Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mongolian Beef

I don't often go out for Chinese.  I like it but it's been years since I've had takeout and have only been to a Chinese restaurant a handful of times since high school.  But I like making Chinese food at home.  And when I saw this recipe, it immediately made our menu plan.  It also didn't hurt that broccoli AND mushrooms were on sale at the grocery store and we have grass-fed beef sold at our farmers market.  What more could you need? It did not disappoint either - this recipe turned out incredibly well (I might or might not have licked my bowl clean)! The brown sugar adds some sweetness but is nicely balanced from the heat of the red pepper flakes.  It's made our 5-star menu and will be a great go-to recipe.

Another plus? Stir fry is almost always a fast-cooking meal which is great when you want a quick (and fairly easy) dinner. But since it's so quick cooking, it's best to have all the ingredients all prepped (vegetables washed and cut, sauce already made, etc), by the wok and ready to go.  Whether you're making this for a quick dinner, a Chinese food fix or both, enjoy!

Mongolian Beef
Taken from: Handle the Heat
Serves 3-4
  • 2/3 lb. flank steak, sliced across the grain
  • 3 Tbsp. corn starch
  •  2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. (heaping) red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 large scallions, sliced
  • 1-2 broccoli heads
  • approx 6-7 mushrooms, sliced (if desired) or any other vegetable (baby corn, thinly sliced carrots, snow peas, etc)
  • brown rice, cooked (I often cook rice ahead of time and store in the freezer.  While the Mongolian Beef does its last 4 minutes of cooking, I heat up the rice over the stove or in the microwave.)
-Cut steak fairly thinly across the grain.  Pat the steak pieces with a paper towel to get rid of any moisture. Toss the steak and cornstarch together and then shake off excess cornstarch using a fine strainer.
-Mix together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes in a small bowl or large measuring cup.
-Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a wok or large fry-pan at medium-high heat and add the ginger and garlic.  Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant, then add the soy sauce mixture to the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes and transfer back to the bowl or measuring cup.
-Heat the wok on medium high and when hot, swirl the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil. Add the beef and cook, stirring until just browned (approx 1-2 minutes).  Add broccoli and mushrooms to pan (I had precooked my broccoli and mushrooms slightly but I'll try it next time just adding the vegetables raw).
-Pour the sauce back in and let it cook with the meat. Simmer for around 4-5 minutes or until thickened.
-Place beef mixture on top of a bed of brown rice and garnish with scallions.

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