Oyster-sauce beef over pan-fried noodles

Growing up, “chow mein” in my home was never the soft greasy mix of noodles, meat and vegetables commonly found in American “Chinese” restaurants. Rather, it was what is referred to here as “Hong Kong style Chow Mein”  – stir fried meat and vegetables served over a mound of crispy noodles.  The noodles are typically boiled and then pan fried on one side, flipped over to the other side so that they are crispy on both sides.  Broiling the noodles is quicker because you can make separate servings all at the same time; it’s also less messy and uses less fat.

  •  1 green pepper – stemmed, seeded and cut into thin slivers
  • 1 cup sliced fresh shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 green onions, bulbs removed and chopped
  • 1 pound beef sirloin steak cut into thin shreds
  • 8 oz dried thin Chinese egg noodles
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce

marinade

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 tsp sesame oil

Prepare pepper, mushrooms, ginger, garlic and onions.  Set them aside.  Slice the beef.  Mix marinade and add ONE HALF of the marinade to the sliced beef, stir well, and set aside to marinate.  The remaining marinade will be part of the sauce for the stir fry.

Boil noodles in a generous amount of water according to package instructions.  Stir them frequently to separate the strands and ensure even cooking.  Cook till just al dente.  While noodles are cooking, preheat the broiler and spray a large baking sheet with noncook spray.

Drain the noodles and mix them well with 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil.  Mound the noodles on the baking sheet into 4 even rounds.  For even browning, try to avoid “stragglers”.  Spray tops of the noodle mounds with non-stick cooking spray.  Broil the noodles under the broiler at the closest setting until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Using a large pancake turner, flip them over, spray with nonstick spray and broil until the other side is lightly browned, another 5 minutes.  Turn off the broiler but keep the noodle rounds in the oven so they stay warm.

Heat a non-stick wok or large skillet over medium high heat.  Add one tbsp of canola oil.  Add peppers, mushrooms ginger, garlic and green onions and stir fry for about 2 minutes.  Transfer the vegetables into a bowl.  Heat up the remaining canola oil over the highest heat setting.  When it is hot, add the beef mixture and stir 2 minutes or until the beef just begins to firm slightly.  Return vegetables to the pan and mix well.  Stir in oyster sauce into the remaining marinade and add to the pan.  When mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat. 

Divide noodle rounds among four plates.  Top each noodle round with one-fourth of the stir-fry mixture.  Serves 4.

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