Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chinese Beef with Broccoli

There are few worse things than having a supreme craving for Chinese food, calling in a take-out order, going to pick it up, and taking a bite, only to find a gloopy, salty mess of unidentifiable meat and soggy vegetables.

When Chinese food is good, it's amazing. When it's bad, IT'S HORRIBLE!! Stop settling, my friends.

Chinese food is quick, easy, and inexpensive to make on your own. Below is my recipe for a classic Chinese Beef with Broccoli, done the Cooking for One way.

What is the Cooking for One way, you may ask? It's coming home from work, ravenous, knowing you don't have a lot of food on hand, but you want Chinese food and you want it now, dammit! I'll show you how.

  • 1 package (about 3/4 lb) boneless, thin beef. Mine specifically said "Perfect for Stir-Fry!" I believe it was beef eye of round, already sliced thin to make my life easier.
  • 1 bunch of broccoli. Frozen florets would work great as well.
  • 1/2 package button mushrooms
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger. I use the kind in the tube from the grocery store. It keeps in your fridge FOREVER. Well, at least for several months.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1.5 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
That's it! It really only takes about fifteen minutes to make. Most of this stuff you probably already have in your fridge/freezer/pantry/under your bed, and you can feel free to add or subtract veggies at will. This recipe also makes enough to have delicious leftovers for lunch the next day**

**Read: drunkenly later that night.


Chop up your mushrooms and broccoli (if using fresh instead of frozen florets.) Then slice up your beef into strips against the grain.

What does this mean? Look at your meat and see which direction the fibers are running. Cut perpendicular to that direction (also known as the Lorena Bobbitt cut). This will help ensure your meat is nice and tender!

Put your beef strips in a Ziploc bag with the 1/4 cup of flour and 1 tbsp. garlic powder, and CLOSE THE BAG. Give it a nice shake to coat.

In a small bowl, whisk together your sauce ingredients.

Heat your sesame oil to medium high in a skillet. Once it's nice and hot, add your beef.

Let it brown for a couple minutes, and then flip the pieces over.

Once the other side is brown after a minute or so, take out the beef and put it on a separate plate. Don't overcook it or it will get tough! It should be nice and seared on the outside, but still pink and juicy in the middle.

Add your minced garlic, ginger, broccoli, and mushrooms to the skillet. Toss to combine.

After the veggies have heated through (broccoli tender-crisp, mushrooms soft and brown), add your sauce and water chestnuts to the skillet. Let the mixture get nice and thick and bubbly for a few minutes.

When the flour has thickened up your sauce so it coats the back of a spoon, add your beef back to the skillet to warm through and soak up the deliciousness.

Make some quick rice or noodles to go along with it, pour into a bowl, and enjoy your hot tasty Chinese food!

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