Saturday, October 1, 2011

Knock-Off Mongolian Beef

This was pretty damn good! A little bit sweet, a little bit salty, crispy, yummy. Mmmm. It's a fattier cut of meat than I usually choose to cook, but once in a while I think it's okay. The only odd thing is that the beef seemed to absorb the cornstarch: next time I'll try patting it dry first, even though it didn't seem to affect the final product. I'll also try using a smidgen less soy sauce. I got the basics of this recipe from the blog Kitchen Trial and Error, but lightened it up a bit.

1/4 pound flank steak
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
1 clove minced garlic
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar
1 green onion (scallion), thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus enough to coat the bottom of the wok for shallow-frying

you'll also need:
a small saucepan or pot
small non-stick wok
heatproof spoon
paper towels (2 sheets, doubled)
shallow bowl

1. cut the beef into pieces. Put the cornstarch in a shallow bowl and dip the pieces of beef into it, shaking off the excess. Set the beef aside while you prepare the sauce.
2. add the 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the pot and heat over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, water and sugar, and increase the heat to medium, stirring frequently. Keep cooking the sauce until it thickens up a bit, then remove it from the heat.

3. add vegetable oil to the wok until you have a thin layer -- enough for shallow frying. Heat it over medium heat until it develops a sheen and a slight ripple. Add the beef in a single layer, and cook it for about 2 minutes. Flip it with the tongs, and cook for another two minutes. Then drain it on paper towels. I had to do the beef in two batches.
4. when the beef is cooked, pour the oil out of the pan and return it to the heat. Put the beef back in, and stir-fry briefly just to make sure it's fully cooked. Add the sauce, stir, and let heat through.
5. remove the wok from the heat and stir in the green onion. Serve the beef over a starch that can absorb some of the extra sauce: I served mine over brown rice.

I got this recipe from the blog Kitchen Trial and Error, and adapted it slightly. You should check out that blog: it's lovely!

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