Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wok-less Mongolian Beef


I found this recipe on Pinterest. It is an ever-so-slightly modified version of Pink Bite's Mongolian Beef. When I saw the picture and recipe, I expected that it would be pretty good. It wasn't pretty good. It was an absolute restaurant-quality, flavor-explosion kind of fantastic. I cannot overemphasize how amazing this dish is. AMAZING.
 
The original version calls for a wok. I do not own a wok. I watch the cooks at my favorite Chinese restaurant use woks sometimes, and if what I have observed is any indication of typical wok behavior (hahaha...wok behavior sounds funny...like a mythical creature or something), then I do not need to use one. Super hot moving cookware is probably not the best for the self-proclaimed and newspaper-endorsed clumsiest cook ever. So... this is Wok-less Mongolian Beef. It may not be the "correct" way to make it, but it is the way I make it...and it is fantastically delicious. Here is the recipe card. I do actually follow this one:
 

Step One: This is flank steak. I cut this whole thing in half lengthwise first...









...and then cut into 1/4 in. strips against the grain.












Step Two: In a large skillet, pour in 1 T. canola oil, and top the oil with the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Bring the pan up to med-high heat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Step Three: When the garlic begins to sizzle,...

...add soy sauce, water, and brown sugar. Cook the sauce about 2 minutes more...











...or until it looks like this,...











...and then transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.











Step Four: Rinse and dry the skillet that you used to make the sauce.
 
Why actually wash something?! Or dirty another pan?






Ok, here's the set up (from left to right): A paper plate for cooked beef strips, the skillet, (some random, unrelated pot in the background)...








...(still going to the right from where I left off at the random pot) a plate of cornstarch with a strainer behind it.






...(still going to the right from where I left off at the plate of cornstarch) a stack of paper towels, and the beef strips. FYI: The bowl of sauce is also in the background.
 
Why I showed you the set-up from left to right? I do not know, because I totally go from right to left in this process. Bless my heart.
 
Bless My Heart - The sweet Southern way to say "What an idiot I am."  

Step Five: Lay some of the beef strips on paper towels...








...top with another paper towel, and press out the moisture. Repeat with remaining beef strips and paper towels.








Step Six: Working with a few beef strips at a time,










...coat the strips in cornstarch.











Step Seven: Put the strips in a strainer, and shake off the excess cornstarch.









Step Eight: Add just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and then bring it up to med-high heat. Brown the strips on both sides...








 ...browning in batches as necessary.










As they finish browning, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate.
 
Not Pictured: Drain the pan of excess oil.







Step Nine: Add the strips and the sauce back to the pan, stirring to coat, and then cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes.








Step Ten: Garnish with green onions. I just cut them with scissors over the pan :).









Oh, yum, yum, yum. I wish I still had some...










...but there are NEVER any leftovers of this dish!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wok-less Mongolian Beef
1 lb. flank steak
1/2 - 3/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 t. powdered ginger
1 T. garlic,
chopped
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. soy sauce
3 green onions,
chopped
canola oil
 
First, make the sauce: In a large skillet, pour in 1 T. canola oil, and top the oil with the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Bring the pan up to med-high heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add soy sauce, water, and brown sugar. Cook the sauce about 2 minutes more, and then transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.
 
Cut the flank steak against the grain into 1/4 in. wide strips. Make sure the strips are all very dry. Coat the strips in cornstarch. Put the strips in a strainer, and shake off the excess cornstarch.
 
Rinse and dry the skillet that you used to make the sauce. Add just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and then bring it up to med-high heat. Brown the strips on both sides, browning in batches as necessary.
 
Drain the pan of oil. Add the strips and the sauce back to the pan, stirring to coat, and then cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes. Garnish with green onions.
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