Friday, January 18, 2013

Mongolian Beef with Red Pepper and Chinese Cabbage

My parents host a Chinese student in their home in Canada; he moved there to attend high school and learn English for university. This is the second Chinese student they have hosted, and this time food has been an issue. All teenagers are picky eaters, but especially this one who is far from home. In an effort to help him, my mother and I have been getting Chinese cooking hints from Kylie Kwong's book, Simple Chinese Cooking. (It was one of my Christmas presents from my cousin. Cookbooks are my favourite presents!) My mother and I each have a copy and we are exchanging notes about what we try.

This dish took only 35 minutes from start to finish - and that includes 30 minutes of marinading time! Next time I'll also add very thinly sliced carrots; you could use any vegetables. Just slice them thinly and throw them all in together. I reckon my mother's picky eater would love this recipe because of the thick, tasty sauce that seeps down into the rice (or noodles).

Mongolian Beef
serves 2
adapted from Simple Chinese Cooking

All the ingredients need to be chopped before you begin cooking since the stir frying will only take a few minutes. Serve with rice to soak up the plentiful sauce.

for the marinade:
1 T cornstarch
2 T sherry or Chinese rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t sesame oil

450 g ground beef
250 g Chinese (nappa) cabbage
2 t sea salt
1 red pepper
2 T hoisin sauce
2 T sherry or Chinese rice vinegar
1 T oyster sauce
1 t cider or malt vinegar
2 T vegetable oil
1 small bunch of spring onions (scallions)

Mix the marinade ingredients and add the ground beef. Stir to coat and leave for 30 minutes.

Thinly slice or shred the Chinese cabbage. Sprinkle with the sea salt and toss thoroughly in a bowl. Leave for 15 minutes.

Thinly slice the red pepper and set aside.
Mix the hoisin sauce, sherry, oyster sauce, and cider vinegar and set aside.
Chop the spring onions and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok until hot and shimmering. Add the beef and marinade and continually stir until the beef is no longer pink.
Add the hoisin sauce mixture and stir well.
Add the cabbage and pepper and stir fry for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with the spring onions.

Are you (or were you) a picky eater?

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