Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mongolian Beef: It's what's for dinner!

So last minute, we decide to have dinner together...our neighbors Heath and Dena I mean. We usually do that at least once a week...Heath said he wanted to make BANG BANG SHIRMP...which is so I took him up on that, and planned the rest of the meal around awesome restaurant inspired food.

I should have taken a pic of the Bang Bang Shrimp...we ate it way too fast. Heath go that inspiration from BoneFish restaurant.

Main course, Mongolian Beef, PF Chang style. This is an excellent recipe and I encorage you all to try it! I found a recipe on line and modified it a bit...adding veggies and making it more of a stir fry. It was really very good...sauce is sweet and savory...oh, I would put a little heat in it too...I added a 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flake, but next time I would do more, and even maybe some chili oil or Sambal.


I prepped all of my food ahead of time...this is called "mise en place", (pronounced [miz on plas], literally "put in place") it is a french term for having everything ready before you begin to cook. This is essential for stir fry.


For dessert, I wanted something that would tie in with my whole asian I made Nutella and Banana filled wontons and served them with vanilla ice cream...yum!

I made sure the edges were sealed with a ravioli cutter...and they looked more fancy that way.



Mongolian Beef: PF Chang's Style:



For Sauce
• 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
• 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
• 1/2 tsp Chili Flake
• 1 tsp Sesame Oil
• 1 cup soy sauce
• 1/2 cup chicken stock
• 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
• 1 cup water
• 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

For Stir Fry
• peanut oil, for stir frying
•  2lb flank steak
• 1/2 cup cornstarch
• 1 large white onion
• 1 red bell pepper
• 3 scallions, cut into thirds, then sliced longways (thin slices) (plus extra for garnish)
• 1/2 cup snow peas
• 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
• 1/2 tsp of Galangal (thai ginger, you can find this at Whole Foods)
• 1/2 tsp of Fresh lemongrass, chopped finely (I used my mini food processor)
• 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
• 2 tablespoons garlic, minced

Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat. Add 1 tsp. ginger and 2 tablespoons of garlic to the pan, then chili flake, sesame oil and quickly add the soy sauce, water, chicken stock and rice wine vinegar. before the garlic scorches. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices. Place the meat in a large ziploc bag and add in about 1/2 cup of your sauce mixure. Marinate meat for 1 hour in the fridge.

When you are ready to begin, remove the steak from the fridge, and let come to room temp, about 15 minutes. Put the cornstarch into a large bowl, then add beef, being careful not to put too much of the remaining marinade into the bowl. Toss the beef in the cornstarch to coat, shaking off excess and lying onto a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer (this helps with clean up!) Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks. Cornstarch helps take the moisture from the surface of the beef, giving you a nice sear on the meat, and will help thicken the sauce.

Heat up a few tablespoons of peanut oil (that is pretty much my standard for stir fry, has a high smoke point so it doesn't burn too easily). Heat the oil over medium hi heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef in small batches, not to crowd the wok. This is a lot of meat, so you can probably get it all done in about 4 batches. Stir fry until the beef just begins to darken on the edges, about 2 minutes. You don't have to worry about cooking the meat all the way thru, as it will go back into the pan later. Remove the meat to a plate and set aside.

Now it is time to stir fry the veggies. Turn the heat up to Hi and add more oil if you need to. Add all the veggies and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add back the beef and 1/2 cup of the sauce and stir fry for about 5 minutes more. You will see the snow peas turn very bright green, which means it is time to take it all out of the wok and onto your serving dish.

Add the rest of the sauce into the wok, and cook till it begins to want the sauce to reduce a bit in volume, so cook for about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, take a tablespoon of cornstarch and add a tablespoon of COLD water and mix it up until all the lumps are can add a bit more water if you need to. This is called a Slurry. Add the slurry to the sauce, and mix well. You will see the sauce thicken almost immediately. Remove the sauce from the heat, and pour over your Mongolian beef. Sprinkle the top with the reserved green onions and serve with steamed Jasmine Rice.




Dena said...

We are the luckiest neighbors ever! Awesome dinner, Marcie!

Vivi said...

If the dinner tasted anything like your leftovers, then your dinner must have been a savory culinary masterpiece!!

Anonymous said...

OMG, Marcie or Chef Marcie should I say with my Asian accent!! That looks so yummy! Will you post the recipe for the pot stickers that you made? I've been dreaming about them ever since!!

Heath said...

one of the best asian meals that I have ever had. My mouth is watering right now thinking about it.