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Curry Beef Lo Mein with Chili Crisp

Amelia Rampe
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
25 mins
Servings:
4-6
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Chef notes

Japanese curry roux cubes are a beloved ingredient that is used as a building block of making Japanese-style curry.  It’s similar to a bouillon cube and is  infused with spices such as turmeric, cumin and coriander. It is a great addition to your pantry because you could not only use it for this recipe but in many Japanese dishes like Curry Udon or Katsu Curry.

In this beef lo mein dish, the curry serves as the foundational flavor of the recipe. The light curry flavors, in combination with the deep savory notes and textures of the chili crisp, is a marriage made in weeknight dinner heaven. Each of these ingredients on their own are delicious but together is where the magic happens.

Chili crisp not only adds heat and deepened savory flavors but it also adds crisp textures against the tender noodles. More traditional versions of chili crisp are made with Sichuan peppercorns, fermented soybeans and/or mushroom powder. Sichuan styles of chili crisp will bring the mala, the gentle tingling that comes from the peppercorns. You can also find variations of chili crisp that have anchovies, extra garlic or even everything bagel spice. Choose whatever chili crisp you love but know that the final flavor may be impacted, depending on the variation.

The entire dish can be prepared and executed in under one hour. Prepare the vegetables while the water is boiling to minimize time spent in the kitchen. Slice the flank steak into 1/2-inch strips against the grain, then slice the strips on a bias into 1-inch pieces.

Swap Option: You can substitute the flank steak with ground beef or lamb. Feeding vegetarians? Try using any variation of faux ground meat alternative. If serving with ground meat, there’s no need to remove the meat from the skillet after browning; just add in the vegetables and keep going. You can also serve this vegetable mixture over rice. The roux cubes contain wheat. If you need a gluten-free variety, try using the curry powder instead.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces lo mein noodles
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound flank steak, cut into 1/2-by-1 inch strips
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into 1/2 inch florets and pieces
  • 1 cube Japanese Golden Curry
  • 2 cups water
  • chili crisp, for serving
Fulfilled by

Preparation

1.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook lo mein noodles. Drain noodles 2 minutes before package instructions state and rinse under cool water until they are no longer hot. Set aside .

2.

In a large skillet set over high heat, add 2 tablespoons canola oil and swirl to coat. Spread the flank strips across the surface of the skillet, season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook undisturbed until browned on the bottom, 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook until flank steak is browned on the outside and barely pink in the center, 1 minute more. Remove steak and set aside. Lower heat to medium-high.

3.

Add 2 more tablespoons of oil in the skillet and heat. Add onions and carrots and cook until they are just beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring until fragrant and tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli florets and cook, stirring until the broccoli is just turning bright green, 1 to 2 minutes.

4.

Add 1 cube of Japanese curry roux and 2 cups water to the skillet and bring to a boil, breaking up the cube and stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until flavors meld and the liquid has reduced by half and is still saucy, about 5 minutes.

5.

Add lo mein noodles and reserved beef into the vegetable mixture and toss until evenly mixed and the noodles are coated in sauce.

6.

Transfer to a serving dish, dollop the top with chili crisp and serve.