Let’s just say I was more than a bit skeptical about poaching steak, especially a rib-eye, which is what we substituted for the flat iron steak. First of all, it’s difficult to even find flat iron in our area, and secondly, it’s not the best cut of meat if cooked incorrectly, whereas rib-eye is a sure bet. But if you do use it, the deep flavor of flat iron steak works really well with the umami-rich soy sauce and sesame oil featured in this dish.
Unless you prefer an obvious sweet note, you may want to cut back on the amount of granulated sugar seeing as how mirin is a subtly sweet Japanese rice wine. It is similar to sake, but has more sugar and a lower alcohol content (14% to be precise). If you don’t have mirin, you can sub in a dry sherry or a sweet marsala wine.
I was disappointed that the grocery store wasn’t carrying fresh edamame, but the frozen kind worked out just as well. Be sure to let it thaw for a spell before you begin cooking.
Flat-Iron Steak with Zucchini, Edamame and Soba Noodles
- Kosher salt
- 8 oz. dried soba noodles
- 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/4-inch-thick slices peeled fresh ginger
- 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 flat iron steaks (8 to 10 oz. each), or about 1 lb. rib-eye
- 1 lb. zucchini (2 medium), cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 12-oz. bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed (about 2 cups)
- 1 Tbs. chopped pickled ginger
- 2 small scallions, white and light-green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the noodles until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, toss with the sesame oil, cover, and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger, garlic, and 1 cup water in a 10-inch straight sided sauté pan. Bring to a boil, and then add the steaks. Turn the heat down and simmer gently, flipping once, until medium rare (130°F), 12 to 16 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board, reserving the liquid in the pan. Discard the garlic and ginger.
- Return the liquid to a boil. Add the zucchini and edamame, return to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the bowl of noodles. Toss well, cover, and keep warm.
- Boil the cooking liquid until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
- Thinly slice the steaks across the grain. Arrange the noodle mixture on a platter or divide it among 6 shallow bowls. Top with the beef and the pickled ginger, if using.
- Drizzle some of the sauce over the beef and garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds, if using. Serve, passing the rest of the sauce at the table.
By Lynne Curry from Fine Cooking