Fresh orange zest and juice liven up this beefy Chinese noodle dish.
I love noodle bowls. There are so many possible combinations of toppings, so I was definitely intrigued by this recipe from Blue Apron.
It was good, but not anything special. I was surprised that this dish ended up being kind of bland, even though there were a lot of flavors going on in the recipe.
My husband and I both ended up adding some hoisin sauce and sambal oelek to pep up the flavor. This dish definitely has potential, but as it’s written, it didn’t wow us.
Orange Beef Lo Mein with Gai Lan & Napa Cabbage
8 Ounces Ground Beef
5 Ounces Lo Mein Noodles
2 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Bunch Gai Lan
1 Navel Orange
1/2 Pound Napa Cabbage
1 1/2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Mirin
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Teaspoon Orange Beef Spice Blend (Chinese Five-Spice Powder, White Sesame Seeds, Dried Orange Peel & Ground Ginger)
1. Prepare the ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions. Thinly slice the white bottoms; cut the green tops into 1-inch pieces. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Cut off and discard the stem ends of the gai lan; roughly chop the gai lan. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the orange, avoiding the pith; mince the rind to get 1 tablespoon of zest (or use a zester). Halve the orange; squeeze the juice into the bowl of zest, straining out the seeds. Cut out and discard the cabbage core; thinly slice the cabbage. To the bowl of orange zest and juice, add the mirin, soy sauce and cornstarch; whisk to thoroughly combine.
2. Brown the beef:
In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef and half the spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl, leaving any drippings in the pan. Carefully drain off and discard the drippings. Wipe out the pan.
3. Cook the vegetables:
In the same pan used to brown the beef, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, white bottoms of the scallions and remaining spice blend. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the gai lan and cabbage. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened.
4. Cook the noodles:
While the vegetables cook, add the noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserve ¾ cup of the noodle cooking water; drain the noodles thoroughly.
5. Finish the noodles:
To the pan of vegetables, add the cooked noodles, browned beef, orange sauce (whisking thoroughly just before adding) and ½ cup of the noodle cooking water. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and heated through. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining noodle cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
6. Plate your dish:
Divide the orange beef lo mein between 2 dishes. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!
Big Flavors Rating: 3 Stars