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Friday, September 4, 2015

Stirfried Beef with Zucchini, Ginger and Scallions

I grew up with amazing stirfries that my mom used to make for us all the time. My favourites were beef and brocolli, beef and zucchini and beef and green beans.

Although I also stirfry quite often for my family, I can never get them tasting quite as good as my mom's. That is, until this one. Usually my veggies are overcooked, my meat is a little on the chewier side, or the flavours just aren't the same. But it seems that I finally got one right. I managed to achieve a similar balance of flavours to the stirfries I remember and kept the meat tender and the veggies al dente.

The tricks?

- Starting with good meat, thinly sliced across the grain.

- Cooking everything separately. First browning the meat and removing it from the pan when it is just browned but not necessarily completely cooked. The slices are so thin that between residual cooking once removed from the pan and the additional cooking time once added back to the pan, they cook quickly and completely faster than we think. Then cooking the veggies until just fork tender. Doing these steps allows you to control the cooking time of the two main components, which cook at vastly different rates.

Hopefully this is a sign of great stirfries to come?

Stirfried Beef with Zucchini, Ginger and Scallions
Serves 3-4 people

500 grams Beef Sirloin, thinly sliced across the grain
2 large Zucchinis, cut into 1/4" slices
1 inch Ginger, sliced and then chopped into sticks
1/2 cup Green Onion, cut in 1 1/2" pieces
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 cup Cold Water
Vegetable Oil

Toss the beef with 1 tbsp of cornstarch. Let sit for about 15 minutes at room temperature.

Heat a large pan over high heat. Add oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the ginger and cook for about 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add the beef and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Cook for about 2 minutes then remove beef from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add a little more oil and the zucchini. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables just start to sweat, then lower the heat to medium, cover and let the zuchinni cook until just fork tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add back the beef and all the juice. Mix the remaining tablespoon of cornstarch with the water until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add to the pan and bring up to a simmer. The sauce will thicken up. Stir in the green onions.

Serve immediately with rice.

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