Monday, June 11, 2012

Mongolian Beef

I'm always surprised but delighted when I reach one of those lovely and often unexpected zones in life where classes are going well, the cat and I are are healthy, and I'm spending time away from the computer even if all I do is lay on the couch and read a chick lit book or anything else that I'm not going to be graded on. When these rare opportunities hit, it's often (happily) accompanied by the motivation to get into the kitchen and cook something delicious instead of relying on microwaved quick meals like I do during the week.

I had been planning on making this for awhile, but never managed to coordinate time and schedule to do so but this weekend, after finally getting my head (somewhat) wrapped around Spanish indefinite pronouns for Spanish 102, lo and behold I had a stress free afternoon and an working air conditioner which made cooking seem like a great idea.

I made a few minor modifications to the recipe. Given the amount of soy sauce and hoisin sauce, I omitted the 1/2 tsp of salt the recipe called for along with swapping terriyaki sauce for dark soy sauce because I couldn't find that in a gluten free form. Apart from having some cooking stir fry issues related to not having the heat high enough, it turned out pretty well even if it was slightly done due to my inherent nature to instinctively overcook meat (I think it's genetic). I found the dish to be a little on the salty side, so I think I would like to see if I could find a low sodium gluten free soy sauce the next time I tried this.

Overall, a good dish and quick to prepare with my handy cup of microwavable rice (laziness has to win out somewhere in life). Overall grade: B+ .

Mongolian Beef 
Adapted slightly from Quick & Easy Chinese by Nancie McDermott

2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
3/4 lb thinly sliced beef
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp dry sherry
1/2 tsp gluten free terriyaki sauce
1 tsp sugar
10 green onions
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp Asian Sesame Oil

In medium bowl, combine soy sauce and cornstarch, mixing well. Add beef and toss to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine hoisin sauce, sherry, soy sauce and sugar and stir to mix well until sugar is dissolved.

Trim green onions, halving them crosswise and separate green portion from white. Cut white part of onion in half and then cut into 1/2 inch lengths. Chop green tops crosswise into 1 inch lengths.

Heat vegetable oil in wok or large deep skillet over high heat. Add garlic and toss well. Add beef and marinade, spreading beef into single layer and letting it cook for 30 seconds without stirring. Toss well and add green onions. Cook, tossing often, until beef has changed color and green onions are shiny, fragrant and slightly wilted.

Add hoisin sauce mixture, toss well and add sesame oil. Toss again and transfer to serving platter. Serve warm or hot. Serves 4.