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Paul Winalski

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RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Paul Winalski » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:50 pm

This recipe is from the Joyce Chen Cookbook.

2 large bell peppers (or 3 medium)
1 lb beefsteak
4 TBS (in all) neutral cooking oil (I use peanut oil)
1 tsp salt
1 slice (about 1/8" thick) fresh ginger root

marinade:
2 TBS light soy sauce
1 TBS dark soy sauce
1 TBS shaoxing wine (or dry Fino Sherry)
1 TBS cornstarch

[1] Thinly slice the beef across the grain into slices 1/4" wide and about 2" long. In a bowl large enough to hold the beef slices, mix together the marinade ingredients, then add the beef. Mix thoroughly and marinate about 1/2 hour.

[2] Cut the peppers into 1" chunks, discarding the seeds and white membrane.

[3] Heat 2 TBS oil in a wok. Add the salt, then the peppers. Stir-fry over high heat about 1 minute, until the peppers are starting to change color but are still firm. Remove them to a bowl and wipe the wok clean.

[4] Heat the remaining 2 TBS oil over high heat in the wok. Add the ginger and stir-fry a few seconds. Add the beef and marinade. Stir-fry until the pieces have changed color and a sauce is beginning to form, about 2 minutes. Add the peppers and stir-fry another minute. Remove the ginger slice and serve.

Notes:

Any lean, tender cut of beef will do, but I prefer flank steak. It's tasty and easy to slice across the grain.

The original recipe calls for green bell peppers, but I like to use one red, one green. It gives the dish more color.
Last edited by Paul Winalski on Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Jenise » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:40 pm

I usually use top sirloin in stir fries, but would happily give flank a go.
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Tom NJ

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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Tom NJ » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:08 pm

Yeah, I'm not fond of green pepper here either. Whenever I make this (or any of its many variations) I always pretty much use red. And generally a scallion will find its way in also. (Quick joke: "Waiter, the soup is coming out the side of my bowl!" "I'm sorry sir, the chef put a leek in it." Badum-bum.)

I almost always use tougher cuts for this dish, and when I do I velvet the meat first. Makes a big difference. (Water velvet btw, not oil.)
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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Jenise » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:21 pm

Water velvet? Tom, please amplify. I'm unfamiliar with water velveting.

And sorry, GREEN PEPPERS ARE A MUST.

But then, I love them. Even as a child it was one of my favorite snacks. At age 2, 3 even--I was destined to love Bordeaux someday.

True story: I was 3 years old and grocery shopping with my Mom (I know the age precisely because of the market we were at, a neighborhood we moved away from in my 3rd year). I saw jalapeno peppers for the first time, and I recognized that they were a pepper of sorts. I loved the way they smelled and fit into my tiny hand. Mom confirmed they were indeed a type of pepper so naturally I asked, "Then why don't we buy them?" She said, "Because they're hot."

Well, I was holding one in my little hand and it wasn't hot at all! So I took a big bite out of the pointy end. A second or two later I started screaming and running at the same time. Banshees have no edge on a little girl experiencing her first hot pepper. This market had a drinking fountain and I knew how to find it--at the opposite end of the store, up the stairs, and around three sides of the mezzanine level that overlooked the shopping area below. I ran for it with Mom and an increasing number of store personnel in hot pursuit, and in spite of their longer legs they could not catch me, propelled as I was on rockets of Scoville units.
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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:38 am

Great story, Jenise, I can totally see the jet-propelled little girl!

My earliest food infatuation, old enough to sit up in a high chair, was green olives. Still love 'em, and, really, almost all pickled foods. Savory-R-Us.
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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Tom NJ » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:33 am

Jenise wrote:Water velvet? Tom, please amplify. I'm unfamiliar with water velveting.

True story: I was 3 years old and grocery shopping with my Mom (I know the age precisely because of the market we were at, a neighborhood we moved away from in my 3rd year). I saw jalapeno peppers for the first time, and I recognized that they were a pepper of sorts. I loved the way they smelled and fit into my tiny hand. Mom confirmed they were indeed a type of pepper so naturally I asked, "Then why don't we buy them?" She said, "Because they're hot."

Well, I was holding one in my little hand and it wasn't hot at all! So I took a big bite out of the pointy end. A second or two later I started screaming and running at the same time. Banshees have no edge on a little girl experiencing her first hot pepper. This market had a drinking fountain and I knew how to find it--at the opposite end of the store, up the stairs, and around three sides of the mezzanine level that overlooked the shopping area below. I ran for it with Mom and an increasing number of store personnel in hot pursuit, and in spite of their longer legs they could not catch me, propelled as I was on rockets of Scoville units.


Hahaaaaaaa! "Hell hath no fury as a woman scorched". Wheeee, what a story :lol: :lol: :lol:

Regarding water velveting, it's the exact same process as velveting using oil as the "pass through". After marinating your protein in the usual suspects, you blanch in water instead of oil. It's great for us home cooks who might blanch (*cough*) at using, and then having to dispose of, a fair amount of oil for just one dish. I don't mind doing that if it's worth it, like in my favorite Szhechuan battered corn appetizer, but with velveting I haven't noticed any reduction in quality with water, so water it is.

ps. Here's a vid of that Chinese corn dish I referenced. It's made by an Australian guy who films his native Chinese wife preparing various meals, and gives hilarious commentary as he goes along: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhB02k3Iqt8. Even if you're familiar with how to make this, it's fun to watch just for the laughs. (This vid was shot in their old, decrepit, and frankly scary looking kitchen in China. Shortly afterwards they moved to Australia and their subsequent videos show a much more modern - and sanitary - looking arrangement.)

:D
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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:57 pm

Hm, crispy corn with a lot of Szechuan peppercorns. Wonder how that would be with my favorite black pepper- juniper berry- orange peel mix?
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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Tom NJ » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:08 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:Hm, crispy corn with a lot of Szechuan peppercorns. Wonder how that would be with my favorite black pepper- juniper berry- orange peel mix?


Horrible.

Lol. I suggest trying a batch au natural first, then seeing where it goes.

As it happens, my wife is not fond of Szechuan peppercorns - which she discovered via this dish - so now I usually use the Holy Trinity of garlic, ginger, and scallions as the aromatics. But almost as often I don't use any flavorings at all, other than a generous amount of salt. It's quite good even unadorned.
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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Paul Winalski » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:58 pm

Thanks for the description of water velveting, Tom. I'm familiar with the Chinese "pass-through" where the meat is blanched in oil before the stir-fry. I'm one of the folks who balk at using that much oil just for that preliminary step. I'll have to try it with water instead, next time.

Note that this recipe doesn't involve a velveting step. If you slice the beef very thin, and across the grain, you won't need one. And in this dish the sauce forms itself out of the marinade that was absorbed by the beef, and which is released as the beef cooks. Velveting might interfere with that crucial process.

This recipe does use another common Chinese technique--an initial stir-fry (or blanching in boiling water) of the vegetables to "break the rawness", and then later returning the veggies to the wok at the final stages. This is often used with bell peppers, broccoli, or cauliflower.

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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Paul Winalski » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:01 pm

Jenise, I loved the "little girl meets jalapeno" story. All due to the multiple meanings of the word "hot". A similar thing happened when I was four. They told me at nursery school that if you combine flour and water, you get paste. When I got home I picked a bunch of dandelion flowers and put them in a cup of water, and got no paste at all. I was completely confused.

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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Jenise » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:56 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:Jenise, I loved the "little girl meets jalapeno" story. All due to the multiple meanings of the word "hot". A similar thing happened when I was four. They told me at nursery school that if you combine flour and water, you get paste. When I got home I picked a bunch of dandelion flowers and put them in a cup of water, and got no paste at all. I was completely confused.

-Paul W.


Made me laugh out loud, Paul. I would have done the very same thing. You've probably heard me describe my lifelong aversion to cold dairy products which was born when my mom switched to a raw milk dairy when I was 4. The cream that separated and floated to the top? I thought it was that stinky slimy hand cream my mom was always slathering on herself. Put an immediate end to all things white dairy.
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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Tom NJ » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:03 am

Paul Winalski wrote:A similar thing happened when I was four. They told me at nursery school that if you combine flour and water, you get paste. When I got home I picked a bunch of dandelion flowers and put them in a cup of water, and got no paste at all. I was completely confused.

-Paul W.


That was hilarious!
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Re: RCP: stir-fried beef with green peppers

by Jenise » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:48 pm

Paul, something disrupted my plans last week and I didn't get around to your recipe until last night. It was wonderful and you're totally right about the flank steak--bye bye sirloin.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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