Order of operations is key, so follow your stir-fry recipe for best results. A great marinade will also set your dish apart from the typical protein/vegetable/starch formula. The citrus marinade in this recipe helps tenderize the meat and adds tons of flavor.
Bean thread noodles, also called cellophane or glass noodles, are made from mung bean starch. When cooked, they turn opaque and delightfully chewy. Be careful not to overcook them — they quickly lose their toothsome quality.
For the marinade
- 1 pound flank steak
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine or mirin
- 2 tablespoons tangerine zest, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the beef
- 3/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced (white parts only)
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger root, grated
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup tangerine juice
- 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 ounces bean thread noodles
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, bias-sliced into 3-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped (optional)
- If desired, partially freeze beef for easier slicing. Trim fat from meat. Thinly slice meat across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place beef in a large resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish.
- For marinade, combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, rice wine, 1 tablespoon of the tangerine zest, the sesame oil, cornstarch, 2 cloves garlic, and crushed red pepper. Pour marinade over beef in bag; seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours. Drain meat, discarding marinade.
- In small bowl combine scallions, 2 tablespoons garlic, ginger, and remaining tangerine zest. Set aside.
- In a another small bowl combine chicken broth, tangerine juice, ponzu sauce, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Set aside.
- Place bean threads in a large bowl. Add enough hot tap water to cover. Let stand about 5 minutes or until soft and pliable; drain well. Using kitchen shears, cut into 4-inch lengths.
- In a large wok or extra-large skillet heat oil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add scallion mixture; cook and stir over medium heat about 30 seconds.
- Add beef strips; cook and stir about 2 minutes or until no longer pink. Add asparagus; cook and stir for 1 minute.
- Stir in broth mixture; bring to simmering. Stir in reserved noodles; cook and stir until heated through.
- Divide mixture evenly among serving bowls. Garnish with cilantro and, if desired, dried apricots. Serve immediately.