Sunday, May 15, 2011

Szechuan Beef for Healthy Eating

I tried out another recipe from the HPBooks series, this one being for Szechuan Beef from The Book of Light Chinese Dishes by Kathryn Hawkins.

It looks a copy can be purchased for the exorbitant price of $0.98 from Amazon.  I picked up my copy from a used-book shop for a similar price, maybe all of $2.

Anyway, this recipe was quick to make and had few ingredients AND I was able to use my new $8 wok that I mentioned in a prior post.

Although the recipe was for 4 servings, I cut some in half since just the DW and I were eating.  I will note what was halved, and what was full amount so you can make your own decisions.

1/2 pound beef fillet (halved)
1 TBS olive oil (for stir fry, who measures this out anyway?)
1 garlic clove (full)
1 cm piece freshly ground ginger root (full, we freeze chunks of ginger root for later use; still retains its pungency)
2 green onions, chopped (halved)
1 TBS hoisin sauce (full)
1 TSP Szechuan peppercorns (full; I can never find this so I used black peppercorns)
4 oz. vegetable chow-chow (??, so I used some freshly-cut green beans)
1 TSP sugar (full)

1.  Trim the fat and silver skin from the beef.  Cut into thin slices.

2.  Prepare the peppercorns by dry-roasting in your brand-new $8 wok for 1 minute and then grinding into powder.  This releases the fragrance unlike any other method.

3.  Heat oil in your wok and stir-fry beef, garlic, ginger and green onions for 1 minute.

4.  Add remaining ingredients and stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes until the beef is just cooked through.

5.  Serve with rice.  I use brown rice, loving the slightly browned (caramelized) bits from the bottom of the rice cooker.

Szechuan Beef Ingredients (green beans are in-season)

Yup, Hoisin Sauce

The hoisin sauce is the most interesting thing about this recipe.  It is basically a Chinese barbecue sauce and can be used in many recipes as an added flavour.  The sauce contains soybean paste, garlic, chillies, and other spices, and usually contains some sugar and vinegar.

Browning the beef, throwing in the seasonal veggies

A lump of Hoisin sauce (~1 TBS)

Ready to Eat (notice the small helping)

Recipes like this are so easy to prepare that I don't know why more people don't cook at home.

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