YIELD Makes 4 servings
|2||tablespoons dried cloud ear or other Asian mushrooms|
|5||ounces fresh spinach, washed and stemmed|
|4||ounces Chinese-style egg vermicelli or mung bean noodles|
|2||tablespoons soy sauce, divided|
|1||teaspoon sesame oil|
|1/2||beef flank steak (about 8 ounces)|
|2||tablespoons vegetable oil, divided|
|1||cup julienned carrots|
|1||medium onion, cut into halves and thinly sliced|
|1||piece fresh ginger (about 1 inch square), finely chopped|
|1||teaspoon minced garlic|
|2||tablespoons Sesame Salt|
|1/8||teaspoon black pepper|
|Chives and chive blossom for garnish|
- Place mushrooms in bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand 30 minutes or until caps are soft. Drain mushrooms; squeeze out excess water. Remove and discard stems. Cut caps into thin slices.
- Meanwhile, prepare Sesame Salt; set aside. Bring 1 quart lightly salted water to a boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add spinach; return to a boil. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain spinach; immediately plunge into cold water to stop cooking. Place in colander to drain. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Squeeze spinach to remove excess moisture. Finely chop with chef's knife.
- Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add noodles; cook 2 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and immediately run cold water over noodles to stop cooking. Cut noodles into small strands.
- Return noodles to saucepan. Stir in 1 tablespoon soy sauce and sesame oil; toss to coat. Set aside and keep warm.
- Cut flank steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into thin strips. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots; stir-fry 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add mushrooms and onion; stir-fry 2 minutes or just until wilted. Remove vegetables from wok.
- Heat wok over high heat 1 minute or until hot. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into wok; heat 30 seconds. Add ginger and garlic; stir-fry 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add beef to wok; stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove wok from heat; stir in Sesame Salt, sugar, pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
- Return vegetables and noodles to wok; cook and stir until heated through. Add additional soy sauce to taste. Garnish, if desired.
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Island cuisine is a mixture of recipes from all the major island regions, including Hawaii, Cuba, the Caribbean and Jamaica.