Ginger Beef and Broccoli

 

          Ginger Beef and Broccoli.

Your dish should look something like this when it’s done.  Or like something entirely different!

No!  It’s not Italian.  But it has flavor, tastes great and is fun to make!

So, dig out your Wok and give it a try. This recipe will serve serve two
with seconds, or four with no
seconds.  Go figure!

Or you can just sit there and read the recipe, scratch and sniff and let your imagination taste the flavors.
First a short video to explain the ingredients.  Disregard the measurements, they will be explained below.  Below is a tour of the ingredients.

Some important tips!
If you remember watching a Chinese chef working over a giant wok, he is constantly in motion, and he never, never stops to measure any ingredients.  He just makes sure he has enough of everything on hand, then he dives in.

Another important point is that Asian meals are rarely made for the masses.  An average dish is intended for 1 or 2 people, with the maximum being 4, so don’t go recalculating and planning a meal for the entire family, the kids, uncle Bruno and grandma.  Pick another dish if you want volume.  That’s what Italian recipes are for.

Let the meat sit in the freezer for about a half hour before you cut it.  Cold meat is much easier to cut than fully thawed meet.  The colder the better (but not frozen).  Once sliced, leave it at room temperature.

All ingredients (except for the rice) should be measured, cut and kept at room temperature for at least a half hour before you begin cooking.

Last tip!  There is rice in this dish.  Always make your white rice a day before you tackle this type of recipe.  Fried rice is NEVER made with warm, just-cooked rice.  It will only turn to mush, and taste just as good!
Let your rice spend a night in the fridge in a loosely covered bowl.  You’ll thank me for that one!

Let’s get started

Main Ingredients:
— 3/4 lb of your choice of beef.  (I use a high quality Prime Filet)  Any steak meat will do, cut away as much fat and gristle as possible. Slice steak into 1/8′ strips and place in a plastic zip lock bag with 1 tsp of olive or canola  oil and 1/2 tsp of Chinese Five-Spice and a few twists of a fresh pepper grinder.  Zip up the bag and mix the contents completely so all pieces are coated with the oil, and spices. Set on the counter to get to room temperature.

–4 to 6 cups of fresh broccoli florets, rinsed thoroughly and placed in a strainer that can fit inside your wok, with the cover on.  If not, then make a bowl from aluminum foil and place bowl of florets in the wok for steaming.

— One large sweet onion. 3/4 of the onion will be peeled, one layer at a time, then cut into postage stamp sized squares.  The rest of the onion will be chopped and used in the rice.

— Two large mushrooms per serving.  (four is perfect)  rinse and dry the mushrooms thoroughly.  Break off the stems and chop and set aside for the rice and slice the cap into 1/8″ slices.  Place the mushroom slices and onions in a plastic zip lock bag and add 1 tsp. canola or olive oil and a few shakes of salt (or not).

— One roasted red pepper.  You can roast it yourself, or opt for the store bought version in a jar.  One whole pepper from the jar is enough.  Cut 3/4 of the pepper into postage stamp sized squares (or 1/2 inch strips..whatever does it for you) and set aside.  Chop the other 1/4 of the pepper to use in the rice.

–Minced Ginger/Garlic mixture.  3 cloves of fresh garlic and three peeled chunks of ginger, same size as the garlic cloves.  Using a garlic press, press each garlic clove and ginger chunk, remove excess garlic and ginger and chop finely, blend both ingredients into a small ingredient bowl and add 1/2 tsp Canola Oil.  Set aside.

— Canola Oil measurements, below:

The Sauce Ingredients

Place the following ingredients in a heated pot and stir to blend, then pour the mixture into a tall cup or container and let stand at room temperature.  This is the main sauce.

 

–1/4 cup of  Soy Sauce (My choice is low sodium, but it’s your choice)
–1/2 tsp of Toasted Sesame Seed Oil
–1 Tbs of Oyster Sauce (note: if your Oyster sauce was in the refrigerator, tighten the cap and set it in hot water to thaw it out.  It thickens in the cold.)
–2 Tbs Chinese Rice Wine, Cooking Sherry or Marsala wine
–1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
–1 1/2tsp brown sugar
–2 tbs water
–1/2 cup low fat chicken broth

The Slurry
Slurry is a thickener.  It will transform an otherwise watery sauce to any  desired consistency.  Not enough and the sauce is runny.  Too much and it turns as thick as peanut butter.  Follow directions below.

You will prepare the slurry after the “sauce” is added to the wok.
To mix the Slurry, just combine the two ingredients and stir till blended.
–2 Tbs cornstarch powder
–2 Tbs warm water

Fried Rice Ingredients

–3 to 4 cups of cold, dry, cooked rice.  Break up any clumps to assure nothing is sticking together. (It will happen)
–1/4 Chopped Roasted red pepper (mentioned in Main Ingredients.)
–1/4 chopped Onion (mentioned in main Ingredients)
–3 tbs chopped chives (or 2 thinly sliced green onions with greens)
–2 tbs Canola oil
–1/2 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed Oil
–1 tsp  Garlic/Ginger/Oil mixture
— 2 eggs

NOTE:  Two cooking stages. 
— Prepare Main Ingredients
— Prepare Fried Rice.
It is best to serve these two preparations in two separate low serving bowls and let your guests serve themselves.

Here’s the trick:
You will need a large frying pan and a wok.  Or two large deep frying pans.
one large bowl with a cover
Two serving bowls
Pay close attention to the “switch” (you’ll see it below)
For the sake of consistency we will refer to the two pans as the frying pan and the wok.

Prepare Main Ingredients

Step one:  Start with Broccoli / Mushrooms and Onions.

1– add about 1/2 cup of water to the wok and place the strainer (or foil bowl) containing the broccoli in it. Cover the wok, but do not turn on the heat yet.

2- Heat the large frying pan over high heat and add 1 tbs Canola Oil

3- Add the Mushrooms and Onions and lover the heat to medium high.  Stir fry as they begin to soften.
4.- Just as the Mushrooms begin to brown, turn the heat on under the Broccoli to medium high.

5.- Lower the heat under the frying pan to medium-low and continue stirring the mushrooms and onions for 6 more minutes.

 

6- By now, the broccoli is partially cooked.

7- Pour the entire contents of the frying pan and the broccoli into the large bowl and cover tightly.  Remove the strainer (or foil) and the water from the wok.

8- Add 1 tbs canola oil to the wok and add the beef.  Saute for only a minute or two, stirring, separating and spreading the slices that have stuck together.

When the meat still has a pink center, add 1 tbs Chicken broth and the Garlic/Ginger mix, reserving 1 tsp for the fried rice.  Mix and stir an additional minute to flavor the meat.

9- Add the broccoli, mushrooms, onions and red pepper squares to the wok and adjust the heat to medium.

Add the container of Sauce to the wok, stirring slowly (do not break up the broccoli) and control the heat  to just before it begins to boil.

Add the Slurry

Slowly add the slurry, one tsp at a time.  Stirring until it reaches the desired consistency.
It should not be too watery, and not to thick.  The slurry will work quickly, so take your time.
If you use all the slurry, the sauce will be quite thick/  3/4 is a good rule of thumb.

Once the consistency looks good, take a taste before you pour the entire contents of the wok into one of the low serving bowls and return the wok to the heat.

 

 

Prepare the Fried Rice

1- Add all the Fried Rice ingredients (except the rice and eggs) to the wok and adjust the heat to medium high.
2- Add the cold rice to the wok and stir fry until the rice absorbs the liquid.
3- Clear the center of the wok and add a small amount of canola oil if the bottom is dry.  Break the two eggs.  Let them cook for about 20 seconds and begin stirring to scramble the eggs into the entire mixture.

When eggs are completely cooked,m the rice is done.  Transfer the fried rice into the low serving bowl and bring both bowls to the dinner table.
_________________________________________________________

I generally like to add a photo of the dish at my own table setting, but toward the end of this creation the house had a fabulous aroma going and I got too distracted to take another photo, so I just sat down and ate it.  My wife helped.

Yes, it was good!
Well, not all is lost.  There’s an example of the
“Low Serving Bowls””

Enjoy!

Papa Don

 

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