Making your own Chinese food. I suppose there is a question of why spend an hour making something you can order and have delivered in 20 mins? Well, I feel like beef and broccoli, while especially delicious can also be especially greasy- and the meat mysterious- and this way you know what’s going in it? But the other thing, is that I have stared at these America’s Test Kitchen Chinese food recipes [which seem a bit more American than Chinese] for like a year. But I just could never get myself to do it– until yesterday. In my non-functional state, and avoiding GRE homework, I decided to give it a go. It is definitely one of those recipes with a long list of ingredients- that feels like much less of a process if you already have them in your cabinet. This is a mis en place situation- the actual cooking time is really short, so best to do all the prep work up front.
1 lb flank steak, sliced against the grain [to make cutting easier, put meat in freezer for 20 mins prior]
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry [I didn’t have so used 1 tbs of white wine vinegar]
2 tablespoons low sodium chicken broth [for small amounts, the powdered kind- you add to water comes in handy]
5 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
3 tablespoons peanut oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 lbs broccoli, bite-sized florets and stems trimmed into 1/8 inch slices
1/3 cup water
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced [I used snow peas instead]
3 medium scallions, sliced 1/2 inch thick on diagonal [too lazy, left out]
Slice beef across the grain into thin, max 1/4 in slices [I always look up across the grain, but basically you will see little lines in the steak, and you cut perpendicular to them, I think? Otherwise beef will be way more tough.] Combine the beef and soy sauce in a medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring once. Meanwhile, whisk the sherry, chicken broth, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a second bowl. Combine the garlic, ginger and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a third small bowl.
Drain the beef and discard the liquid. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half of the beef to the skillet and break up clumps; cook without stirring, 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned about the edges, about 30 seconds. Transfer the beef to a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the skillet, heat until just smoking, and repeat with the remaining beef.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to the now-empty skillet; heat until just smoking. Add the broccoli and cook 30 seconds; add the water, cover the pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam the broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes [mine took a few extra mins- also added snow peas after broc had been steaming like 1 min]; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the skillet; increase the heat to high and heat until just smoking. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until spotty brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Clear the center of the skillet; add the garlic and ginger to the clearing and cook, mashing the mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, about 15 to 20 seconds, then stir the mixture unto the peppers [since I didn’t use pepper, I just put oil in empty pan, added garlic mix, stirred around.] Return the beef [I drained again] and broccoli to the skillet and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add to the skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the scallions, and serve.