Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beef with Ginger and Caramelized Onions

After many attempts, I finally managed to get the beef to be tender, and the sauce to be right! The first time I tried cooking this dish, I used too much pepper. The poor boys kept drinking water and telling me "Mama, it's so hot!". The second time, I grated too much ginger, and again, the boys kept drinking water. And each time, the beef turned out to be a little tough for the kids. Good exercise for their jaws though.

But once I get the right tenderness for the beef, and the right taste without the spiceness from the pepper and ginger, the sauce is great for vegetables and a bowl of steamy hot rice. I like my dinner to be hot, especially when the pointer on the thermometer reaches the single digit on the celsius scale and the trees outside are doing their wild dance.

Adapted from : Williams-Sonoma Asian, Food Made Fast

750g Beef Tenderloin or Sirloin, cut across the grain into thin strips
5 tbsp Soy Sauce (I use Kikomann's Low Sodium Soy Sauce)
2 tbsp Rice wine/Dry Sherry (I used Red Cooking Wine)
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp Sesame oil
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Cornstarch
2 tbsp Corn or peanut oil
1 Large Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp Ginger, grated
1 Orange or yellow pepper, seeded and sliced (optional)
1 dash Freshly ground pepper

  • Marinate the beef : Combine the beef, 1 tbsp of the soy sauce, and the wine. Mix to coat the beef evenly. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Make the sauce : Combine 4 tbsp water, the remaining 4 tbsp soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch and a dash of pepper, and stir to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch.
  • Heat a wok over hight heat until very hot and add 1 tbsp of oil.
  • Add the onion and bell pepper, and stir-fry until caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the onion mixture to a plate.
  • Return the pan to high heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil.
  • Add ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  • Add the beef and stir-fry until it begins to brown and is still rare in the centre.
  • Return the onion mixture to the pan.
  • Give the sauce a quick stir, add to the pan, and stir until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 seconds.
  • Sprinkle with red pepper flakes to taste, if desired.


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