Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 16: Chow Mein College Style

Sorry about the delay, I didn't get a chance to update this last night and was on the road for a good bit of today.  Anyway, last night was my experiment in going back to cooking like a college kid.  I decided to try and throw together something at least close to chow mein in a stir fry (mostly because about the only cooking vessel I had was a wok). 

The stir fry was pretty simple and easy, and worked out nicely for what I wanted as well.  A quick trip to Whole Foods netted me a half pound of sirloin steak tips (so good for stir fry).  The rest of the meal pretty much came from the same trip.  I grabbed some sliced water chestnuts, baby corn, a red pepper, a shallot and some snap\snow peas.  The rest of the meal came from college staples, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, ramen noodles, eggs and hot sauce.

The complicated part of the meal was figuring out how to prep it.  The tools I had available were limited at best.  A single wok, a small pot, a knife so dull it almost couldn't cut the pepper, a can opener older than my parents (by a fair margin) and a wooden spoon was all I had.  Thankfully I wasn't trying to do anything complicated (although it is something I've never tried to do).  My tools in photo form:
As for the cooking itself it took me about 5 minutes once the water reached a boil.  The first thing was the shallots and red pepper was sliced into chunks and sweated until soft.  They got pulled out of the wok and the ramen went into the pot of water.  While the ramen cooked the beef went into the wok for a quick sear.  After about a minute on each side (or two minutes of tossing and moving them around).  After the beef was seared I tossed in one beaten egg.  After about 30 seconds to start cooking the egg (during which time I kept everything moving, basically just like making scrambled eggs)  all the veggies went into the wok.  Everything got tossed around and stirred (using the wooden spoon to keep it moving) until the peas looked like they were done (about another minute).

It was at this point that I made my main mistake.  Instead of adding the sauces to the mix first, getting a coating on everything and then adding the noddles at the end, I tossed in the noodles then did the sauce.  It probably didn't matter all that much, but doing it with the noodles in first meant that most of the sauce was in and on the noodles.  It prevented me from getting an even coating, although the flavor was still good and just meant I had even more reason to get a bit of noodle in every bite.  Overall I think the dish was a success.  The hot sauce and teriyaki worked really well together with the rest of the meal, and given my tools, I was pretty pleased with how well my 10 minute meal came together.

Tonight's Recipe:
1/2 lb Sirloin Tips
1 shallot
1 red pepper
1 can of water chestnuts
1 can of baby corn
2 Packs of Ramen Noodles
a bunch (however much you like) of snow peas
Teriyaki sauce
soy sauce
hot sauce
Emeril's Essence

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