Saucy Beef Chow Ho Fun (Sup Chow Ngau Ho)

For the beef:
12 ounces sliced flank steak
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
1 pound fresh rice noodles
2 cups warm low sodium beef or chicken stock
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Fresh ground white pepper to taste
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 thin slices ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup (1½ ounces) fresh Chinese black mushrooms or Shiitake mushrooms
2 scallions, cut at an angle into 2-inch pieces (with the white and green parts separated)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 cups (6 ounces) napa cabbage, cut crosswise into ½-inch wide long pieces
2 cups (5 ounces) fresh mung bean sprouts
Cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water)

Cut the rice noodles into 1-1/2-inch wide pieces and set aside. They should be at room temperature.

In a wide shallow bowl, mix the beef, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch until the beef is well coated. The beef should absorb the water and soy sauce so there’s no liquid. Set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature.

In a bowl, combine the warmed stock or water, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, and fresh ground white pepper to taste, and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your wok until it’s close to smoking. Add the beef to give it a quick sear for 30 seconds on each side. The beef should be cooked to about 80 percent doneness. Return the beef to the bowl, and set aside.

Turn the heat to medium, and add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok, along with the ginger. Let it caramelize for about 20 seconds. Next, stir in the garlic and immediately add the Chinese black mushrooms and the white portions of the scallions.

Turn the heat to high, and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine and the napa cabbage.

Stir-fry for another 15 seconds, and add the sauce mixture you prepared earlier. Once the sauce starts to simmer and boil, add the fresh ho fun rice noodles, folding them into the sauce so the noodles don’t break apart. Reduce the heat to a simmer if needed, and after 30 seconds (or when the rice noodles are heated through), add the mung bean sprouts and the beef.

Fold in the beef and mung bean sprouts until everything is coated and heated through. Add the green portions of the scallions.

Drizzle in half of the cornstarch slurry while stirring, and cook for 20 seconds. Check the thickness of the sauce. Add more slurry until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon.

The sauce consistency and quantity is all per your personal preference. You can adjust the recipe by increasing the amount of stock, seasonings, and/or cornstarch slurry.

The sauce should be allowed to cook for at least 20 seconds after adding the last of the cornstarch slurry to ensure the starch gets cooked. Serve your Beef Chow Ho Fun Noodles with your favorite chili oil!

Spanish Almond Cake (Torta de Santiago)

240 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) white sugar
3 large eggs, plus 3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 grams (2 1/2 cups) blanched almond flour
35 grams (3 tablespoons) turbinado or demerara sugar
37 grams (1/3 cup) sliced almonds, chopped

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom with a round of kitchen parchment, then mist the parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the white sugar, whole eggs and egg whites, salt and both extracts. Whisk vigorously until well combined, 30 to 45 seconds; the mixture will be slightly frothy and the sugar will not be fully dissolved. Add the almond flour and whisk until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle evenly with the turbinado sugar and chopped almonds. Bake until deeply browned and the crust feels firm when gently pressed with a finger, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Run a knife around the edges of the cake, then invert onto a plate. Remove the pan and parchment then re-invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let cool completely before serving.
Tip: Don’t underbake the cake. Rather than use a skewer or toothpick to test the center for doneness, check the browning and crust development. The cake is ready when the surface is deeply browned and the crust feels firm when gently pressed with a finger. Don’t serve the cake warm. Its texture is best when fully cooled.