Saturday, September 8, 2012

Asparagus and Red Pepper Beef Stirfry

     I found this recipe a while back while looking for the perfect stirfry. I wasn't that enthused by the recipe, considering there weren't that many ingredients, but I was pleasantly surprised at how flavorful the sauce was! It actually became our favorite stirfry recipe and I made it most nights that week; I'm not ashamed.

     What's great about this recipe as well, is that it doesn't take long to go from prepping to the dinner table; as most stir fry's. I also love that I don't have to worry about side dishes with this one! I can never remember to plan for vegetable side dishes, which is why I love stir frys: the vegetables are already included!

3 T vegetable or peanut oil
1 bundle of asparagus, bottoms trimmed and sliced into thirds*
1 lb flank steak, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
Slurry: 2 tsp cornstarch whisked into 3 T water
3 T soy sauce
1 tsp ginger (I use the jarred version)
1 clove garlic (again, I use the jarred version, crushed garlic)
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 tsp chili oil (or Sriracha** if you don't have chili oil)

Prepare your rice and set for 10-12 minutes.

For the asparagus, I have tried two methods here and both worked great, just choose whichever you'd prefer. Since you aren't going to cook the asparagus for very long, this step is going to help make the asparagus tender and not hard and woodsy.
     *1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the bottom half outer layer of the asparagus off (Obviously, do this before you cut the asparagus into thirds otherwise this step will be a bit difficult).
       2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook the asparagus pieces for several minutes and drain.

Prepare the sauce: Stir together the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallion and chili oil or Sriracha (**I didn't have chili oil the first several times I made this dish and used Sriracha instead. This time I did use chili oil, and I must say, I preferred the Sriracha. The Sriracha gives the dish a bit of heat and a bit more flavor).

Begin the stirfry: Add 1 T of oil. Start with the asparagus and cook on high heat for a few minutes until browning. Remove and set aside.

Add 1 T of oil to the pan and stirfry the beef strips in 2 batches for 1 minute on each side (2 minutes total); don't cook the beef any longer even though you might be tempted to. By the time the dish is ready, the meat will be so tough and dried out. Trust me, it might not look done, but just go with it.
Then, add all the beef to the pan along with the bell pepper and cook another 2 minutes to allow pepper to soften.

Give the slurry one more stir to make sure the cornstarch is incorporated into the water and pour into the pan with the stir fry sauce. Allow to thicken for 1 minute. Add the asparagus and toss to combine all the ingredients.

Serve over white rice.

Recipe adapted from: Simply Recipes


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