The theme for this week's recipe swap was Asian food. I received Cooking Light's Mongolian Beef from Amanda.
I didn't want to buy hoisin sauce since ingredients I don't use often end up dying a slow death in my fridge, so I searched online for a similar recipe and found this one for P. F. Chang's Mongolian Beef.
I've never had Mongolian Beef before so I can speak to how close the end result was to the restaurant version, but it was a good meal. It was a little sweet for my taste and I think I let the cornstarch sit too long on the meat because it didn't add a crispy coating, but SP loved it. I served it with rice and steamed broccoli.
P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large green onions, sliced
Make the sauce by heating 2 teaspoons of vegetable in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.
Slice the flank steak against the grain into thin slices. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts.
Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking.
Add the beef to the oil and saute for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon or a spider to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet. Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate. Leave the excess sauce behind in the pan.