If you haven’t had a crispy noodle cake at a Chinese restaurant you haven’t lived. And if you haven’t made it at home you might not know how easy it is to make. All you need are egg noodles (lo mein noodles or even plain spaghetti work, too). Cook, press into an oiled pan, and you’ve got the base for some verrry saucy mushrooms and meat. If you want to go veggie, omit the meat and double the shrooms!
- 3/4 pound sirloin steak
- ¼ cup sake
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 5 ounces dry Chinese egg noodles
- 4 scallions, plus more for garnish
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 pound assorted mushrooms (baby bella, shiitake, maitake, hen of the woods, oyster) trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieced (about 4 cups)
- 3 cloves sliced garlic
Cover or wrap the meat and freeze it until very firm but not frozen, 45 minutes; thinly slice and set aside.
Whisk the sake, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, soy sauce, and chili flakes in a bowl; set aside,
While the meat is freezing, cook the noodles according to the package directions; drain well, cool to room temperature and make sure they’re as dry as can be (you should have about 3 cups cooked noodles. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl. Separate the scallion greens from the whites; halve the greens lengthwise, then crosswise to form 8 scallion “noodles.” Thinly slice the whites and save for the beef (below). Add the scallion greens to the noodles to the bowl along with the egg, ginger, and salt.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a 9-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the noodle mixture, spread it out, and cook, not moving, until the underside is crispy, 5 minutes. Slide the noodle cake onto a plate, add 1 more tablespoon oil, then invert the noodle cake back into the skillet and cook until the second underside is crispy, another 4 minutes.
Remove the noodle cake from the skillet, leaving any oil in the skillet; cover with foil. Season the meat with salt, add to the skillet and cook, moving as little as possible, until browned, 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, add the mushrooms, raise the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and charred, 6 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then add the garlic and sliced chive whites and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sauce, bring to a boil and cook, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the meat and mushrooms to the skillet, toss to coat, and warm through, 2 minutes. Spoon the meat onto the noodle cake. Garnish with more chopped scallions and cut the meat-topped noodle cake into quarters.