Friday, April 25, 2008

Mongolian Beef

Chinese food is really fun to cook especially when all the action is happening right inside your wok.  Stir fry items are especially easy and fun to make.  You throw things in it and this magical wok just cooks it for you.  Mongolian beef requires a slightly more advanced procedure where you need to cook some sauce on the side but the action all goes inside the wok at the end.  Mongolian beef is also so tasty I literally have to fight my urge not to order this and sweet and sour pork when I’m at a Chinese restaurant wanting to try something new.  I failed and failed in the past not being able to jump over the hurdles of temptation.  Mongolian beef – tonight I will own you in my kitchen.
Ingredients: beef (flank steaks, loins, or ribs), 2 tbsp corn starch, 2 tbsp sake, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 3 tsp brown sugar, sesame seeds, vegetables (green onions, mushrooms, or bell peppers)
1. First cut the beef.

2. Marinate the beef with cornstarch, sake, and some black pepper. Stir it around to make sure they are evenly applied.  Leave it marinated in your refrigerator for an hour.

3. Let's make the sauce first. First, cook the minced garlic in oil.

Add soy sauce, and hoisin sauce (about 2 table spoons) to it.

Also, brown sugar is the key. It adds so much flavor.

Also sesame seeds and little bit of ginger powder.
Quickly, add little bit of water (one or two table spoon) to your sauce before things start to burn. Sugar burns easily so you need to add water to prevent that and also to allow the sauce to pick up any smoky caramelization flavor from high heat cooking.

Then mix your cornstarch in about 1 tbsp of cold water and add the mixture into the sauce. DO NOT add corn starch powder into the sauce by itself. You will get white chunks all over your master piece. 

This is what the sauce looks like when it's ready.

4. Now you need to cook the marinated beef. First oil your wok.

5. Add the beef and cook it for 5-7 minutes in high heat.

6. Cut green onions and other vegetables while the meat is still cooking if you’re an efficient multi-tasker.  Otherwise, prepare everything in the beginning. 

7. Add the veges to the mix. Cook for additional 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.

8. Just for a kick, I add some Chinese chili pepper paste.

9. Pour the sauce over and cook for another 1-2 minute while stirring gently to mix everything with the sauce.

That's how it looks when finished!

Enjoy your Mongolian beef!

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