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Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sesame Beef Stir-Fry

There's a lovely little Korean restaurant near where we live, where after you have nibbled on a series of deliciously vinegary pickled vegetables and steamed dumplings as appetisers, they put a large grill in the middle of your table and cook your meat of choice in front of you. I love watching the waiter sapiently stirring the morsels of beef, pork or chicken with his chopsticks on the mini barbecue, and then placing them on your plate for you to eat rolled up in a lettuce leaf with rice. Sooo yummy. This evening, I decided to have a go at making my own sesame beef stiry fry. The final photo didn't come out great, but hopefully the recipe can make up for my poor photographer skills :-)

INGREDIENTS (for two people)

  • 2 beef steaks, sliced quite thin (rumpsteak or sirloin)
  • 150 gr dried noodles
  • 300 gr broccoli
  • About 15 baby corn
  • About 15 chestnut mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons of teriyaki marinade
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds, one heaped tablespoon
  • A thumbsize piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • One red chilli (fresh or dried), chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Groundnut oil
One of the reason why the Korean barbecued meat is so tasty is because it is marinated before being cooked. To get some serious flavour into your beef, allow at least a couple of hours for this purpose. Cut  up your steaks in bite-sized pieces, and place them in a bowl. Add the teriyaki sauce, the grated ginger and the garlic, finely sliced. Ensure all the meat is coated with the marinade, then cover it with foil and put in the fridge. Now prep your vegetables: cut off the broccoli's steam and cut up the florets in small pieces. Slice the baby corn in half lengthways and divide each mushrooms in quarters. Leave them on the side for later; as with almost any Asian recipe, the preparation is done beforehand and all the cooking happens at the last minute.
 Get your noodles, place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water, letting them stand for 5 minutes. Drain them and chuck them in the hot wok with some groundnut oil. Season them with soy sauce and stir fry them until they are slightly crunchy and have acquired a golden colour. This will ensure your noodles will have an interesting texture and more importantly, lots of flavour - in fact, at this stage they are already so tasty that you could eat them on their own! But that's not what you want to do now, so place them back in the bowl and reserve them for later. 

Your wok should still be hot, so add a little bit more oil and tip your vegetables in: first the broccoli, then after 3 minutes the baby corn and finally, after 2 more minutes, the mushrooms. Season them with soy sauce and stir fry them until caramelized and tender, but not too soft. Add the noodles back to the wok with the vegetables, flick the pan (or use a wooden spatula) to mix the ingredients well and finally place them in a large serving bowl, ready to be taken to the table. 
Now move fast with your beef, you don't want your noodles and vegetables to get cold! But don't worry, what you need to do at this stage is super-easy. Simply add the sesame seeds to the the marinated beef and mix quickly to make sure all the pieces are coated, then tip it into the hot wok with a bit of oil, making sure you scrape all the bits of garlic and ginger into the pan. Stir fry for three minutes and voilá, it's done. 
Serve your beef accompanied by the noodles with vegetables and if you're sad like me, decorate the plate with orchid flowers. 

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