Chinese Pepper Steak
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
The only reason I was looking forward to grocery shopping this morning was the chance of making it to 10,000 steps. I only did 4,000, but tell my knees that!
The one thing that is so awesome about my store is their huge bulk foods section. I love to store all of my grains, beans, etc., in large mason jars in the kitchen. It’s so much cuter than a pantry full of limp plastic bags that break open if you stare at them too long. Not to mention, there’s the pain of storing plastic bags full of split peas, or whatever. Plus, I can see at a glance what I have, how much I have, and when it’s time to refill something or other.
I’ve also discovered all sorts of new items, like Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. Did you know that this comes from a dried up bed that is 800 million year’s old?! It is incredibly rich in minerals that are processed out in other types of salt. And because the salt mines have never been exposed to water or air, it is never polluted. It is the cleanest salt on the planet; think about it: much sea salt is from polluted waters! Not great, when you think about it.
Tonight’s stir fry is really good and you can throw in a ton of veggies and skip the salad. Between you and me, I could use a night off from salad-making.
Chinese Pepper Steak on Basmati
1 cup Basmati Rice
1 pound stir fry beef (I got a petite sirloin)
¼ cup diced onion
Bell Peppers (I used green, red, orange and yellow)
Broccoli florets, cooked but still with a bite
1 cup sliced celery
Snow peas, rinsed, and sliced in half
2 cans beef broth
¼ cup water
2 T cornstarch
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Minced ginger, optional
Chili pepper flakes, optional
Toasted Sesame Seeds, optional
Toasted Sesame Oil, optional
Sliced green onion, optional
In a pinch, I have been known to just buy some buy sliced roast beef from the deli. It works fine, as long as it doesn’t have any Italian Seasoning on it, or something. You won’t need to stir fry your sliced roast beef.
You can use long grain rice or Jasmine, if you don’t have Basmati. I just like the way it comes out, nice and delicate, with separate grains.
Rinse Basmati well, to remove starch. I like to put one cup rice in a two cup measure, fill with lukewarm water and let it sit for about 5 minutes, after stirring. Then just pour into a sieve and rinse under cold, running water.
Measure 1½ cups cold water into a medium saucepan and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add rinsed Basmati, give it a stir, and watch it while you bring it to a boil.
Immediately reduce to a simmer. Stir again and put the lid on it. Lift the lid from time to time to make sure it’s not boiling. You want a nice, gentle bubbling. Stir with chopsticks occasionally, keeping an eye on the rice so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
After about 15 minutes, give it a stir and remove from heat. If the rice has a slightly damp texture still, just put the cover on and let it sit.
To prepare your beef, put it in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes, or until semi frozen. Remove from freezer and trim, then slice as thinly as you can. Set aside.
Thinly slice your bell peppers and celery and finely chop your onion. Slice your snow peas in half.
Heat a pan or wok on high.
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
Rinse and cut your broccoli into bite-sized florets. Pour about 2 cups of water into your hot wok.
Use a bamboo steamer (if you have one) set into the wok, and cook florets only a minute or two, to retain the broccoli’s crispiness.
Remove the bamboo steamer and dump the broccoli into the icy water, to retain its bright green color. Let it sit in there until cooled. Then remove the broccoli and dry off well. Remember, water and oil don’t play well together, so do this thoroughly.
If you’re interested in getting a steamer, here’s an Amazon link for you. Broccoli is so much better when cooked this way. The nutrients don’t escape into the water, and you won’t have soggy broccoli. You can also steam dumplings and all sorts of things. Check out this bamboo steamer.
If you don’t have a wok yet, this is Joyce Chen’s Wok on Amazon. It’s very reasonably priced. Personally, I never use my wok’s lid, so I just don’t think you need one.
The actual cooking process will only take minutes, so get someone to set the table and pour the milk or water, or whatever.
Dry off the wet wok, and return it to the stovetop on high. When it’s nice and hot, add 1-2 Tablespoons of Vegetable, Canola or Peanut Oil.
When the oil is shimmering and hot, carefully add your sliced beef. Stir fry a few seconds, leaving it pink. It will continue to cook in the sauce.
Remove the cooked beef to a pie plate.
Add more oil, if necessary. To the oil, add bell peppers, celery and onion. Don’t overcook! You want the veggies bright and crunchy. Toss in snow peas and garlic, which will only take seconds.
Remove to the pie plate with the beef.
Mix together cornstarch, water and soy sauce.
Pour beef broth and cornstarch slurry into wok. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, to cook off the taste of the cornstarch. Add in ginger and/or chili flakes, if you like. Reduce heat to medium and add in all of your veggies and cooked beef. Heat through and remove from heat.
Serve over Basmati, that you have fluffed with chopsticks or a fork.
Top with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions, if desired. We also like to drizzle our dish with very watery Chinese Hot Mustard and a bit of sesame oil.