Ian Lai’s Healthy Asian Cooking: Broccoli and Beef Stir Fry
Are you overwhelmed when you shop at the sauces aisle in Chinese groceries? I am. There are so many types of sauces that even as a Chinese I have not try all of them.
Ian Lai shared some of the more common sauces that he uses in the Healthy Asian Cooking workshop. They include soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, hot bean sauce, etc.
One of the sauces that stands out is the Korean Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste because Ian Lai said it is MSG free. As for soy sauce, the Japanese Tamari is also MSG free.
The last recipe in the Healthy Asian Cooking is Broccoli and Beef. Ian’s Lai take for the popular Broccoli and Beef you find in Chinese restaurants is very different. He cooks the beef separately and he added multigrains and goji berries into this dish.
1 flank steak
1 head of broccoli, cut into flowerets, slice stem to same bite size so that they cook evenly
1 package of snow peas
1 bunch of cilantro, rough chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 bunch of water crest, rough chopped
1 handful of goji berries, re-hydrated in cold water for a few minutes until plump
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 whole garlic clove
2 slices of ginger
Marinate for flank steak
salt to taste
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 big tablespoon Gochujang
1 big tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
2 red bell peppers
1/2 block of soft tofu
1/4 teaspoon of togarashi (Japanese spice mix)
salt to taste
2 cups of multigrains
3 cups of water
The above is the package of multigrains that Ian used. You can get them from T&T or Osaka Supermarket. The 2 kg package costs around $1o to $12.
It’s a very cultural thing for Chinese to eat steamed white rice with dishes. The rice is usually washed a number of times until the water runs clear. Ian shared with us that their family gradually changed to not washing the rice as it’s his daughter’s responsibility to cook rice. After much complaints, they forgo the washing of the rice. Nowadays, they try to eat other grains instead of white rice. White rice has the least nutrients as all the good nutrients have been polished away.
To cook the multigrains, the ratio of grains to water is 2 to 3. Place the multigrains in a pot and add water. Bring to a boil on high heat. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low (like no 2), cover and let it cook for 35 to 40 minutes.For white rice, it will take only 18 minutes to cook.
To prepare the sauce, Ian roasted the red pepper directly on the fire until the peppers are charred. If you do not have a gas stove, you can roast the pepper by coating them in oil and place on broiler, turn when it turns black; until all the sides are blackened.Place the peppers in a mixing bowl and cover with another bowl to let it sit and steam for easy removal of the charred skin later.
To prepare the flank steak, Ian cross hatch (make slit one third of the way in a diagonally manner) the flank steak vertically and horizontally. This allows the marinates to penetrate into the flank steak.Ian explained that most Chinese restaurants use cornstarch or egg white to coat the beef in thin slices to get the velvety texture.
Ian prefers to marinate the flank steak in whole, cook in whole and slice thinly after cooking it. He will under-cook the steak if he intends to use it for his next day’s meal as when he reheats the food the next day, the steak will be cooked properly.
Season the flank steak generously with salt. Rub with sesame oil, Gochujang, oyster sauce and rice wine vinegar. The rice wine vinegar adds acidity which allows the flank steak to marinate at room temperature for a bit.
Ian Lai demonstrated his way of de-stringing snow peas. He never likes to see chef using finger nails to break the snow peas tops and de-string them. Ian Lai will line up a few snow peas and cut the top half way through with a knife.
Then, he will gather the tops and de-string the whole bunch at a time. Clean and efficient.Thinly slice the snow peas at an angle.
To cook the flank steak, heat a frying pan until very hot and smoking. Add some vegetable oil. Pan fry until it’s charred on the underside and flip over the steak to cook the other side.
Once the other side is charred, flip the steak over again and lower the heat to medium and cook until the steak is done. Let the steak rest before slicing into it so that the juice can re-distribute and not run off when slicing while it’s still hot.
To prepare the sauce, pop the top off the roasted red peppers, open it up and remove any seeds left behind. Rub the charred skin off the peppers with your hands. Do not rinse the peppers.Puree the roasted red peppers with tofu. Season with togarashi and salt to taste. The sauce will tastes like roasted red peppers. The tofu is just to thin out the sauce.
To cook the vegetables, always heat up the pan first. Add oil and allow the oil to heat up. Add aromatics like ginger slices and whole garlic clove.
When you can smell the ginger and garlic, add the cauliflower and snow peas. Season with salt to taste. Add some water and cover to steam the vegetables for a few minutes until it’s cooked and still has a crunch. Plate the vegetables in a large platter or bowl.
Add chopped cilantro, green onions and water crest to the hot broccoli. Also add the re-hydrated goji berries and some raw chopped garlic.Thinly slice the rested flank steak against it’s grain. Add the flank steak and it’s juice to the vegetables.
Top with the sauce and multigrains. Toss and serve.Ian, thank you for all the wonderful recipes you shared in the Healthy Asian Cooking workshop.