Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mamma's Beef and Broccoli Stir fry

I absolutely love stir fries. There is something about vibrant veggies cooked to a crisp tender and lightly coated with sauce intermingled with  succulent morsels of a protein, that I just cant get enough of. If I ever had a chef who would make me a stir-fry, I know I can give up every other food I know just to have a different stir fry every day.
This dish happens to be a regular menu item whenever we order Chinese takeout. Sometime back, my favorite Chinese Joint moved away and I was in a total fix. The other nearby joint didn't even come close. That's when I seriously thought about making this at home. If they can whip it up "in 30 minutes or you get free egg rolls for every order", then maybe I could do it too, (without the egg roll offer, obviously!)
I had bought a brand new wok recently. All I needed was beef, since the only beef we ever bought was ground beef, for making hamburgers and pasta sauce. Both my boys hate the stuff and my girl is going through a "snack-only" phase where she has shunned off anything that is not a snack.
I went to the local market where butchers are really friendly and very helpful, and exceeding my expectations, they helped me to select a cut suitable for stir fries and also let me find a managers discount for the meat. SO I returned home with about 2.25 lbs of Tri-tip steaks and a smile. Its either that they hire really nice people or maybe I am blessed to be a woman who has good manners and a pretty smile. (wink!)

Anyways, I didn't want to make too much the first time, so I used just 1.5 lbs of the meat and about 2-3 lbs of the broccoli.
This simple sauce is so good you wont have to ever buy another bottled Teriyaki or stir fry sauce again. This yummy sauce just needs a handful of things that you might be using already. If these aren't in your pantry, just go and stock them up...because, this sauce is good with chicken, shrimp and just plain veggies too. Follow the same recipe and just mix and match the meat.
Also, I have tried reducing oil and refined flours in this recipe, without compromising on the sweet and the light spicy kick, from the red chili sauce. Feel free to customize the taste your way.

This recipe serves 6-8.


1.5 lbs of Tri-tip Steak or Flank Steak, sliced into 2-3 inch strips
1/2 cup of reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp each of minced ginger
2 bunches of green onions- chopped, stems and leaves separated.
3 lbs broccoli florets
4-5 dry red chilies (optional- you may use red pepper flakes too)
2 tbsp peanut oil
Freshly ground pepper
Toasted Sesame seeds (to garnish)

Method: In a bowl, combine soy sauce (reduced sodium), brown sugar and garlic powder until well combined. Add the sliced beef into this mixture and gently stir until every piece is coated in the mixture.
over with plastic wrap and stash in the fridge for the flavors to "mingle".

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli lightly. It should be tender-crisp; not soft and wilted. Sprinkle a little salt on top, toss lightly. Keep aside.

In a large wok, heat the oil and add the ginger and red chilies. Make sure you turn the heat down, to keep the chilies from smoking. (And if they accidentally, start smoking, switch off the heat, cover the wok with a lid and step away, until the smoke dies.)
If you are using red chili flakes, add them at the end.

Stir for a minute, then add the green onion bottoms. Save the green tops for later.
Now, drain the beef, reserve the marinade and throw in the beef into the wok and cook on high heat until the beef strips are cooked halfway. Add the marinade and bring to a boil. Cook until the beef is completely done and the sauce is boiling (about a minute). Check seasonings.

* If you prefer the sauce to be thick, at this point, you can add 2 tbsp of corn starch mixed in 4 tbsp water and add to the sauce*

Now add the broccoli florets and stir to coat. If you are using red chili flakes, add them now and stir well.
Switch off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

Garnish with onion tops and toasted sesame seeds, and serve hot over rice. Enjoy!

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