This classic 1950s staple of American cooking with Russian origins has been enhanced with a splash of fish sauce for depth and umami. “You can’t taste it, but you need it,” says developer Beth Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha’s Dinner. Nguyen’s recipe is inspired by a memorable meal at a classmate’s house in the predominantly white Midwestern town she grew up in. (Read Nguyen’s essay about it here.) One thing to look out for: Sour cream can split if added directly to hot liquid, so premixing with a small amount of warm sauce will keep it smooth and creamy.
Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
oz. crimini mushrooms, halved, quartered if large (about 2 cups)
lb. skirt steak, cut into 4″ sections
Freshly ground black pepper
shallots, finely chopped
garlic cloves, finely chopped
Tbsp. double-concentrated tomato paste
Tbsp. all-purpose flour
cup dry white wine
cups (or more) low-sodium beef broth
tsp. (or more) fish sauce
cup sour cream
Buttered cooked egg noodles and sliced scallions (for serving)
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high until butter is melted. Cook mushrooms, tossing occasionally, until browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, then transfer to a plate.
Combine 1 Tbsp. oil and remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in same skillet. Season steak generously with salt and pepper. Cook until well browned, 3–4 minutes per side for medium-rare, depending on thickness. Transfer to another plate; wipe out skillet.
Reduce heat to medium and pour remaining 1 Tbsp. oil into pan. Cook shallots, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened in color, about 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring often to coat shallots and garlic, until toasty smelling, about 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, scraping up browned bits, until evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth, fish sauce, and any liquid from mushrooms (leave mushrooms behind). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce coats a spoon, 12–15 minutes.
Slice steak against the grain. Place sour cream in a small heatproof bowl and gradually whisk in 1 cup sauce. Stir back into sauce in skillet. Taste and season with more salt or fish sauce if needed. Stir in mushrooms. Serve sauce over noodles, topped with steak and scallions.