1kg (1-2 pieces) thick flank beef
2 Tbsp peanut oil
2 cups water
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup Shao Hsing (rice wine)
1 long strip (10-15cm) orange zest
2 Tbsp sugar
1 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
6cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
Vegetables and Noodles
2 medium bulbs fennel, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into sticks (6cm x 0.5cm)
300g thin, tender green beans, trimmed
1 cup mung bean sprouts
4 bundles flat dried egg noodles
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed with a little salt
Small piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
Juice and zest of 1 orange
4 Tbsp soy sauce
½ Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp peanut oil
3 Tbsp sesame oil
½ cup fresh coriander leaves to garnish
1 Cut the meat lengthwise with the grain into long strips around 8cm wide (you should get two strips from each piece). Heat a large frying pan and add the oil. Over a high heat, sear the meat briefly on all sides until brown and then pat dry with paper towels.
2 Bring the remaining beef ingredients to a simmer in a large pan and add the seared beef strips. Simmer for 1½ hours, turning frequently, until tender. If the liquid seems to dry up, just add a little water. Allow the beef to cool in the liquid.
3 To prepare the vegetables, bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Plunge the fennel into the water for one minute to blanch. Remove from the heat, strain well, cool in iced water and reserve.
4 Repeat this process with the carrot, blanching for 2 minutes. Repeat again with the beans, which will only need one minute and must be cooled in iced water to retain their bright green colour. Trim the ends of the bean sprouts if necessary.
5 To cook the noodles, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the noodles, boiling for 3 minutes or according to the pack instructions. Drain well.
6 Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing except the coriander leaves. To assemble the salad, place the noodles on a large platter. Scatter the vegetables on top. Cut the strips of meat into thin slices and place over the centre of the vegetables. Pour over the dressing and sprinkle with the fresh coriander leaves.