Sunday, February 3, 2008

Vietnamese Stir-fried Beef with Kai-Lan Veggies (Chinese Broccoli)

You know you've made a great stir-fry when the vegetables are colourful and crispy and the beef is tender and juicy. Oh my, just looking at the picture, my mouth just waters. Stir Fries are my mother's best dishes. She's mastered everything about it, from cutting the meat to the right thickness to determining the right cooking time so that the veggies burst with freshness and flavour and the meat always turns out juicy.

I learned so much from watching and helping my mother cook that I copied...I mean...took on some of her techniques, which I now have down pat, also thanks to a sexy and sharp kitchen knife and a fine titanium wok, which I now own so proudly. As I had pointed out in an earlier post, if you have the proper tools (and good music playing), cooking is so easy and fun. I believe that cooking great food ignites our inner creativity. With that re-awakened inner creativity, you can excel in almost anything you wish to undertake.

Recipe "au pif":
1 lb beef flanc steak, thinly sliced (the thinner the better, approx. 1mm)
1 lb coarsely chopped
Kai-lan (aka Chinese broccoli, found in most local asian grocery stores)
a pinch of coarse seal salt (about 3/4 tsp)
1 tbsp
fish sauce (Nuoc mam)
1 garlic clove, minced
some pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp canola oil (or vegetable)

Season the beef with the salt, pepper and garlic. Mix well with your hands and let marinate for about 30 minutes, covered with plastic film, in fridge.

Heat canola/vegetable oil in wok on high heat. Wok should be very hot. If you have a good wok, it shouldn't take more than 1 minute for it to be smoking hot.

Throw in the steak slices (at this point you should hear loud sizzling) and stir constantly for only 2 minutes. Remove beef from wok and put aside. The beef should be pink in the middle indicating that it's been cooked medium-rare.

Add the sesame oil in the hot wok and throw in the Chinese Broccoli (Kai Lan), quickly stir and add in the fish sauce. You should still hear that loud sizzling. Stir for about 2-3 minutes until the broccoli has released it juice.

Lay the crispy broccoli on a serving plate, pour the juice in. Place the beef on top of the broccoli.

Serves 4 people.

Serve warm with steamed Jasmine white rice.

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