Chinese food holds a very strange place in my heart these days. I love it, and yet whenever my husband suggests we order takeout or go to Howard Wang’s I say no. And to be honest, I can’t exactly tell you why. I’ve been trying to come up with good excuses for years, but the best one I had was during my twin pregnancy when I said Chinese food made me sick (all food made me sick). And that only lasted 9 months. I think, think, it might be because when I order Chinese food out, it’s never exactly what I want. Not enough broccoli, not enough sweetness, not enough spice, too much of something. Do you ever feel that way? Because I love egg rolls and I love fortune cookies so it seems like those two things alone would rope me in. But, it just doesn’t.
But because we both looove Chinese food and I don’t let us eat it, I’ve had to evolve. Adapt. Rise above it. And that’s what inspired this Mongolian Beef. It is definitely better than any Chinese I’ve eaten out, and it has the exact everything I want. So now, my excuse for not going out for Chinese can be ‘why would we go out when it’s so much better at home?’ Finally, a reasonable and valid excuse.
- 1 lb ribeye, cut into 1-inch strips (flank steak or tenderloin would also be great)
- 1/4 cup corn starch, for tenderizing
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt + pepper
- 1 crown broccoli, chopped
- 2 long carrots, cut into small thin strips
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic (depending on how garlic-y you are)
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used dark)
- 2-3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce (I used closer to 2)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch + 2 tablespoons water, for thickening
Start by putting the meat slices in a ziploc bag with the 1/4 cup corn starch and S&P. Toss to coat. Next, in a large skillet or wok, cook the broccoli and carrot. You can add a little water and cover to steam them, or saute them in a couple tablespoons of oil. I added about 1/2 cup water and steamed for 10-15 minutes. Transfer veggies to a bowl. Add in the meat and a little olive oil to keep the meat from sticking to pan. Cook until done over medium-high, about 10 min. Transfer meat to a bowl. Add in the 2 tablespoons sesame oil, fresh ginger, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then add in the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, and Hoisin sauce. Whisk to combine. In a separate cup dissolve 1 tablespoon corn starch into the water, then add to the sauce to thicken a bit. Cover for about 5 min on medium until sauce is at desired thickness. Add back in the meat and veggies, and stir to coat and cook for another few minutes to reduce. Serve over rice or noodles.