I peeked in my refrigerator and saw a lot of vegetables and Asian ingredients leftover from other dishes. I didn’t want it to go bad. News coverage about the hurricane hitting the east coast was nonstop. When a storm or impending disaster is about to happen, I get cooking. I don’t want food to go to waste so I cook everything in sight. Cooking is my coping mechanism. And I knew I had all the ingredients for a good stir fry with vegetables just like this Hot Pepper Beef with Chinese Egg Noodles.
Luckily, our Wok Wednesday group had an extra Wednesday to be adventurous this October. So we had a free hand to stir fry any recipe from previous posts of Grace Young, author of the cookbook “Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge”. I’ve had this cookbook since it first came out and it is a treasure trove of stir fry recipes, tips and ideas.
Grace gave amazing tips in the recipe on how to slice the beef strips properly. Instead of the flank steak she recommended, I used beef skirt steak, which was what I had on hand. Also, I couldn’t resist adding favorite ingredients from my pantry. I had a little of everything. These are staples I often get from weekly visits to the Asian supermarket: quail eggs, straw mushrooms, baby corn, egg noodles and fresh bok choy.
The beef strips sizzled and smelled heavenly as I moved them around the wok. Before long, the rest of the ingredients joined the beef strips. It all came together magnificently in one big mélange of Asian flavors which were salty, sweet and spicy altogether. It was irresistible. What a great way to welcome the storm this week! Now pardon me as I’m off to enjoy this big bowl of stir fry beef and vegetables over heaps of fragrant jasmine rice on this Wok Wednesday!
Hot Pepper Beef with Chinese Egg Noodles
- 12 ounces beef skirt steak or flank steak
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 whole onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 Tablespoon shao xing rice wine or dry sherry
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 slices (1/2 inch julienned) fresh ginger; smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 whole large bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch wide strips, seeded, white membrane removed
- 1 can ((6.7 ounces or 190 gm) quail eggs drained
- 1 can (6 ounces) baby corn drained
- 1 can (6 ounces) straw mushrooms; or use fresh
- 2 cups from Asian markets dry Chinese egg noodles
- 1 cup vegetable or beef broth
- 2 cups sliced bok choy or Chinese cabbage
- for serving: steamed white rice
- Cut the beef with the grain into 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip across the grain into ¼-inch-thick slices. In a medium bowl combine the beef, garlic, soy sauce, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the rice wine, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons cold water. Stir to combine. Stir in the sesame oil. In a small bowl combine the ketchup, hoisin sauce, and the remaining 1 tablespoon rice wine. Stir to combine.
- Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the peanut or vegetable oil, carefully add the beef and spread it evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the beef begin to sear. Then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 1 minute, or until the beef is lightly browned but not cooked through. Transfer the beef to a plate.
- Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil into the wok, add the onion, ginger, celery and red pepper flakes, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Add the bell pepper, sprinkle on ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and stir-fry 30 seconds or until well combined. Return the beef with any juices that have accumulated to the wok, sprinkle on the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, swirl the ketchup mixture into the wok
- Add the broth and dry noodles and incorporate with the rest of the stir fried ingredients. The dry noodles will get coated with the liquids and soften in 5 minutes. Add the quail eggs, straw mushrooms and bok choy. Stir-fry about 1 minute or until the beef, noodles and vegetables are just cooked through and all ingredients are mixed together well. Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.
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