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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Teriyaki Beef with Noodles

I was flipping through The New York Times Cookbook, looking for something new.  I don't know how new it is, exactly, but I stopped on a dime when I saw the recipe for teriyaki beef.  When I was single, I ate Chinese take away at least once a week.  My husband isn't very fond of Chinese food, so these days it's a treat to have it.  I prayed that this teriyaki would be just as good as what comes in the little white take out box.

I was going to serve it with brown rice, but last weekend, I made an impromptu stop into H-Mart. If you aren't familiar with H-Mart, it's a chain of Asian grocery stores here in the U.S.  Very few states and cities have them and we happen to be one of the lucky ones.  The store is humongous, with a produce section that's at least twice the size of a regular market.  An entire wall makes up the fresh fish section.  And then there's just the Asian groceries.  Every noodle known to mankind is available, which is what I picked up: fresh, thick Chinese noodles.  If you don't have these noodles available to you, I think a fresh pasta noodle (think Buitoni) would be OK.  However, you might lose some of the starch which is very important to the dish.  When cooked with other liquids, it creates a wonderful, thick broth.

Teriyaki Beef with Noodles

2 lbs (1/4" thick) sirloin steak
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cup light soy sauce, divided
3/4 cup sherry, divided
1 package fresh Chinese noodles
1 package (12-oz) package sliced white mushrooms
1/4 lb pea pods
2 cups low-sodium beef broth

1.  Cut the steak into thin slices or strips.

2.  Combine the ginger, garlic, onion, sugar, 1 cup of the soy sauce and 1/2 cup sherry and pour mixture over the meat.  Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.

3.  Turn broiler on high and allow time to heat up.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the beef broth, the rest of the soy sauce and the rest of the sherry and bring to a boil.  Add the mushrooms and peapods and let cook for approximately 4 minutes. 

4.  Add noodles to broth and vegetables and cook for time expressed on the the package.

5.  After adding noodles to the broth, place meat under the broiler for approximately 2 minutes per side.  Remove from heat.  Serve teriyaki with the noodles hot.

The Verdict:  Not only was the teriyaki as good as what you'd get from Chinese takeout, the noodles were a surprising hit!  I kind of winged the recipe, hoping my son would enjoy them, and it ended up that we all liked them a lot.

The teriyaki can also be grilled and it might even be better that way.  But since we have an enormous amount of snow outside and can barely find our cars, nevermind the grill, we'll be using the broiler.  But however you cook it, the meat has a wonderful flavor.

The gluten in the noodles, like I mention above, creates a lovely, thick beef broth that coats the noodles.  Beware, however, that noodles this glutenous do not make good leftovers.  They begin to break down, creating a slugdy mess.  My son still liked them, but the texture absolutely grossed me out. 

I started the meal with edamame in the shells, sprinkled liberally with salt.  It was fun to peel the beans out of their shells before eating our main course.  It felt like a good night out at a restaurant, minus a tip, a scorpion bowl and fortune cookies.

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