This was the first year I've been successful at growing green onions. They are beautiful so I was inspired to make a favorite, Mongolian Beef.
Mongolian Beef is by far one of The Hub and I's favorite Chinese dishes. One of the Chinese restaurants in town makes an absolutely spectacular version of this simple dish. This restaurant makes it so much more flavorful than a lot of the other Chinese restaurants that we've had because the meat has a slight char flavor from the caramelization of the meat versus an almost steamed texture that I've gotten from other restaurants.
This is one of the first Chinese dishes that I've worked at perfecting. Making this type of dish in the home kitchen can be problematic because most home stoves can not create the high level of BTU's that are used in commercial kitchens. To compensate I first sear the meat on a screaming hot grill. During this flash grilling the intent is not to cook the meat but to caramelize and sear the surface. The other key is to cook the ingredients in batches while wokking. Crowding the wok will cause the meat to steam instead of caramelize.
Marinade: 2 tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 1/4 pound of chuck roast 2 medium onion cut into slivers 1 large bunch of green onions - sliced 1 tsp crushed red pepper 1 tbsp canola oil 2 tbsp chiu chow oil (I use Lee Kum Kee brand) 1 tbsp soy sauce 4 cups of steamed rice
Cut the chuck roast into thick 1 1/2 inch strips. Cutting the roast into strips will create more surface area than the roast kept whole. Marinade the chuck roast for about 30 minutes in the olive oil and soy sauce.
Get your grill screaming hot and sear the strips of beef on each side for about 1 minute per side. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes on a plate. Allowing the beef to rest before cutting will allow the meat's juices to redistribute and will eliminate the juices from draining out of the meat.
Slice the strips into small pieces. The beef should be very pink in the middle still.
To a hot wok, add 1/2 tbsp of the chiu chow oil along with 1/2 tbsp of the canola oil. Stir fry the grilled meat pieces in batches for about 3 minutes per batch. Add 1/2 tbsp chiu chow oil and 1/2 tbsp canola oil to each batch. For this amount of meat I will typically stir fry the meat in 3 batches. When each batch has been stir fried for about 3 minutes, remove to a plate.
Once all the meat has been stir fried and removed to a plate, add the crushed red peppers and 1/2 tbsp chiu chow oil to the empty wok. Toss in the onions. Stir fry for about 5 minutes until the onions are caramelized. Toss in the already stir fried beef and the green onions. Stir fry for another 2 minutes or until the beef is heated through.
Food is so intriguing. I’ve always loved to cook whether it’s casual and simple or complicated and elegant. After living in the Midwestern United States all my life I find myself jumping between All-American foods and foods from other cultures. There is definitely a sense of comfort with cooking and enjoying food that I’ve grown up with.
I have a voracious curiosity to learn about all cultures, especially the Middle East/Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai foods. I’ve learned that a simple curry dish or an Asian dumpling can transform your mood and be just as much of a comfort food as the foods you’ve known you’re whole life.
It is fascinating to me how each culture has such a diversity of ingredients, and when used with different combinations and cooking techniques you can easily transform the same few ingredients into a multitude of dishes. The unfamiliar, the diverse ingredients and techniques, can be intimidating to many people. I’ve created this blog to chronicle and share my explorations in the kitchen so that hopefully you will want to start experimenting in your kitchen.