BBC1: OMG! I did something for the first time in my life tonight…I made a Chinese ‘ish’ meal (I say ‘ish’ because I have mingled several recipes and cannot vouch for their Chinese authenticity…nor would I be so bold, on my first attempt, to make that claim!)
For those who have been following the blog, you may recall we received some Amazon gift tokens a few weeks back. Well, apart from using these to buy wonderfully exotic Indian spices, we used them to get some rice wine and some Sichuan pepper.
I have been reading some wonderful recipes about stir fry food and Chinese food over the last several months and it made me determined to give it a go, failure or success…
Like I said, it is a mixture of recipes that I have read, but I am surprised at how anxious and nervous I was about the outcome. This may sound silly, but this time I was more anxious about whether I’d like it, as opposed to BBC2. Particularly as this was an almost spur of the moment decision to make this today – we had a £5 off voucher if you spend £35 at Lidl’s, via Facebook today – so it paid for the steak!
Now do you see what an influence BBC2 has had on my life? Years ago I would have bought the steak without thinking about it, today I count pennies and turn them into this…
360g steak/beef cut into strips – across the grain
220g of bean sprouts
1 carrot peeled and julienned or cut into matchsticks!
1 onion cut into half moons
150g sugar snap peas
2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
1 inch of fresh ginger julienned or cut into matchsticks!
1 small bunch of spring onions sliced diagonally into 1 inch pieces
275g of free range egg noodles – or whatever noodles you can get hold of
3 Tbs of vegetable oil – or a tad more if needed
5 or so Sichuan peppers ground
Marinate beef in:
1 Tbs each of: light soy sauce; dark soy sauce; oyster sauce; sesame oil; rice wine/mirin; and fish sauce. With one teaspoon each of corn flour and Demerara sugar, plus five crushed Sichuan peppers.
Marinate noodles in:
2 Tbs of light soy sauce, 1 Tbs each of dark soy sauce and oyster sauce, with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
The first and most important thing to do is prepare everything in advance! Marinate and chop everything so you are ready! See list above and photo of ingredients below.
Use an adequate sized bowl to mix together your marinade for the beef. Mix thoroughly and add your sliced beef to the marinade, ensuring the beef is coated in the marinade, and set aside for at least 30 minutes, but preferably at least 2 hours, or even longer. If you put it in a fridge, remember to let it come to room temperature before cooking.
Next, using another adequately sized bowl, mix noodles and their marinade, ensuring they are fully coated, and set to one side. If not using fresh noodles, cook according to packet instructions and allow to cool before marinating.
Once all, and I cannot stress this enough, all, of your ingredients are diced, chopped, and marinated, you may begin to cook…but not before!
Sorry to be so rigid about this, but every Chinese chef on TV I’ve ever seen says this, and because you are literally cooking individual ingredients for a minute or two, you will not have time to chop and prepare in between.
OMG! I am writing a Chinese ‘ish’ recipe!
Ok, we’ve chopped, sliced and marinated. Now heat two tablespoons of oil in your wok or deep sided frying pan/skillet and get this very hot (American friends please tell me if my translation is correct). Now place your marinaded beef into the wok and continuously stir and fry for about one to two minutes maximum. Then transfer the beef to a plate and set aside until needed – I left some of the gravy/marinade in the wok after transferring to a plate.
Next, add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and add the moon sliced onions to the wok. Season with a little salt and sauté for five to ten minutes, depending on how well you want your onion cooked – I did mine for about eight minutes.
When the onions are ready, add the garlic, ginger, carrot, and peas and continue to cook for five or so minutes. You may wish to lower the heat and ensure everything is cooked to your idea of ‘al dente’ or ‘crispness’, or you may want to carry on with the traditional ‘flash-fry’ method. You are the one eating it after all…you may also need to add a little more oil.
Next, add in the noodles and the bean sprouts and ensure all is tossed together and equally coated in the sauce. Stir fry for approx a minute, then add the beef back in, along with any juices, and mix and fry for another 30 seconds. Finally add the spring onions and continue to fry for about another 30 seconds or so. Taste for seasoning and when satisfied…
Notes: You must cook vegetables and meat the way you like them, otherwise what’s the point? I learnt tonight that I would probably put the peas in at the same time as the onions, because they were a little too ‘al-dente’ for me. But, I also learnt that doing the onion this way, was perfect for me and very reminiscent of every Chinese meal I’ve ever had. If you use tinned bean sprouts, like me, don’t forget to rinse them in cold water – the weight given is for this. I wish we had had some mushrooms to go in this and some red peppers, but hey next time!
Being a British Bloke I feel I shouldn’t really say this…but OMG this was fabulous…especially as it was my first ever foray into Chinese ‘ish’ food!
BBC2 loved it too, but agreed that the peas needed a little more cooking. Will have to try this on our chief taster, just don’t know if she likes Chinese food…