I Wanna Wok...

By now, it ought to be clear that I'm somewhat of a glutton for punishment when it comes to my time in the kitchen. I take on recipes with the intent of expanding my cooking skill set, and am constantly tackling recipes that other people might reserve for a special occasion. This time, I engineered another visit to H-Mart, the intimidating, panic-attack inducing Korean grocery store that I visited with Justin a little over a month ago, with the intent of producing nearly a week's worth of Asian-influenced recipes that have been lingering on my to-do list. I was inspired in this endeavor by a rare sale on flank steak at my regular grocery store (seriously, why is beef so expensive?) that enabled me to tackle a particularly tempting stir-fry recipe I'd had my eye on.

Today's visit to H-Mart was far less stressful, perhaps because we'd come on a day with inclement weather, but whatever the reason, it was far less crowded. Since I was more familiar with the layout of the store this time, I was able to find everything we needed in relatively short order, and we made it out of the store with a large selection of items for under $20. Not bad at all.

I was even more happy that I'd given H-Mart another chance when I tasted the dinner I had created using the ingredients I had purchased there. I'm definitely going to have to watch the price of flank steak like a hawk, because both Justin and I would like to see this dish become a semi-regular meal around our house. 

As per the suggestions in the comments on Epicurious, I doubled the amount of sauce for the recipe, which was a stroke of brilliance, as the dish would have been very dry otherwise, and the sauce was absolutely delicious -- a perfect balance of rich and savory flavors. The snow peas provided a nice crunchy element, though in the future I might experiment with adding baby corn as well, both to increase the vegetable content, and because I really love baby corn. Also, if you can't find fresh, Chinese-style noodles near you, I think this stir fry would be equally satisfying served over rice.

Beef and Snow Peas with Pan-fried Noodles
adapted from Gourmet

1 lb. package fresh Chinese-style noodles
1/4 c. oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoons corn starch
1 c. water
5 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/2 lb. snow peas, trimmed
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced, peeled ginger
1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain
1. Cook noodles according to package directions, then drain in a colander.
2. Stir together oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and water until smooth.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add noodles to skillet, pressing them with a rubber spatula to form a cake, and cook until underside is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip cake over and drizzle 1 tablespoon oil around sides of cake, then cook until underside is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer noodle cake to a cutting board and cut into quarters.
4. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a wok or 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Stir-fry snow peas with a pinch of salt until bright green, 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Add 2 tablespoons oil to wok and stir-fry scallions and ginger with 1/4 teaspoon salt 30 seconds. Add half of beef and cook, undisturbed, 45 seconds, then stir-fry until beef is just browned, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to plate with snow peas. Add remaining tablespoon oil and cook remaining beef in same manner.
5. Stir sauce mixture again, then add to wok and bring to a boil. Stir in beef and snow peas, then serve spooned on top of noodle cake.

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