Do you spend too much money on take out? You certainly aren’t alone, some nights it is only too easy to call a delivery service to bring takeout right to my maw. Unfortunately, it is generally deep fried and full of MSG. The deep fried is one thing, but in our house MSG frequently means sleepless nights and grumpy people. A perfect reason to make my own healthier take out, in this case a ginger beef recipe.
This ginger beef recipe is all about timing and speed. Prep takes about 15 minutes, including making the marinade and then cooking is really fast. So fast, that if you aren’t careful you can have tough and overcooked beef. The marinating process should help avoid this, but it is also up to you to not cook your meat for too long.
The combination of oil, egg whites, soy or salt and seasonings is a marinade base frequently used for proteins in asian cuisines. It is a process called “velveting” or “silkening” which produces a distinct texture on the tongue which is, well, velvety or silky and smooth. The longer you marinate the more pronounced the affects.
Ginger Beef(serves 2)
Take the steak and trim off any excess fat. Cut into nice and small pieces. I like to cut the steak crosswise to have two thinner steaks, and then cut those into smaller strips. The smaller the pieces, the faster it will cook and the easier to eat! Of course, it has to still be big enough to have texture. Combine the 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, the egg white, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, the cooking wine, and the tablespoon of cornstarch and whisk to be uniform. Add the meat and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, ideally overnight. If you only have 30 minutes, let it marinate at room temperature.
Cut the onion into thin strips. Cut the peppers into bite size strips and add to onions. Cut the green onion into small pieces and set aside. Whisk all remaining ingredients beside the oil to make the stir fry sauce and set aside.
Get yourself ready to stir fry, you will need a wok or heavy large skillet and a spoon. Also you will need your beef, peppers, green onion, stir fry sauce and plates to serve on right at the ready. You will also want a temporary plate to put the beef on while you finish the stir fry. If you want to serve with rice or noodles, make sure those are ready.
Heat your wok to high and add oil. When the oil starts to smoke quickly add half of the meat, stir quickly until mostly brown all over - about 45 seconds. Don't overcook! Remove to a plate and do the other half of the meat the same way. Once all the meat is cooked and out of the wok add the peppers and onion and stir fry until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the sauce and bring to a boil, stirring, it should thicken up quite quickly, in about 15-30 seconds. Once it has thickened add back in the beef and green onions and toss. Taste and add a bit more soy if you wish. Plate and serve immediately.
Note: if the sauce didn't thicken up you can add more corn starch by creating a slurry of cornstarch and water, try adding a bit of cornstarch slurry at a time and bringing it to a boil. Don't add more than a 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch at a time.