Economy Noodles

12oz noodles of your choice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced

2 cups bean sprouts
10 stalks spring onions, cut into 2-inch length

DIPPING SAUCE: A few chilis + enough soy sauce

To make the dipping sauce, cut some chilis and let them sit in enough soy sauce to cover. Feel free to remove the seeds beforehand. Here’s a video that quickly demonstrates how you can do that effectively, but if you really want less heat, you may have to slice them open length-wise and scrape off the pith and ribs together with the seeds. And if more heat is what you want, press the cut chilis onto the soy sauce with a fork. Let the chilis and soy sauce marinade while you cook.

Prepare your choice of noodles according to package instructions, making sure that they are not overdone because nobody wants soggy noodles in a stir-fry. You can do that while you prepare the other ingredients, or you can focus on one thing at a time and have everything you need on hand before you start.

The next thing to do is to mix the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and hoisin sauce in a bowl. And once you’ve minced the garlic and shallot, and cut the vegetables, you’re ready to go.

Heat a wok or a deep frying pan in medium-high heat. You’ll know it’s warm enough when you see a little smoke rise up. Add oil, followed by garlic and shallots, and sauté until they are soft and the aromas are released but be careful not to burn them.

Add the noodles and sauce mixture and use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to quickly toss all the ingredients until the noodles are evenly coated. You can add a splash of water at anytime if things get too dry but not so much that you are boiling the ingredients.

Then make a well in the center and add bean sprouts. Give them a good toss to cook lightly on their own before mixing everything together. Add spring onions, give the noodles a final toss and turn off the heat. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.

Alison’s Edamame

1 bag frozen edamame

Sauce:
3 tablespoons chili paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch of sugar to taste
Dash of black vinegar to taste
Dash of toasted sesame oil to taste

Steam or boil edamame until just done.

Mix sauce ingredients to taste.

Serve edamame with sauce on the side.

Alison’s Edamame and Rice

1 bag shelled frozen edamame

Sauce:
3 tablespoons chili paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch of sugar to taste
Dash of black vinegar to taste
Dash of toasted sesame oil to taste

Cooked rice for serving

Steam or boil edamame until just done.

Mix sauce ingredients to taste.

Toss edamame with sauce.

Serve over rice.

Lomo Saltado

12 ounces russet potatoes, peeled and cut into sticks 3 inches long by 3/8 inch wide (about 2 cups)
12 ounces lean filet mignon
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges (about 1 cup)
1 medium ripe tomato, cut into thin wedges
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 to 3 teaspoons aji amarillo chili, seeded and cut into scant ¼-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Pat the potatoes dry with paper towels. Line two large plates with several sheets of paper towels. Cut the beef with the grain in half. Cut each half with the grain in half so that you have a total of 4 quarters. Cut each quarter section across the grain into ¼-inch-thick bite-sized slices. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce and vinegar.

In a 2-quart saucepan heat the 3 cups oil over medium-high heat until the oil registers 300°F on a deep-frying thermometer, making sure the tip of the thermometer does not touch the pan. Carefully add the potatoes and fry 3 minutes or until they are tender. Remove the pan from the heat. Carefully remove the potatoes with a metal skimmer and drain on one of the paper towel–lined plates. Then discard the oil-soaked paper towels (because the potatoes sometimes will stick to the towels).

Reheat the same oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 360°F. Carefully add the same potatoes to the oil and fry until light golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully remove the potatoes with a metal skimmer and drain on the second prepared plate. Then discard the oil-soaked paper towels. Let the hot oil cool before discarding.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, carefully add the beef, and spread it evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the beef begin to sear.

Sprinkle on the garlic, salt, and pepper. Then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 30 seconds, until the beef is lightly browned but not cooked through.

Add the red onions and tomatoes and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the tomatoes begins to soften. Swirl the soy sauce mixture into thewok, sprinkle on the sugar and chilies, and stir-fry 30 seconds or until well combined.

Add the cilantro and fried potatoes and stir-fry several seconds until the ingredients are combined and the beef is just cooked.

Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.