First Broncos game of the season deserves a killer sandwich. Because of a beautiful Colorado evening, PFM, and getting the nasty taste of The Game That Is Never Ever Mentioned In Our Household out of the mouth. Also because we had just gotten back from camping and I didn't feel like turning on the oven (grill doesn't count). There are lots of pieces to this, but the pickled onions can be made a few days in advance and the rest doesn't take too long to throw together. The Mr. made up the marinade based on the following directions: "something relatively neutral but kinda Asian-y." He's a good man. Also, I imagine the sandwich would have been a bit better on a baguette, but because of the last-minute camping trip, the baguette I'd gotten went very stale and was now contemplating life as bread crumbs. White rolls were on hand (and edible) so were used, but feel free to swap them out. —Niknud
Test Kitchen Notes
The most delicious part of this recipe was the contrasting flavors and textures! You had the soft bun with the crunchy onions and ramen noodles, as well as the sour vinegariness of the onions, bright earthiness of cilantro, the spiciness of jalapeños and Sriracha sauce, and the juicy, flavorful steak! Wow, an explosion of flavors and textures in your mouth! We will definitely be making this again! —Elizabeth Gregory
Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl and add the steak. Cover and let it do its thing for about an hour. Remove steak from goodness and pat dry. Grill over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side. Let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing thin.
Combine mayo, sour cream, and Sriracha in a small bowl and set aside (or put in the fridge).
Preheat oven to 425° F. Break apart ramen noodles into little crunchy bites. Spread out on baking sheet and cook for ~5 minutes, or until the noodles start to brown. Remove and set aside.
Assembly instructions: Slice your sandwich rolls almost all the way through and slather both sides with a generous amount of the mayo/sour cream/Sriracha goodness. Congratulate yourself on virtuously replacing half of the mayo with sour cream—it's practically healthy.
Assembly instructions cont'd: Fill the sandwiches generously with steak strips and several forkfuls of the pickled onions. Add loads of cilantro leaves and several of the thin jalapeño slices. Squeeze a fresh lime wedge over it all and top with crispy ramen noodles.
If you can keep your hands (and your family's hands) out of the crispy ramen noodles, feel free to throw them on top of some salad for lunch the next day. It makes your tuna salad practically exciting—live life in the moment!
Combine first six ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add onions and cook for just under a minute. Cool and refrigerate.
If you're keeping your onions for more than a day or two, I would recommend removing the star anise. It can get pretty licorish-y if you leave it in too long.
Full-time working wife and mother of two small boys whose obsessive need to cook delicious food is threatening to take over what little free time I have. I grew up in a family of serious cookers but didn't learn to cook myself until I got married and got out of the military and discovered the joys of micro-graters, ethiopian food, immersion blenders and watching my husband roll around on the floor after four servings of pulled pork tamales (with real lard!) complaining that he's so full he can't feel his legs. Trying to graduate from novice cooker to ranked amateur. The days of 'the biscuit incident of aught five' as my husband refers to it are long past but I still haven't tried my hand at paella so I'm a work in progress!