Monday, March 9, 2009

BakeSpace Challenge #13 - Oodles of Noodles

Mission - Since it's Noodle Month - Noodle Recipe not in your normal cuisine type - Basically, Leave Your Comfort Zone!!

Solution - I am an avid Pasta maker as well as an occasional Spaetzel maker... Thus my remaining noodle choices lie in the realms of Pan-Asian Cuisine. Something I fear for the most part, well, aside from maybe Ramen.

Why the fear of Pan-Asian? Honestly? I don't understand the ingredients. The labels are not only in a foreign language, but using a foreign character set. I have no idea what anything is outside of Miso Paste, Wasabi, Tamari and Chili Oil... Oh, and that chili sauce in the clear plastic bottle with the green squirt cap... called Sriracha something or other... It has the white rooster on the front... You know the one.

Yeah, That pretty much sums it up right there. Hoisin, Oyster Sauce? What are those? I have no clue. I can make an aoli, I can whisk up a Hollandaise & Bearnaise... I cannot make Hoisin. I would not even know where to start...

For me, cooking Pan-Asian requires purchasing another whole pantry full of items that are completely unrelated to anything in my normal European repertoire, in any way shape or form. Except for maybe the rice. So I don't cook it at home... I go to a restaurant where someone infinitely more talented than I, can properly prepare this cuisine and show the
ingredients the proper respect.

This recipe I understand though... Nothing that I don't already have in my cupboards or in my freezer, except the noodles themselves, which were fairly easy to find. Cellophane Noodles (also bean threads, Fen Si or Saifun) are made the the starch of the Mung Bean, sometimes with potato starch added. If you would prefer to forego the frying of the noodles, they can be quick boiled in hot water. You can also use sprouts for serving instead, since most commercially available are bean sprouts are mung beans.

Sesame Beef

1 lb Boneless Beef Skirt Steak
2 TB Honey
2 TB Tamari Soy Sauce
1 TB Rice Vinegar
2 tsp Grated Ginger
1 1/2 tsp Chili Oil
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
Crispy Saifun (Fen Si) Noodles for serving
2 tsp Cornstarch
2 tsp Water
1/4 cup green onions; finely chopped
2 TB Sesame seed
2 TB Sesame oil

Lay Beef out on a baking sheet and freeze for about 1 hour.

Mix Honey, Rice Vinegar, Tamari Soy Sauce, Ginger, Chili Oil, Black Pepper, and garlic in Stainless bowl.

Now the fun part.... Why did I pick this recipe? Cause Sai Fun noodles are fun!!
Heat up your deep fryer.
Take one of the bunches of Saifun noodles. (There were 3 nests in my pack)

Place in the deep fryer....

And Poof!!!! They get all puffy!!!!!

Remove from fryer and drain on a paper towel.

Remove beef from freezer and cut diagonally across grain into 1/8-inch slices.

Add the beef to the marinade and toss to coat.

Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Mix Cornstarch and water and slice green onions.

In a small saucepan dry sauté sesame seeds over low heat.

Toss frequently, until browned and transfer to a bowl (If you hold it up to your ear, they sounds like Rice Krispies... I'm just sayin)

Heat Sesame oil in your wok to medium-high.

Cook beef mixture in oil, stirring occasionally, until brown.
Remove Beef and set aside; add Green Onions and Cornstarch slurry, stirring until thick.

Add Beef back in and half of the sesame seeds; tossing to coat and rewarm.

Break up the Saifun noodles onto 4 plates and spoon sesame beef over the top.
Sprinkled with remaining Sesame Seeds.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Final verdict...

This recipe needs work... Personally, I didn't think it was spicy enough from what I remember the last time I ordered Sesame Beef. I also didn't seem to have enough sauce...

Maybe I should have tossed in some of that garlic sauce made by the same company that makes Tuong ot Sriracha Sauce. I don't know... But it was good enough to try again... I will give it that.

Serve with Dry Saute Spinach

Swing by BakeSpace sometime and join the Monthly Challenge.


Bob said...

Crap, I've been meaning to check out the Bakespace challenges. Noodle Month, huh? I'm all over that. Heh.

Hey, I do a goodly chunk of asian-esque cooking if you want some (very amateur) advice. I don't pretend it's authentic or anything, but my girlfriend never wants to order out anymore. ;)

Looks like a good recipe, but I could see wanting a little oomph out of it. Heh, it actually looks a bit like my first sesame beef recipe, which I wanted to beef up (so to speak). Some Sichuan peppers would add heat and a nice flavor. And, since you mentioned them, a tablespoon or so of hoisin (yet another sauce made from fermented soy beans) or oyster sauce (which should be reduced and caramelized oyster essence, although it usually isn't) would be great in it. The first would add a sweet richness, the second a savory umami.

Culinary Alchemist said...

Thanks Bob!!! I will definitely look for the Sichuan Pepper... I like the idea of adding more umami to it, so I will have to check out the oyster sauce too... And Thank you for explaining what Hoisin is... LOL Aside from Miso Paste, Tamari Soy Sauce and Wasabi... I am pretty clueless. I am gonna have to search for your post to get some pointers too..

DDpie said...

Looks awesome Shane! Normally, this type of cuisine isn't my thang, but you made it look easy and sound good ;)

Michele said...

That looks soo good! I love skirt steak! I can't wait to see how you improve on it.

Anonymous said...

Shane, saw the picture on BakeSpace and had to come see why your bean threads looked so different from mine. I have never fried mine, yours looked so white. I usually soak mine in hot water and they turn clear. I am always learning from you. Thank you.
Pattit from BakeSpace