Friday, February 8, 2013
With Chinese New Year coming up and me happy to celebrate it every day of the year, I was excited to try making (and eating) ginger beef for the first time.
I know I have mentioned it before but I have to mention again the awesomeness that is the cookbook The Everything Chinese Cookbook: From Wonton Soup to Sweet and Sour Chicken-300 Succulent Recipes from the Far East (Everything Series). Their version is deep fried and I did not want to use 5 cups of oil to make one dish so this is my version which is pretty much the same recipe, just using a different cooking technique.
The Recipe: The Marinade
I love that you can start and finish the marinading process in the time it takes to do all the prep for the recipe. No planning ahead, woot!
The marinade for the 3/4 lb of flank or sirloin steak cut along the grain into matchstick strips is: 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp rice wine (mirin or use sherry), 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp of ginger juice.
Ginger juice? Yes, I had the same question. Not something at my store. Thankfully there is a note on the page that says, "Ginger juice is easy to make - just grate the ginger and squeeze out the fresh juice."
Too easy to be true? Not at all! I couldn't believe it, I managed to get the juice out of the pulp and put it in the marinade. No problem.
Coat beef and marinade for 30 minutes. I let it sit at room temperature.
To make the sauce for the dish combine 6 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tsp rice wine (mirin or use sherry again) 5 tsp sugar, 1 tsp ginger juice, 2 tsp sesame oil, up to 1/4 tsp chili flakes and 1/2 cup of water.
Combine 3 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp cornstarch and 2 medium eggs.
Whisk until less lumpy.
Bringing it together
For complete "mis en place" have 1 clove of garlic and 1 coin of ginger minced. Also have 1 tsp of cornstarch ready to add 4 tsp of cold water to to make the slurry. Now is also a good time to start making your rice and warm up your oven to around 250F.
Coat the beef in the batter.
Add enough canola oil to a hot pan to cover the bottom. Add enough beef to brown without crowding the pan too much.
After it has browned (a couple of minutes) turn over and brown on the other side. Put strips onto paper towel, season with some salt and pepper and put in the oven to keep warm. It took me 3 batches to cook all the beef.
Put all the beef in the oven (not overlapping but side-by-side) and add a little more oil if needed. Saute the garlic and ginger for a minute and then add the sauce.
Once the sauce is hot and bubbling, add water to cornstarch and whisk the slurry into the sauce.
The sauce will get all bubbly and will thicken.
Add the beef to the sauce and toss to coat.
I served the ginger beef over some rice and peas and it was delicious! A little sweet, which seems to be a bit of a trend with this book, but wow, so yummy. That ginger juice makes all the difference. Adds so much flavour and a bit of heat.
I wish the beef had gotten crispy but no, it didn't. But I don't care, I loved it. You can go ahead and deep fry if you want but I loved it as-is. You can omit the chili flakes if you do not want the spice and I promise, it will still be super tasty.
Made this way, I give this recipe four and a half out of five wooden spoons. Thanks The Everything Chinese Cookbook for the inspiration! I am learning so much every time I make something from your cookbook. Not to mention, I am totally falling in love with the food.