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    Beef Chow Mein

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    Beef Chow Mein

    Warren Zevon's surreal 1978 ditty won BBC Radio 2's 'Greatest Opening Song Line' vote with its arresting start: 'Saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand/ Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain/ He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's/ Going to get a big dish of beef chow mein.' Perhaps this recipe would have kept him satisfied.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus marinating
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 40 minutes, plus marinating 40 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • ½ tsp clear honey
    • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
    • 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
    • 2 tsp cornflour
    • 250g Chinese egg noodles
    • 300g sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into strips
    • 50ml chicken stock
    • ¼ tsp white pepper
    • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp fresh root ginger, in thin strips
    • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
    • 3 salad onions, finely chopped
    • 100g shiitake mushrooms, quartered
    • 125g pak choi


    1. Mix together the clear honey, ½ tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp rice wine and 1 tsp cornflour. Use this to marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes. Cook the noodles in boiling water for 20 seconds, stirring. Drain and moisten with the remaining ½ tsp sesame oil.
    2. Mix the remaining sauces, rice wine and cornflour with the stock and white pepper; set aside. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a flat-bottomed wok. Add the noodles and cook for 5–7 minutes until the underside is golden. Flip the noodle 'cake' over and cook for about 3 minutes, until pale gold. Place on a warm plate.
    3. Add 1 tbsp oil to the wok, heat until just smoking and add the steak. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then tip out onto a plate with any juices.
    4. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil; add the ginger, garlic and salad onions; after 30 seconds, add the mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the pak choi, stir-frying until wilted. Throw in the reserved sauce mixture, bring to the boil, and return the steak to the pan. Tip over the noodles and serve.

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