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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Asian Night: Beef Lo-Mein and Egg Rolls

Matthew knows that once a week, I will be making something for dinner that takes preparation, thought, and planning. I like to get his opinion on what to make, if possible, but typically his answer is "whatever you want" or " I don't know". So I was pleasantly surprised when he came up with Lo-Mein! He also told me that many of his favorite dishes are Asian, with lots of vegetables. I guess I will need to become good friends with Asian store down the street, although...well, more on that later. 

So I got on-line, and checked out Food and Wine , my favorite site to go to first. Unfortunately, that was no help, so I went to Emeril. I love his show on Planet Green! Anyway, I found a great Cabbage Lo-Mein recipe, and turned it into my own...I had some beef left over from the Beef Satay, and a red pepper sitting around. I also wanted to try to make Egg Rolls from scratch, and still had a half a head of red and a half a head of green cabbage lying around from the Asian Slaw I made with Megan. I was not looking forward to grating all that, but, thanks to my Mother-In-Law, I had a beautiful food processor I had yet to use since I received it for our shower...so, I went off shopping.

This was a fiasco...it took two hours to gather all the ingredients, primarily because baby bok choy and Chinese egg noodles are not readily available at your usual grocery stores, including Whole Foods (hint, hint, Whole Foods). Also, the problem truly arose when I actually went to the Asian food market up the street, only to have them sell me RICE noodles, even though I continuously asked for egg noodles. Nothing is in written in English, so I was lost. Obviously, so were they...I settled for "Lo-Mein" noodles from Whole Foods, although they were flour noodles, not egg, but, they seemed to work in the end. So, two hours and 3 stores later, I was ready to get down to business:

Beef Lo-Mein

12 oz. Chinese Egg Noodles (as I said, the dry Lo-Mein noodles I purchased from Whole Foods were fine, but I am looking forward to trying the egg noodles, when I can find them. The texture was not exactly right, but adequate)

Cook the noodles as directed. Put in the serving bowl.

Beef:
1 lb. flank steak
1 c. teriyaki sauce
1 T. crushed garlic
1 T. grated ginger
Salt and Pepper to taste

Marinade flank steak in teriyaki sauce, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Vegetables:
1 red pepper, julienne and cut in half
5-6 baby bok choy, separated
1/4-1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced and separated
1/4- 1/2 green cabbage, thinly sliced and separated
2 c. snow peas, cut in half
1 c. bean sprouts

Cut everything and put in a bowl.

Sauce:
1 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. orange juice
3 T. oyster sauce
2 T dark soy sauce
2 T. honey
T. sesame oil
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce (optional)

Combine and whisk, add to the noodles. Mix a bit to loosen noodles.

For cooking and garnish:
2 T. peanut oil
1 T minced garlic (I buy it in a jar, longer shelf life)
2 tsp. minced ginger (I buy it in a jar, longer shelf life)
1/4 c. green onion chopped
1/2 c. crushed peanuts

Cooking Instructions:
Add peanut oil in a pan over medium low heat. With tongs, transfer beef to the pan. Try to limit the marinade you add to the pan. After cooking, if there is too much liquid, pour out. Add minced garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, mixing with beef with tongs. Add vegetables. Mix with tongs. Cover. Cook until bok choy is wilted.

With tongs, transfer to noodles and sauce. Garnish with peanuts and green onions and serve.


RESULTS
DO NOT BAKE THE EGG ROLLS!!! Fry them...I haven't tried it yet, but the Egg Rolls turned out gummy, instead of yummy. Otherwise, they would have been fantastic! The filling is perfect!

Matthew really liked the Lo-Mein. Said it was salted enough, but his suggestions were as follows:

1) Add more vegetables (Because they were raw, you don't realize that you really aren't putting in that much. Maybe not double, but I would have definitely added more of each.)
2) Use Egg Noodles (duh)
3) Cut the red peppers smaller (originally, I just julienned red peppers. My recipe above calls for them to be cut julienne and in half, which includes his suggestion.)

Otherwise, it was definitely a success, and something I would make again!

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