This is from one of my earliest obtained cookbooks – 365 Ways to Wok, which is apparently out of print now? what. I thought the 365 series just kinda … stayed in print.
Anyway, it was one of those books I picked up in my first year of learning to cook and the thought process went something like “Need to do a style that let me walk away from the stove, forget everything, and stuff burns… oh, stir-fry! 365 recipes! I’ve got to be able to do something from this!” This recipe fits that bill, plus it’s week-night fast, especially if you dice thing quickly and mix up the sauce before starting the stir-frying. The main thing about this one though is that it’s pretty. Using 3 different colors of bell peppers is just visually interesting – the taste will probably be pretty similar if you use 3 of the same type though. What can I say, red and yellow peppers tend to run twice the per pound cost of green bell peppers. Oh, also, pay attention to how long the peppers are cooking and get them off of the heat while everything is still bright and crisp looking, rather than waiting for things to get tender. Visually and taste-wise, dinner will be better for it.
It’s not a great recipe (yet) but entirely serviceable and tasty. Plus Adam and I have some ideas to punch it up we’ve noted down, so you know, I’ll eventually get back to them. 1 year? 2? Any bets?
Stir-fried Steak with Rainbow Peppers
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium green bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium leek, the white part only, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb beef, cut crosswise on the diagonal into thin strips
- 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
- Mix together the beef broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a wok until hot and swirl to coat the sides. Add the peppers, leek, and garlic. Stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes and remove to a plate.
- If needed, add a bit of oil. Add the steak and stir-fry until it just loses its red color, about 2-3 minutes.
- Return the vegetables to the wok. Stir in the beef broth mixture to coat the meat and vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and water mixture; cook over high heat, stirring until sauce boils and thickens, 1-2 minutes. Serve with rice.
Experiments on this recipe to try:
1. Instead of thickening the sauce in the wok with the meat and vegetables, cook the rice in the un-thickened sauce. Either toss the stir-fried portion with the rice, or just serve on top of the rice.
2. Instead of returning the vegetable to the wok in step 3, remove the meat and cook down/thicken the sauce on its own in the wok. Then pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in a serving bowl and serve with rice.
If anyone has more ideas for this one or try one the experiments above, drop us a line and let us know how it went. Comments to share with everyone or by email (kitchenchemi.cook at gmail.com) for just us.