RECIPE

Beef Soba Bowls

On this day I used a combination of shiitakes and brown beech mushrooms (they look like a cross between enoki and cremini and they come in little clusters, like enoki). But you can use whatever mushroom combo you want; you just need between 2/3 and 3/4 pound total.

Ingredients

  • 1 (3/4-pound) sirloin steak, about 1 inch thick
  • 5 tablespoons high-temperature cooking oil, such as safflower or canola
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/3 pound brown beech mushrooms (bunashimeiji), separated and sliced
  • 1 bunch ramps or spring onions, white and greens sliced and kept separate
  • 1 or 2 fresh red chiles, such as Fresno or jalapeño, sliced (seeded if they’re spicy)
  • 6 or 7 garlic scapes, or 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons ponzu sauce (see note)
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 bunch purple or green shiso, shredded
  • 1 (8-ounce) package soba noodles

Preparation

Pop the sirloin in the freezer for about 10 minutes, to make it easier to slice. Trim it of external fat and connective tissue, then slice it paper-thin, in bite-sized pieces, on an angle and against the grain.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil (3 turns of the pan) over high heat until the oil ripples and begins to smoke. Add the meat in a single layer, lightly sprinkle it with a little bit of Worcestershire and season with pepper. Let the meat cook without touching or turning it, until deeply browned and caramelized on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pieces of meat over and let them brown for about a minute on the second side. Transfer the meat to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil (2 turns of the pan) to the skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook until nice and deep and dark in color. Add the ramp or onion whites, chiles, garlic scapes, and ginger and stir-fry that together for 2 minutes.

Add the edamame, ponzu, beef stock, and chicken stock. Then slide the meat back in, let that come up to a bubble, and then add the shiso and ramp greens. When the liquid comes back to a bubble, taste it and adjust with ponzu sauce and pepper. It is really, really, really tasty.

Meanwhile, cook the soba in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain the soba and divide between 2 soup bowls. Pour the soup on top.

NOTE: If you don’t have ponzu sauce, you can use 3 tablespoons tamari and the juice of 1 lime.

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