The China Rose Collection
How you doin’? 你好嗎 (Nǐ hǎo ma). You can find anything you want to buy or eat in one of the Taiwanese night markets. These street markets in Taiwan thrive in urban or suburban areas between sunset and sunrise. Night markets in Taiwan are similar to those in areas inhabited by ethnic Han. A few, such as Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market, utilize purpose-built marketplaces, but most occupy either sidewalks or even entire streets that carry vehicle and pedestrian traffic by day. Some night markets in smaller side streets and alleys feature retractable roofs. Most night markets operate daily and feature a mixture of individual stalls selling clothing, consumer goods, xiaochi, specialty drinks and impressive food.
The atmosphere is usually crowded and noisy with hawkers shouting and fast-paced music playing over loudspeakers. Taiwanese night markets have evolved over the years from small local gatherings to noisy streets lined with vendors. Vendors must adhere to regulations placed on their activities by the Taiwanese government.
On one of my visits, I was invited into a stall’s doorway and upon entering I found a well-appointed restaurant. What a surprise. The next biggest surprise was the quality of Chinese steak dish. It is mild and flavorful with a silky texture. I think you’ll love making this recipe almost as much as you will love eating it. The secret is, consistent thinly sliced steak.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the crispy noodles
1/3 (6-ounce) package fine rice noodles
1/2 cup peanut oil
For the steak
1 tablespoon peanut oil, plus 2 tablespoons (for stir-frying)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2-1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce (I prefer Kikkoman)
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce (I prefer Lee Kum Kee)
1 tablespoon red wine
1 egg white, beaten
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/2-pound sliced steak (filet, New York or rib eye)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow onions (to be added when stir-frying)
For the stir-fry sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon oyster sauce (I prefer Lee Kum Kee)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
To make the crispy noodles
ChefSecret: Rice noodles are fun to work with as they puff in an instant and kind of look like Styrofoam. They add a lot of texture and suck up a lot of sauce, or they can be a crispy garnish that adds another level of complexity to an Asian dish.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “Do you know the feeling when you get into bed, fall right asleep, stay asleep all night and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day? Yeah, Me neither!”
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