Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer, and the Stir-Frying is Easy

Thursday: broccoli, beef, and green onion stir-fry; rice

It ended up being fairly cool today, but since it was hot this weekend when I planned out our meals, I naturally assumed it would be too hot for the oven. In any case, a simple stir-fry is just as yummy on a cool summer evening as on a warm one.

The key with stir-frys is to get all the ingredients prepped and in separate bowls before you start to heat your pan. They are incredibly quick to cook, but not actually any quicker to make because you can't do any of the prep work while things are cooking. My basic strategy is to heat the pan, heat the oil briefly, briefly cook the aromatics (garlic, ginger, or what-have-you), and then get the meat started. Once it's cooked, I take it out of the pan and cook the veggies. Then I add the sauce and put the meat back in. I don't know if this is unorthodox or completely standard, to be honest - it's just the way I've found works best for me. My only other "rule" is that all the meat should be thinly sliced and uniformly cut, and the veggies should be cut into uniform pieces as well.

Broccoli, Beef, and Green Onion Stir-Fry
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 tsp or so ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 pound thinly sliced beef, cut into strips
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 bunches green onions, white parts thinly sliced; green parts cut into 2 in segments
  • 1/2 C oyster sauce
Heat the pan over medium-high heat; after the pan is hot, add the oil.* Heat for about 30 seconds, add the garlic and ginger, and heat for an additional 30 seconds. Add the beef, allowing it to sear slightly before stirring (the beef should release from the pan - if it doesn't, just wait a few seconds and try again). Cook until beef is no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. Remove beef and add broccoli and green onions. Pour some of the liquid that has likely collected around the beef into the pan and cover; steam for about 2 minutes. Add the oyster sauce and beef, and heat for another minute or two with the lid on.

* unless you're using a non-stick pan, which should never be heated without something in it; in that case, coat the pan with cooking spray and proceed to add the garlic & ginger after the pan is hot.

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