It’s sunny and raining at the same time right now and that always makes me so happy. I just love it when the sun breaks through the rain clouds. I love how you can see every rain drop, in crystal clarity. The streets are shiny and slick and the sky gets bright, the wind pushing the clouds away to make room for the blue sky that was always there. A gentle reminder from nature that, hey, don’t worry, better days are on their way.
We’ve been living under a rain and windstorm watch – nothing serious, just your usual Raincouver weather, but Mike and I have been using it as an excuse to hunker down, watch Netflix, and make loads and loads of soup. To be honest, I’ve been feeling just a bit down. I could blame the rain and maybe a bit of seasonal affective disorder, but it’s probably just the fact that I’m just a touch disillusioned with social media. It’s so easy to get sucked into the hole: that blatant, non-nuanced, black and white world of numbers.
I’m trying to stay away and stay positive. After all, I am a lot more than my instagram account, even if sometimes I feel like I live and die by the numbers – I feel like Mike can relate to this just a little too well. I actually have other interests aside from food, even though it doesn’t feel like it sometimes. I’ve been trying to explore them more, which is infinitely more healthy than looking at other instagram accounts and wondering what makes them so much more likable.
These black bean noodles have nothing to do with instagram or my other interests, aside from the fact that one of my biggest interests (if not the biggest) is making Mike happy. He loves ordering black bean beef chow mein when we get takeout Chinese, which sadly for him (and me!) isn’t that often. This guy whips up in a flash and is so, so good. It’s basically a giant crispy noodle cake topped with saucy beef, peppers, and onion. Give me ALL the noodles.
Actually though, these noodles aren’t my fave Chinese takeout, that spot belongs to beef chow fun! What’s your go to order?
Black Bean Beef Chow Mein Recipe
- 1 pound steak of choice, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sake or Shaoxing wine, optional
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch in the beef
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 16 oz fresh chow mein noodles
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoon black bean sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch whisked with 2 tablespoons water
In a bowl, marinate the beef slices with the soy sauce, sake or wine, corn starch, sesame oil, and white pepper. Set aside while you prep the onion and green pepper.
Rinse the noodles well with hot water and drain. In a wok, or large skillet, heat up the oil over medium high heat. When hot, add the noodles in a thin, even layer. The goal is to fry the noodles into a giant crispy noodle cake. If needed, do this is batches. When the underside of the noodles are golden brown and crispy, flip and continue to crisp, adding oil as needed. When the noodle cake is crisp, remove from the wok/pan and move to your serving dish.
Add a touch of oil to the wok and add the steak, cooking on high. Let brown and sear, tossing as needed. Remove from the pan, or push to the side of the wok, away from the intense heat of the bottom. Add the onions and green peppers on high heat, tossing often, until the onions are translucent, but not brown.
Add the black bean and oyster sauce, as well as the water. Bring to a simmer over medium to high heat. Slowly drizzle in the cornstarch whisked with water. Bring to a simmer to thicken the sauce, stirring often. Taste and adjust seasonings. Scoop the sauce onto the noodle cake and serve immediately, being sure to get both crispy noodles and sauce into your bowl!