Sunday, May 18, 2014

Stir-Fried Beef with Scallions (Cong Bao Niu Rou)

A classic Chinese dish that pairs extremely well with white rice. Most of the labor is in the prep, i.e., chopping the veggies & slicing the beef. I like to kick this recipe up with a bit of fresh jalapeño. 

1 1/2 lbs. flank steak, sliced thinly across the grain
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
5 tbsp. water

8 scallions, thinly sliced along bias (separate the green and white parts)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. ginger, thinly julienned
1 jalapeño pepper or Fresno chili, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice wine or Shaohsing wine
1 tsp. Maggi sauce or Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 tsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. hot water
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. white pepper

4 tbsp. cornstarch (to dredge beef)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp. Shaohsing wine

1. In a bowl, combine the thinly sliced beef with the baking soda and 4 tbsp. water; mix well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator, and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes up to 2 hours (this step will tenderize the beef the same way they do in Chinese restaurants).

2. Combine the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. 

3. Remove the beef from the frig and place into a colander. Rinse the beef well under running water to rinse off the baking soda; pat the beef dry with paper towels and place into a large bowl. Add the marinade ingredients and mix well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the frig to marinate 20-30 minutes. 

4. Place 4 tbsp. cornstarch onto a large plate; add the beef and toss with the cornstarch until lightly coated. 

5. Heat a wok or deep saute pan over high heat until very hot then add 1/3 cup vegetable oil. Add the beef, separate with spatula and let cook for about 1 minute without stirring. Turn the beef over and cook for another 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef to a bowl or plate and set aside.

6. Reheat the remaining oil in the pan over high heat; add the julienned ginger and garlic, stirring constantly for 15-20 seconds. Add the white parts of the scallions, toss briefly, then stir in 1 tbsp. of Shaohsing wine. 

7. Add the reserved beef and any juices, the green parts of the scallions, and the sliced Fresno chili. Toss briefly then stir in the sauce; stir constantly for 15-20 seconds or until the sauce has thickened and mostly evaporated. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. Shaohsing wine and toss briefly until the wine has cooked off. 

8. Plate the beef on a serving platter and served with steamed white rice.

Sliced jalapeños, minced ginger, minced garlic & thinly shredded scallions. 

Flank steak 

Flank steak thinly sliced. 

Maggi sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce & white pepper. 

Combine seasonings with the thinly sliced beef. 

Remove to a serving platter and serve with steamed white rice. 

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