I picked up a piece of skirt steak at the store the other day. Besides being ridiculously inexpensive – comparatively speaking – it’s one of my favorite cuts of meat to marinate and grill. I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was going to do with it – so what else is new – but it was only a couple of bucks. I knew I could figure out something…

Skirt steak is not the most popular of meat cuts. It’s the diaphragm muscle, and has a reputation for being fatty and tough – and improperly cooked, it definitely is. But it’s one of the best pieces of meat to marinate, and it’s the only meat to use for fajitas! It picks up flavors extremely well, and as long as it is cut against the grain – as with flank steak – it can be as tender as tender can be.

So this afternoon I pulled it out of the ‘fridge and did a marinade of soy sauce, rice wine, chili paste, garlic, sesame oil, and a bit of pepper. I held off on the salt because of the soy sauce… Asian BBQ, here we come!

My first thought was just to do some rice and veggies, but as I thought about it, I thought Chow Mein would be perfect. Naturally, I didn’t have any Asian noodles, hoisin sauce, or any of what one would term traditional ingredients, but not having a few ingredients has never stopped me before!

I had spaghetti, I had broth, I had rice wine, I had plenty of vegetables. Tim’s Chow Mein, it is!

I cooked up about 1/3 pound of noodles, rinsed, drained, and drizzled a bit of peanut oil on top. I then fried it up in the wok, getting it barely crispy. Off to a plate to keep warm.

I chopped up an onion, bell pepper, carrots, broccoli, brocolli rabe, mushrooms, and garlic and tossed it all into the wok. In the meantime, i made a sauce of about 1/2 cup of beef broth, 1/4 cup rice wine, 1 tbsp chili paste, 1 tsp sesame oil, and about 3 tbsp cornstarch mixed with water.

When the veggies were almost done, I added the sauce, and as it started to thicken, I added the noodles, and mixed everything together.

I put the steaks on the grill, and just as the noodles were ready, the steaks came off. The chow mein went onto the platter, the steak was sliced and set on top, and voila! It was dinner.

Naturally, I made enough for the neighborhood, but leftover Chinese food is mmm-mmm-good – even if there’s no carry-out carton to eat from, standing by the ‘fridge!