I love Asian food. Especially the more Eastern dishes from China, Japan, and Korea – although a good Pad Thai is not to be trifled with. Sushi and dim sum are at the top, then come different versions of stir-fries and meat dishes served with white, sticky rice (think satay chicken, yakiniku, teriyaki, and so on).
The thing about stir-fries is that they’re so simple to make, but also so easy to mess up. Too much or too little sauce, too small pan, too dry meat. Having been to Asia and enjoyed the genuine Asian cuisine, the disappointment when it’s bad at home (whether you cook it or you’re severed it in a restaurant) is so much greater, because you know what you’re missing out on.
There are a few stir-fries that I would never attempt myself, like Pad Thai. I just know that it’s not going to taste as nice as it does when the Thai place down the street makes it, so I’m not even going to try. The ones I have made with the most success at home though are the beef and broccoli ones. I’ve made beef and broccoli in pepper sauce (the kind you can by in the Asian supermarkets) which was really nice, as well as a beef and broccoli one where the beef was just marinated in garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil.
So this time, looking for something similar yet different, I decided to go with a beef and mushroom recipe. All you need is some beef, mushrooms, greens of your choice, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce and oil. And then rice or noodles to serve. The original recipe calls for spring greens, but because we’re in the middle/late summer now and my supermarket’s selection of spring greens and cabbage was not that inspiring, I went for pak choi instead. I figured that being an Asian cabbage it would blend better with an Asian stir-fry than my European cabbage anyway.
This is a really quick and easy recipe, the only thing that can take some time is cooking the rice. But because I like convenience and portion control I usually get the boil-in-bag rice which doesn’t take much more than 10-15 minutes.
Ingredients (3 portions)
300 g beef steak of your choice
200 g spring greens
150 g mushrooms
1 cm fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
Start by combining the sauces and setting it aside.
Heat a wok (or large frying pan – but wok is really so much better) until it’s really hot, then stir-fry the beef in some oil. Set aside.
Chop the ginger and garlic and stir-fry until golden, then add the greens and the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the steak and sauce mix and cook for another 3-4 minutes so that everything is heated through and the sauce mix has thickened slightly.
Serve over rice or noodles (or maybe on an omelette – seeing as the prawn and broccoli one was so nice?) and enjoy.
It should be stated that the original recipe serves 4, with 400 g beef, but because I could only get my hands on a 300 g pack of beef in the supermarket I decided to rework it to 3 servings. I have divided the oyster and soy sauces exactly, but have a slightly higher quantity of greens and mushrooms than the original recipe does. I haven’t reduced the amount of ginger (the original recipes does not include garlic).
A stir-fry is probably the best thing for me to make when I want leftovers, because it’s easy to reheat both at home and at work. At work we only have a microwave and at home I don’t have one, so some foods are better suited for work while others should be enjoyed at home. For example, I made these really good little taco pizza parcels (they’ll make an appearance), but heating them up in the microwave made the pizza dough loose it’s crispiness, so they’re more of a home food. Whereas I haven’t had a baked potato in months – do you know how long it takes to bake a potato in the oven?