Mongolian Beef

I am not sure there really is such thing as an authentic Mongolian beef; from what I understand this is an Americanized concoction. Regardless, I enjoy the flavor very much and decided to look out into the internet universe for some ideas. Here is what I found (with some of my own twists).


I served this with white rice, and used fresh veggies from the garden. Green beans and spinach would be my top choice, but you could certainly use bok choy or broccoli for variation. I got the beef (thin sliced top round) from my favorite butcher. It’s perfect for strifry and cost effective.

You can adjust the heat by adding more chili or ramp up the sweet by adding more brown sugar.Adapted from: http://thewoksoflife.com/2015/07/mongolian-beef-recipe/

Serves 4:

  • 8 ounces top round thinly sliced or flank steak cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4  cup vegetable oil, for frying the beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 5 dried red chili peppers or 1 Tbs chili paste
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • one shallot, sliced* (optional)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce for cooking
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 scallions cut on the diagonal
  • Vegetables of your choosing – green beans, bok choy, broccoli

Step one:

Combine soy sauce with brown sugar and set aside.

Marinate the beef in one teaspoon of oil, 1 teaspoon of soy cause, and 1 tbs of cornstarch. . Make sure it is room temperature before going to the next step. 15 min- 1 hour

Step two:

Dredge the marinated beef in the remaining cornstarch. Heat the oil on medium so that the meat will be seared and crisp up quickly. Brown the beef on either side, ideally getting a bit of a crust on the side. Set aside the beef out of the pan. 4-5 minutes

Step three

Reduce the heat to medium. Saute garlic for 2- 3 minutes. Add in chili peppers and continue cooking for several more minutes. Make sure to scrape the pan for any cracklings from the beef and mix it in. Add ginger, chicken broth, and then desired vegetables. Cook for 5 more minutes.Finally, add back in the beef and drizzle the soy sauce mixture over the pan. Stir and continue cooking until the liquid is mostly absorbed. 15-18 minutes

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Drunken Noodles

 Recipe Ease: easy

Length: 25 minutes

I’m a big fan of Thai Food. My personal favorites are Tom Yum Soup and Red Curry; however, I will never turn down a bowl of Drunken Noodles. The spice, the aroma comforts me instantly.

When I did my research (okay, just googled) the name, I found many theories. Some say you have to be drunk to eat all of that spice, or that the chef must be drunk to throw in such a variety of ingredients, or that it is a famous hangover cure. Regardless, the dish didn’t seem that difficult to make.

While you could find most of the ingredients at a typical grocery store, I opted to go to an international market which had a huge variety of soy sauce, fish sauce and the like. The recipe calls for thick soy sauce, and this is far more thick than the soy sauce we are used to. You could add molasses or honey to regular or use Hoisin in a pinch. I pointed out in the ingredient list where you can use a substitute if you have trouble tracking down the ingredients.

The beauty of the dish is you can put in whatever you like. Many recipes called for egg or tofu. I added in some baby bok choy because it looked so fresh and nice at the supermarket. We served it with beer, and it was the perfect dish for a cold, snowy night.

You will need:

  • 12 oz bag rice flake noodles, soaked in warm water for 8 -10 minutes and drained.
  • 2-3Tbsp. Thai chili garlic oil (you can use sriracha)
  • 4 Tbsp thick soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 4 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • 3 tbs sesame oil (you can use canola)
    3 cloves garlic, minced.
    1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
    12 medium sized shrimp, cleaned
  • 1/2 1lb chicken breast, sliced thinly
    1 red bell pepper cut into bite-sized pieces.
    1 Cup packed fresh thai basil leaves. (you can use regular basil)

 

What gorgeous veggies

I found some great sauces at the local international mart

 

One package easily fed 5 people
Steps:
1. Whisk Thick soy, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili oil and fish sauce together and set aside.

2. Heat a large wok or the biggest skillet you have over medium heat. Add oil to skillet and cook garlic, onions and shallots until light brown.


3.  Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

4. Add drained noodles, bell pepper, sauce mixture, and stir fry five minutes

5. Add basil and cook for a bout two minutes or until some of the noodles are a bit crisp on the edges

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Mayo

Recipe Time: 30 minutes. *marinate the salmon overnight or up to 30 minutes before cooking for the best results

Recipe Ease: easy

I tried this recipe from Damndelicious.net and really loved it. I’ve been looking for the perfect Salmon recipe and have tried all kinds of variations: teriyaki, sweet-chili, and honey; this was the one that combined all of the elements I was looking for – that sweet, but spicy taste. The key is the Sriracha Mayo – I could make this for a variety of items – like spicy wings.

Sriracha Mayo  – You will need:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons Sriracha*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

Teriyaki Salmon – You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets

Steps:

  • To make the Sriracha cream sauce, whisk together mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons Sriracha and condensed milk in a small bowl; set aside.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; set aside.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, honey and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes; let cool to room temperature.

  • In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine teriyaki marinade and salmon filets; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Place salmon filets along with the marinade into the prepared baking dish and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  • Serve salmon immediately with Sriracha cream sauce.

Vegetable: Asian Broccoli

broccoli

This side dish is very easy to make. I often do the same exact thing for fresh green beans in the summer.

You will need:

  1. Broccoli
  2. 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  3. 1 tsp sesame oil
  4. 1 tbs soy sauce
  5. 1 tbs sugar

First, I steam the broccoli and then set it aside.

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I combine 1 tbs of soy sauce and 1 tbs of sugar, and set that aside.

Next, I cook a clove or two of garlic in about a tsp of sesame oil.

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When it is browned, I add the broccoli back in.

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After a 2 minutes or so, I coat it with the soy sauce/sugar mixture and serve.

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Ginger Sesame Chicken

chicken

On Sundays, when I’ve got time, I like to experiment with new recipes. We tried Sesame Ginger chicken from Pinterest.

The Verdict?

The sesame ginger chicken had a great texture – a crunchy coat and the sauce was very sticky and sweet.

Here is how to put it together:

Ginger Sesame Chicken

The Ingredients:

  1. Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  2. green onions, diced for garnish
  3. 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  4. 2 tsp sesame oil
  5. 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. 2 tsp sesame seeds
  8. 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  9. 3 tbs olive oil
  10. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  11. 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  12. 2 tbs of fresh lemon juice (one lemon)

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First, I prepped the veggies. I peeled and diced the ginger. Then, I cut up the broccoli for my side dish and the green onion.

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Next, I created the sauce, and then set it aside. I whisked the soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, corn syrup, honey, and sesame seeds.

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Next, I dredged the chicken and flour and then browned it in olive oil. I cooked it for 4 minutes on each side over medium.

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Then, I browned the ginger and garlic in same pan – there was enough oil left over  .

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Then, I added the chicken and sauce back in the same pan. The flour coat gave the chicken a nice crunchy outer layer, and the sauce reduced on its own into a rich sesame, brown sauce.

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The end result? Delicious.

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