Sesame beef & noodle stir-fry

The secret to a good stir-fry is to prepare everything beforehand, so get your grating and chopping done first so that you can just chuck things in the wok to cook. This is less of a recipe and more of a guideline, as the great thing about stir-fried food is that you can swap out any of the ingredients and use whatever is lurking in your fridge. Try pork or tofu instead of the beef or swap the courgette for carrot.

Serves 2

  • 250g beef escalopes, or thinly sliced steak
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 large clove of garlic, grated or crushed
  • 4 cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, plus a little extra for the noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Large handful of beansprouts (about 100g)
  • 1 medium courgette, grated
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 shallot, cut in half then sliced
  • 2 nests medium egg noodles (about 120g)
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Chilli flakes

First, prepare your vegetables – get everything grated and sliced and ready to go.

Slice the beef into strips, and place in a dish with one tablespoon of the soy sauce and the garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Mix it together well and leave to marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Cook the noodles according to the packet (dried ones will take about 3 minutes in boiling water), then tip them into a colander and rinse with cold water. Shake the colander to drain, then add a little sesame oil to stop the noodles sticking together.

Heat a wok over a medium to high heat, then add the sesame seeds and dry fry them until they have coloured slightly and smell toasty. Set these aside, then get the wok back up to a high heat. Add the beef and marinade to the wok and fry until just cooked through – this will only take a couple of minutes. Tip the beef and juices onto a plate and set aside while you cook the vegetables.

Return the wok to the hob and heat it up again – don’t worry about cleaning the wok, it all adds to the flavour, and who needs more washing up than is necessary. Add the olive oil, heat up, then throw in the shallot, mushrooms and beansprouts. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes, stirring well, then add the grated courgette and stir-fry for another minute.

Add the beef back into the wok with the noodles and the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, and heat until everything has warmed through. Pile into two bowls and top with the toasted sesame seeds, fresh coriander and as many chilli flakes as you dare.

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