Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beef ’n’ Broccoli Stir-Fry

The big challenge in stir-frying is to be quick - slice everything in advance and you’ll be less likely to overcook what you prepare. The big exception to the short-cooking guideline is bean sprouts (and other sprouted greens) … but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Many people make stir-fry dinners almost every night. Although having plenty of vegetables appeals to me, I prefer a little more variety than nightly stir-frying allows. If I can avoid it, I also prefer a little less sodium and fat than the usual stir-fry offers. But as a treat …? You can’t beat a stir-fry with rice and a lightly steamed side dish!

On the night I made this easy Beef ’n’ Broccoli Stir-Fry, I also made the Ginger Rice I blogged Nov. 10, 2012, accompanied by baby bok choy prepared in our handy kitchen steamer. I’ve given you the yada-yada-yada on this great little appliance before, so you don’t need to hear it again. Besides, adding a spoonful of water to the veggie/s of your choice in a covered, microwave-safe dish will produce the same result. Let’s get to it, Dollinks!

Beef ’n’ Broccoli Stir-Fry:

¼ lb. (about 115 g) lean eye of round steak, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. ginger-flavored or garlic-flavored peanut or corn oil, divided (see Note)
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. dark soy sauce
1 tsp. granulated or brown sugar
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into eighths
2 stalks celery, angle-sliced
Small head of broccoli (approximately 2 cups broccoli flowerets; see Further Note)
4 c. fresh, rinsed, well-drained bean sprouts (see Important Note)
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1-to-2 tbsp. black bean sauce
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
Additional squirt of ginger- or garlic-flavored oil for “sheen” (optional)
1 green onion (“spring” onion), thinly angle-sliced

You will need a wok or large, deep skillet with a lid to cook this dish, which serves 4. Read recipe through and prepare meat and vegetables in advance of cooking. Have vegetables within easy reach, in the cooking order this recipe directs. 

Marinate sliced raw steak for 20 min. in a mixture of 1 tbsp. flavored oil, cornstarch, soy sauce, and sugar. This will not seem like enough marinade. It is. This will not seem like enough meat. It is. 

When meat has marinated, heat remaining 2 tbsp. oil over high heat until sizzling (If you have no flavored oil, fry a whole, peeled garlic clove or a large slice of fresh ginger in cooking oil for about 1 min. Discard garlic or ginger when brown, leaving hot oil in wok or skillet). Stir-fry one item at a time in order given, continuing to stir-fry on high heat as you add additional ingredients:

Stir-fry marinated meat until most - but not all - pink disappears and meat is still tender. Quickly sieve meat from wok or skillet. Set aside. In the same hot oil, stir-fry onions 30 sec., celery 30 sec., broccoli flowerets 30 sec., bean sprouts 1 min. 

In a small bowl, combine water, soy sauce, black bean sauce, and oyster sauce. Pour around edge of wok or skillet, quickly stirring into dish. Lower heat to medium, cover, and continue cooking until most of liquid is absorbed, 3 or 4 min. Remove lid and stir-fry vegetables until all liquid has disappeared. 

Add reserved meat, combining with vegetables just until heated through. Heap onto platter, squirting with additional oil, if desired. Garnish with angle-sliced green onion, serving immediately. Serves 4.

Note: See Index for How to Make Ginger-Flavored or Garlic-Flavored Oil

Further Note: Save and freeze the broccoli stems, onion skins, celery root, and washed peelings for soup stock (see Index for How to Make Soup Stock). 

Important Note: Bean sprouts are best used when you buy them. If that’s not possible, store them in an open container in cold, fresh water and use them as soon as possible. Bean sprouts and other sprouted greens are sometimes tainted with bacterial contamination that washing will not remove. Although they won’t be as crunchy as you might like, cook bean sprouts right through. 

Slice lean steak very thinly across the grain

Marinade 20 min.

Slice celery, onion, as recipe directs

Rinse broccoli ...

Trim into flowerets (save the stalks!)

Measure rinsed, drained bean sprouts

Stir-fry onion, then celery ...

Broccoli ...

Add seasonings, beef, and serve!

Asian plates enhance the mood:
I found ours in a Dollar Store! 

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