Five-Spice Beef and Noodle Stir Fry
Flavored with a hint of five-spice powder, this simple stir fry combines tender strips of flank steak with lo mein-style noodles, fresh ginger, garlic, scallions and hoisin sauce to make a fast and easy one-dish dinner.
- 1 lb flank, skirt or flat-iron steak
- 10 ounces lo mein noodles (substitute ramen or spaghetti)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot, julienned
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the noodles.
- Combine the brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the five-spice powder in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce and stir until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add a little more five-spice powder if desired.
- Cutting with the grain, slice the steak lengthwise into 2 to 2-1/2-inch strips, then cut each strip across the grain into thin (1/4-inch) slices.
- Transfer the steak to the bowl with the soy sauce mixture and toss to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- While the steak marinates, cook, drain and rinse the noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce with the hoisin and sriracha. Taste and add more sriracha if desired.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir fry for 1 minute, then add the beef. Continue stir-frying until the beef is lightly browned, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the hoisin mixture, cook 1 minute longer, then add the noodles, scallions, carrot and cilantro. Toss with tongs to combine thoroughly.
- To serve, plate individual portions and sprinkle each with sesame seeds.
About Five-Spice Powder:
Commonly used in Chinese cuisine, five-spice powder is a richly-flavored blend of ground spices that typically includes cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel seed and white pepper.
Five-spice is a potent seasoning and just a little goes a long way which is why we recommend starting with just 1/4 teaspoon to season the beef.
The intensity of five-spice powder fades rather quickly with age - seemingly more so than other ground spices. Chances are if you have a fresh jar, you'll need less than if it's been on your spice shelf for a while.
Whether or not you add more than that initial 1/4 teaspoon depends on your personal taste. If you want, you can leave it out of this recipe altogether, and just add a tiny pinch of cinnamon in it's place.