Sunday, April 24, 2011

From the Wing-It School: Ginger Beef

I don't recall if I've mentioned this, but I'm taking Project Management classes online. It takes up a great deal of my time and a lot of focus. I haven't created anything new in the kitchen for a while.

Today, during the break between classes (next one starts in June), I had a chance to do so. My sweetie was born in Tokyo, and I wanted to make something appropriately Asian. He said his mom would enjoy today's results, which pleased me to no end.

I did go hunting for recipes. I'd had in mind to make ginger pork or beef, but all the recipes I found had sugar or honey, which I am told is nowhere near authentic. One had balsamic vinegar. I didn't get that at all. I love balsamic, but if I'm going to incorporate it into meat, it's counter-intuitive to me to combine it with soy sauce, never mind sugar.

The following serves two, but can be easily expanded:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar (make sure you get one with no sugar or sodium added)
red pepper to taste
2 T sesame oil, divided
5 green onions, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces
3/4 lb beef shoulder steak cut into 1/2" slices
(1 cup of mushrooms, which I was out of, but will incorporate next time)
1/4 cup ginger cut into matchsticks (you could go up to 1/3 cup if you have serious ginger fans in the house. Also--get as young a piece of ginger as possible, it's more fragrant, tastier and easier to cut)
sesame seeds for garnish
2 cups cooked rice (I like brown, Ken prefers white. What we had in the house was leftovers from take-out)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar and several grinds of red pepper.

Heat 1 T of the sesame oil in a wok or deep pan on medium heat. A saute pan will work nicely. I have a pan with deep curved sides that also does the job. Add the ginger and stir for about five minutes (this is when I cut up the green onions). Add 1 T of the sauce and stir frequently for another three minutes.

If I'd had mushrooms, this is where I would add them, with a couple of T of the sauce, stirring for about a minute.

Add the other tablespoon of oil. Chase sweetie out of the kitchen (the smell of cooking sesame oil makes both of our mouths water), then add the meat. Stir in the other T of oil, adding more sauce as the liquid gets absorbed into the meat and vegetables. When you only see a little bit of red left in the meat, throw in the green onion and stir.

Put rice onto plates. When the onions are bright green, but not wilted, your meal is done. Spoon over rice, add a bit more sauce, red pepper to taste (or, if you have access to Shichimi Togarashi, a Japanese red pepper blend, go for it). Top with sesame seeds, enjoy!

I think I'll try this with pork in a few weeks. Stay tuned!

Next week:  an unusual sweet

Questions? Comments? Death threats? Let's hear them!


  1. And it was delicious. Seriously.

  2. Balsamic vinegar isn't as crazy as it sounds in this context. It rather reminds me of black vinegar, so I'll substitute on occasion.