Szechuan Pepper Steak with Hoi Sin Noodles & Cashews

So I had a little tender, juicy fillet steak lying around but probably not enough to satisfy  three hungry men (boys actually but man size).  So I needed to stretch it out a bit and what better way to do it than douse it liberally with szechuan peppercorns and Chinese 5 spice, pan sear it and serve with a large plate of filling, zingy, emmalicious noodles and  crispy Chinese veg?  The result was not too shabby, not too shabby at all!

Prep time:  20  Minutes                 Cooking time:  8  Minutes                     $$  Low to Medium Budget

Serves 4

Olive oil

600gm of fillet steak in 2.5cm pieces (you can use rump, scotch or sirloin if you like)

1 tbs of szechuan peppercorns

1 tsp of chinese 5 spice

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 cup of cashews, toasted

For the Noodles:

Peanut oil or olive oil for frying

4 x portions of dried egg noodles

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1 red chilli, finely sliced

4 spring onions, sliced

1 bunch of  gai larn, washed and sliced into 3cm batons

A couple of handfuls of snow peas, tops removed and halved diagonally

2 cups of bean shoots

1 cup of coriander leaves

2 tbs of hoi sin sauce

1 tbs of sambal oelek*

2 tbs of soy sauce

1 tbs of shaoxing wine*

Sesame oil for drizzling

In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder pound the szechuan peppercorns with the salt until you have a nice fine powder.  Add the 5 spice and mix well to combine.  Tear off a piece of baking paper and lay the steak on it.  Drizzle with a little oil on both sides and rub it in before sprinkling half of the peppercorn mix on one side and then half on the other.  move the steak pieces around the paper to pick up all the little bits of spice.  Don’t waste any!

Soak or boil the noodles according to packet instructions.  Drain, rinse and set aside

Make sure you have all your noodle ingredients prepped and ready to go.  In a small bowl or jug combine the sambal oelek, hoi sin, soy and shaoxing wine.

Heat a frypan to nice and hot and sear the steak on both sides for approximately 3-4 minutes each side for medium rare.  Remove from the pan and allow to rest (cover with foil to keep warm).

Heat a little oil in a wok or pan to super hot.  Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir fry for 1 minute before adding the snow peas, gai larn and two thirds of the spring onions.  Toss for a minute or two and then add the noodles, bean shoots,  half of the coriander and the combined sauces.  Using a pair of tongs or 2 large spoons, toss the noodles so that all the vegetables are mixed in and the noodles are coated in the lovely sauce.

To serve, divide the noodles among four serving bowls or plates.  Slice the steak about 1/2cm thick across the grain and divide it among the plates by laying it on top of the noodles.  Scatter over the remaining coriander leaves and spring onions and sprinkle each plate with a generous smattering of toasted cashews.  For a final flavour burst, drizzle a little sesame oil around and over each plate.  Don’t over do it with the sesame as it can be a little overpowering.  Enjoy!

*  Sambal Oelek is a mild Indonesian Chilli paste.  It and Shaoxing Wine can be found in the Asian section of the supermarket.