My family loves oriental food.
Back in high school, my family would head to Hong’s Palace in Denver about once a week for a bowl of hot and sour soup and sesame chicken. For years before high school, we had Chinese food with my grandparents every weekend at the Golden Phoenix in Aurora.
It has been hard to find a restaurant in Fort Collins with decent Chinese food (I actually just recently found a place called Chili House), so I have had to sedate my cravings on my own.
This week I decided to try my hand at Mongolian Beef.
Since my kitchen is considerably smaller this year than it has been in the past, my supplies, including my wok (yes, I do own a wok), are mostly in storage in my parent’s basement.
My lack of a wok just meant that I would have to make a few adjustments to a recipe I found on foodnetwork.com.
It turned out I had to make a lot of adjustments to the recipe to fit my tastes, so I made most of it up as I went.
The original recipe calls for the flank steak to be sliced and then marinated in soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and fresh ground pepper. So far so good – how can you go wrong with such ingredients?
I took care of the marinating in the morning before class. In total, the process of slicing the steak and getting the marinade together took about 20 minutes. Tossed it into the fridge and was ready to go. I like marinades for this reason.
At this point, even if I were to do nothing else beyond cooking my steak, it will still taste good with the right marinade and is a pretty good way to spice up salads or other sometimes-bland meals.
I got home Tuesday night after a long day and started making the sauce that the recipe called for. This is where I ran into some trouble. The sauce sounded good in theory, but then I made it; it tasted awful (too much vinegar, not enough garlic).
To fix the fact that I didn’t have a sauce to cook with the flank steak; I cooked the steak with its marinade in my large, high-rimmed pan.
I cooked the steak alone for two minutes and then tossed in my bell peppers, onion and broccoli.
All the while, my rice was on the back burner. I used basic white rice and just followed the instructions on the box, but jasmine rice or brown rice would work just as well here.
I cooked the peppers and onion with my steak for two to three minutes covered and then spooned the whole thing over my rice.
In the end, the meal was pretty good. The only thing I would change is to maybe add some red pepper flakes for spice, but that isn’t really necessary.
L’Chaim and B’Tay Avon (to life and eat well).
Liz’s Mongolian beef revamp:
/ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
/ teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 pounds flank steak
2 bell peppers (color of your choice)
1 medium onion
1 cup broccoli florets
Combine soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and pepper together in a bowl. Slice flank steak into strips (about 1/8 inch thick) and then into pieces. Let steak marinate for at least two hours (can sit overnight if you desire).
Julienne bell peppers and onion.
Pour entire marinade mixture into a large pan and cook on medium-high heat for two minutes and then add in peppers, onions and broccoli.
Cook covered for another two to three minutes.
Entertainment editor Liz Sunshine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.