I’m turning Japanese

Over the years I’ve accumulated quite a few recipes. As part of one of my New Year’s resolutions, I organized them all into a big black binder with dividers, just like the ones that we used to use in high school. The recipes have been passed down from friends and family, clipped from the newspaper and printed off the Internet. I have a three-hole paper punch or I’ll tape the recipe to lined paper to fit into the binder. On Sundays, when I sit down to plan my shopping list and meals for the week, I open the book for inspiration.

There’s one series of recipes that’s been getting quite a bit more use than others – those that I’ve accumulated by tearing the Wegmans Menu magazine apart when the season is through. No fail, they are hands-down always delicious. Wegmans makes cooking so easy with the educational resources they provide and by packaging food in a way that makes it easy to prepare. Sometimes, my tiny East Avenue store doesn’t carry a certain ingredient though, so I will have to deviate from the recipes.

Recently I was sucked in by a series of Japanese recipes (see Asian Persuasion). I will certainly make these Hong Kong-Style Beef with Udon Noodles for dinner again soon!

For this you will need:

1 pound of beef sirloin strips for stir-fry

3 tablespoons of water

1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch

2 packages (6.98 oz each) of Myojo Instant Japanese-Style Udon Noodles (International Foods)

2 tablespoons oyster flavored sauce

1 tablespoon of Pearl River Bridge Mushroom Flavored Superior Dark Soy Sauce (International Foods…I couldn’t find it so I just got the highest quality soy sauce I could find)

1 tablespoon of sugar

8 oz of bean sprouts

1 bunch of green onions, trimmed and cut into thin strips (1 cup)

2 tablespoons of oil (I used sesame oil)

2 tablespoons of fresh ginger root, sliced thin

½ large onion peeled into ¼-inch slices (about 1 cup)

Start out by putting a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil.

In the meantime, place the beef in a small bowl. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, working it into the meat until its absorbed. Sprinkle cornstarch over the beef and work in with

hands to coat all pieces.

Open the noodles, loosen them and set aside. Mix the oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Blanch the sprouts and green onions in the large pot of boiling water for five seconds. Drain and set aside.

Drizzle oil around the pan and tilt it to distribute evenly. Heat oil in the pan on high until the oil faintly smokes. If it smokes too much it’s too hot. Add the beef, ginger and onion slices. Stir fry three to four minutes. Add noodles and stir fry for about one minute. Add sauce and stir fry for 30

seconds or until heated through. Stir in sprouts and green onions and heat through.

As for my New Year’s resolution, there is still a small pile of recipes that needs to be organized into my big black book. I hope there always is!

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