Just in time for the Beijing Olympics (I’m actually watching the women’s gymnastics competition while writing this), here is a Chinese beef recipe. Of course, I made this with no regards to the Olympics whatsoever last week. I did, however, wonder how many people ordered Chinese takeout to watch the opening ceremonies on Friday.
Part of the reason I decided to make this recipe was that I had finally tracked down mo-er mushrooms at 99 Ranch Market the last time I was there. I wasn’t entirely sure I had purchased the correct thing until I compared the glossary in the cookbook to the mushroom packaging and could match up two of the three Chinese characters (there were two listed in the cookbook, there were three on the packaging). I took a picture of them to help you find them.
This is prepared in a very similar fashion to Chili-Pepper Beef but the flavor is quite a bit different. The Spicy Beef, oddly enough, isn’t as spicy as the Chili-Pepper Beef. However, the vegetables work much better in the Spicy Beef. In some ways, I prefer the Chili-Pepper Beef but this is also good, in a different way.
Spicy Beef with Vegetables
Adapted from The Key to Chinese Cooking
1/2 lbs. flank steak, shredded
1 tbsp dried mo-er mushrooms
1 1/2 cups shredded celery
1 cup shredded carrots
1 garlic clove, minced
2 quarter-sized slices peeled ginger, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp black bean paste
1 tsp chili sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 1/2 tsp Chenkong vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water
2 tsp seasame oil
- Combine the marinade ingredients and toss with the steak. Allow the meat to sit, refrigerated, for 30 minutes or more.
- Soak the mo-er mushrooms for 30 minutes in warm water. Rinse and discard the hard “eyes.” Then, shred them.
- Heat a wok over high heat until very hot. Add 1 cup of oil. When the oil is 375ºF, add the beef and toss rapidly for 10 seconds. Remove from the heat and pour the meat and oil into a strainer over a bowl. Allow the oil to drain off the meat.
- Return 3 tbsp oil to the pan and heat over high heat until hot. Add the garlic and ginger, stir a few times, then immediately add the celery, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring regularly, until the vegetables are softened, several minutes.
- Add the beef and cook for 1 minute more, stirring regularly.
- Add the sauce, stirring to combine, and cook for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Serve immediately with white rice.