Wok up for Chinese New Year

Sherrel Jones shares a recipe inspired by the Chinese New Year.
BY SHERREL JONES Modified: February 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm •  Published: February 6, 2013

It is important not to overcrowd the wok so that foods can cook fast and efficiently. Keep this in mind if you are adapting a stir-fry to a skillet. You may want to take some things out of the skillet as they cook to allow others to cook more efficiently. You will have to use a little more oil to achieve the stir-fry characteristics, but it can be done.

Timing is important. If you are serving your stir-fry over rice, remember that you will want to start the rice first before preparing all the vegetables and meat for the stir-fry which takes only minutes to prepare. Have everything ready and enjoy this process.

The recipe I use most often is finished with mirin and orange juice and can be used with chicken, beef, pork or even shrimp. Good luck and Happy Wok-ing.

This is a great little dish to celebrate Chinese New Year. You can use slices of pork tenderloin, chicken or duck breast in lieu of the beef. It is important to slice the meat across the grain so that it remains tender through this very fast cooking process. Snow peas and water chestnuts could be added to the mix if desired. This stir-fry can be served with rice or long rice noodles. Prepare all ingredients to have ready for best results. These amounts can vary according to your preference but this combination will serve four people. This is a practical way to make the most out of your steak budget.



Ginger Beef Stir-Fry

2 tablespoons oil (peanut, safflower or other high flash point oil for wok)

16 ounces sirloin, club or flank steak, pork tenderloin or chicken sliced ¼-inch thick across the grain

2 tablespoons cornstarch or rice flour

2 to 3 carrots sliced into coins or shredded into long strips with vegetable peeler or julienne tool (which cook faster)

¼ of a large onion cut into strips up to ¼-inch wide

1½ to 2 cups broccoli florets

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes depending on how spicy you want stir-fry to be

2 to 3 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger (vary according to your taste)

¼ cup mirin or white wine (Can use seasoned rice wine vinegar.) zest and juice of 2 oranges

2 teaspoons soy sauce, or low-sodium soy sauce

• Rinse and cook rice according to package directions to serve 4 or place noodles to soak and soften.

• Assemble ingredients. Slice meat and dust with cornstarch or rice flour. Prepare vegetables. Zest and juice oranges. Peel fresh ginger root with the back of a spoon and grate 2 to 3 tablespoons according to how spicy you desire stir-fry. Mince or press garlic. Measure out ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. (A teaspoon of chili garlic paste can be used in lieu of garlic and pepper flakes.)

• Place oil in wok and heat until oil shimmers. Start with prepared meat cooking for about a minute on each side. Do not crowd the meat as it will not brown. Once each side is brown move the meat up the side of the wok or to a separate dish and hold until all the vegetables are cooked through.

• Place carrots in wok stirring frequently until they soften about 3 minutes if sliced and much less if julienned or peeled into long strips. Add onions and broccoli stirring often. As broccoli brightens and onions soften return meat to wok and stir to evenly distribute. Stir in pepper flakes and ginger keeping heat high.

• Deglaze wok with mirin or wine and add zest and juice of oranges. Continue stirring until liquid begins to thicken slightly. Season with soy sauce to taste.

• Serve over rice or rice noodles.

Cooking notes: Keep wok sizzling hot but not smoking. Additional stock or broth may be added if desired to make more liquid. Snow peas can be substituted for broccoli or in addition to the florets. Other vegetables such as whole green beans, bean sprouts or asparagus can be used if desired. Water chestnuts, slivered almonds or walnuts add a crunchy texture to this stir-fry.

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