you want them done since they cook more in the sauce.Also cook the onions, until they are just starting to brown around the edges. You want the heat up pretty high for this. Put them aside and heat up a little more oil if you need it, you want it almost smoking. Now put about half the beef in, if you do it all it will braise instead of brown. Of course, braising is lovely too. But I want to brown them here, on both sides. When they are almost done pull them out and put the other half in. When it's done pull it out. Now take the marinade and pour it in the pan. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to med-low and add the hoisin sauce. Stir it up and let it cook for a bit, just to kill the raw beefyness. Then toss in the pasta. My onions are also in here. But only because I screwed up my timing. You should add them with everything at the end. Mix the pasta till its coated. Then add everything else back in. Mix until combined (this takes a minute or two, it's where everything finishes cooking). Then eat it.


Mel said...

Mmmm this is a fabulous recipe. Hope you keep your hair out of it LOL

Anonymous said...

Hey, I had this once at someone's house in a small city near Arlington...who was that...oh yeah, you! And it's so good! I think I will make it this week. My children will love you forever. Of course, they already do...

Anonymous said...

Any vegetables in your cookbook for your favorite tree-hugger?


Bob said...

sure beckers, just take out the meat and even you could eat this. :) If you wanted to go nuts you could even replace the meat with strips of some kind of large mushroom. Those are gross too, so I don't know what kinds would be good.


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