How to cook chinese beef with broccoli.
There have been various types of Asian cooking recipes online that does not work properly. Who want this mediocre end result, which makes you still wonder what the restaurants do with the meat?
There are two known techniques used among chinese restaurant staff. The first one is called velveting, which involves meat marinated in egg white, corn starch and chinese rice wine. After some time in the fridge the meat is blanched in medium hot oil for about 1 minute, set aside and added to the stir fry later.
The second technique is a slightly healthier option using baking soda as a tenderizing agent. A pinch of baking soda is mixed with liquids such as rice wine or soy sauce. Towards the end starch is added, to bind the ingredients together. Tapioca, corn or potato starch are the most recommended type to use. Starch serves the purpose of sealing in the juices, retain succulence and creates a nice little crust on the meat's surface.
Baking soda or baking powder?
Baking powder will NOT work. What you want to look for here, is bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). I tried baking powder once, but result ended in a tasteless mystery meat kind of consistency of the meat.
Explanation of the baking soda mystery! The baking soda tears down connective tissues in the meat leaving a tender silky texture when marinating raw cuts of meat.
Why should I bother the stress of cooking this food at home?
Many restaurants tend to rely on MSG as a flavor enhancer. In today's society science have proven, that people may suffer from mild to severe msg intolerance. By cooking this food at home with the right efforts you can be more aware of what your body is consuming.
Side effects from msg intolerance involves headaches, abdominal pains and even in rare cases severe health conditions. So what about making food with less MSG, that taste just as delicious at home?.
Oyster sauce contains msg in many cases, but there are brands such as dynasty or wok mei that are free from added MSG. If you are highly skeptical you could always substitute with a naturally brewed soy sauce or tamari, but the flavor will not be exactly the same. San-J produces a natural tamari without preservatives and artificial flavorings.
Some oils can be high in saturated fats. By choosing the correct type of oil and stir frying instead of calling your local take out you have already made a healthier decision.
Who wouldn't like to leave a date, family member, a colleague or a friend craving for more bowls of rice?
Tender cut of beef
After marinating beef
Blanching the broccoli
Slurry made from starch
The actual cooking process
Oil type matters a lot.
There are various types of oils that are suitable for these purposes such as:
- Rapeseed oil
- Canola oil (very low in saturated fat and cholesterol)
- Peanut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- 1 pound of tender beef.
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 1 teaspoon po lo ku mushroom seasoning.
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry.
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 2-3 teaspoons tapioca, potato or corn starch.
- 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil
- 1 Regular broccoli cut into florets or 1 package of Chinese broccoli.
- 1 tbsp Minced ginger and garlic.
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1.5 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons of chicken powder (if you don't have chicken powder, replace water with rich chicken broth).
- 2 teaspoons of shaoxing rice wine, sherry or sake.
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce.
- 2 tablespoons of po lo ku mushroom seasoning.
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
- 2 teaspoons of corn starch mixed with 2 teaspoons of water. (this slurry will be added in the end of the stir fry process. Add in little by little, the meat contain corn starch and will slightly thicken the sauce too).
- Cut the meat across the grain into thin strips.
- Place the beef into a bowl.
- Add baking soda and combine the other ingredients except starch.
- Mix well with clean hands., you will now hear the baking soda starting to break down the connective tissues in the meat.
- Add the chosen starch and mix until a slightly sticky, but saucy consistency is achieved.
- Mix in the cooking oil to allow the flavors to penetrate into the meat.
- Heat up water with salt until boiling, blanch broccoli for about 1 minute, put into a strainer and rinse in cold water immediately to stop the cooking process.
- Preheat wok on high heat until it slightly begins to smoke. (regards cast iron or carbon steel woks only).
- Add about 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to the sides.
- Add half of the marinated beef and let sizzle for about 1 minute before turning. Stir fry until color changes, dishout and set aside. Repeat step with rest of the meat. Hint! You might want to add some more oil before cooking the second batch if needed.
- Clean wok if necessary, reheat wok on high with some more oil. Add the chopped ginger/garlic and stir for about 5 seconds, stir fry broccoli for 2 minutes. Now add the sauce and pour in the starch slurry little by little until desired thickness is achieved. Toss in the beef at the very end.
- Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
- Hint! If you add stir fried meat into sauces before they are thickened, the silky texture will be gone.
For a more authentic touch on the dish you can always substitute broccoli with Gai lan which is a chinese/thai broccoli. It hadds a marvelous green color to the dish and a nice crunchy texture.
Soft like velvet beef and broccoli is done.
My other useful articles:
- How to eat healthier chinese food
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