January 26, 2007

Sesame Marinated Steak on Spinach and Soba Noodles

2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh green chili pepper, minced
1 lb tender beef steak (we used 1 inch thick piece of top round)
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine (sake)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, crushed*
1 tablepsoon lime juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 teaspoons of water
2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms

10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and drained

soba noodles, cooked

Place the steak, soy sauce, chili pepper, sake, sesame oil, lime juice, garlic, sesame seeds and green onions in a large ziplock bag and allow to marinate at least 45 minutes or up to overnight. While the steak is marinating soak 2 oz. dried shiitaki mushrooms in 1 cup hot water. Remove steak from marinade, reserving marinade, and sear on a hot pan. For a 1" thick steak, cook on high heat for 2.5 minutes on each side for rare steak. Remove steak to a pan and cover with foil. Let sit for 5 minutes and then slice thinly. While steak is cooking, squeeze out mushrooms, reserving liquid, and chop them. Add the mushrooms, cornstarch and liquid to a sauce pan with the marinade. Bring sauce to a boil, cook for 5 minutes and then add the cornstarch mixture. To serve: thinly slice the steak and arrange on a bed of soba noodles and spinach**. Drizzle with sauce.

*This is easiest with a mortar and pestle. In lieu of that, you can crush them between two sheets of wax paper with a rolling pin.

**sauteing the spinach with some minced garlic and sesame seeds is a nice touch, but not entirely necessary.

My thoughts:

Some how the picture didn't come out as appetizing as I would have hoped. I assure you, this was an entirely delicious meal. Dark soy sauce, which vaguely reminds me of some sort of molasses, is a bit strong tasting for dipping but is great for marinades. It imparts a lot of flavor in a relatively short period of time, which makes it great for weekday dinners. Every once in a while top round (some times called "london broil top round") will go on sale for just under $2 a pound (it is generally about $7 per pound) and we always stock up. It freezes well and if you get a thinner cut, it defrosts rather quickly.