by Grace Young
This week we have a two for one. Fried Sweet Rice with Sausages and Mushrooms which was due at the beginning of last month, and this month's recipe of Stir-Fried Ginger Tomato Beef.
We'll start with the latter.
Oh. My. Goodness. The ginger tomato beef is fabulous!
I only wish that I had made plain white rice to go with it. I did not read the narrative at the top of the recipe page beforehand, that reads this stir-fry is saucier than most stir-fries (you can't tell by the picture in the book) - so regular rice would have been a
Mise in place.
Bowl 1: Flank steak, ginger, soy sauce, dry sherry, cornstarch, sugar, salt, pepper, sesame oil
Bowl 2: Canned whole tomatoes
Bowl 3: Sugar
Bowl 4: Dark soy sauce, dry sherry, sesame oil
Bowl 5: Scallions
As is the norm with stir-fries, there isn't much work to get a delicious meal on the table. For this dish, the most time consuming part of the recipe was slicing the beef - and that took maybe a minute to do. The beef is combined with soy sauce, sherry, ginger, cornstarch, sugar, salt, pepper, and sesame oil. This marinates while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
The beef is added to a hot wok and left undisturbed for about a minute, to give it a chance to sear; then it is quickly stir-fried and removed from the wok to be added in later. The tomatoes and sugar are added next, breaking the tomatoes into smaller pieces with the spatula. The soy sauce mixture (dark soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil) is added to the wok along with the beef and scallions, and stir-fried till the beef is heated and cooked through.
Bam! Done. Delish.
My sister was here for dinner, and she was going on and on, about how good this was. "Is this in my book? Our book? You know the one." Yes. Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge. Page 80. I'm sure she'll be making this in a day or two. It was that good.
And now on to the Fried Sweet Rice with Sausages and Mushrooms:
As I mentioned above, our group made this stir-fry back in the beginning of November. Including myself. Twice. Epic fail. Twice. Determination set in.
As the saying goes, third time's the charm.
Mise en place.
Bowl 1: Shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage, garlic
Bowl 2: Rice
Bowl 3: Scallions
Bowl 4: Soy sauce
Bowl 5: Salt, white pepper
The recipe calls for sweet or sushi rice. In my first two attempts at this recipe, I used premium sweet rice. This type, or at least this brand, is extremely glutinous, as evident in the picture below. It was impossible to get the rice grains to separate. I ended up with a sticky mass of mush. This wasn't very pleasant to eat, but, boy did it taste good. I had to get this recipe right.
I thought my first attempt went awry for I had rushed the cooling process. The secret to perfectly fried rice is using cooked cold rice - preferably made the day before. I did not let my rice cool completely (almost - but not quite) before chilling.
So on my second attempt, I brought my rice to work with me, to make sure it had sufficient time to cool completely before being placed in the refrigerator. Still I had issues with the rice being too sticky.
I finally succeeded - though I am not jumping through hoops as I expected. If I had originally used the sushi rice for this stir-fry, I would have written that this was a great tasting dish.
However, Grace mentions in the book, fried rice made with sweet rice, gives an extra richness and bite that is addictively delicious. Addictively, is an understatement.
I'm going to have to experiment with different brands of sweet rice. I really, really, liked the sweet rice; the flavor is far superior to the sushi rice, which to me, tastes like your everyday white rice.
We are asked not to post the recipes here on our blog. If you would like the recipe, you will find it on page 80 (beef recipe) & 260 (rice) of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, which you can purchase at your local bookstore or find it at your local library. I highly recommend purchasing the book - you won't be disappointed.
These two recipes just so happen to be available online (though do get the book for more of Grace's fabulous recipes.):
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