Monday, May 17, 2010

Flank Steak: The Other Tortellini

In light of Mom's unstructured approach to cooking, I used to think that recipes were for wimps. Not so, Mom explained to me at one point. The only way to cook without a written recipe is to use so many recipes that you build up a base of knowledge. (Note: Mom was, in fact, an avid student of cookbooks, ranging from Elizabeth David to Sheila Lukins.)She was right. Asian Steak Stir Fry is based on a number of Chinese/Asian recipes I have made over the years. I think it would make Mom proud that I have hit the point of adaptation.

Killing the head of cabbage is not this recipe’s only draw. I also use flank steak, my version of tortellini. It’s cheap, lower in fat, and easy to cook. Plus, you can marinate the hell out of it, and everyone thinks you’re a genius. This is a recipe for when you may not have had the foresight to marinate overnight, but did manage to grab a piece of flank steak on the way home from work.

Play with it as you desire, and write me with what you discovered. Jeanne says, “It’s important to leave room for serendipity!”

Asian Steak Stir Fry
Serves 4

½ head, cabbage
1 lb, flank steak tastes better if bought fresh, but do what you can…
2 scallions (whites and greens separated)
1 tsp, Canola oil
1 tsp, sesame oil
¼ cup, soy sauce
¼ cup, Sake wine
1 Tbsp, Brown sugar
1 tsp, rice vinegar

One beer or glass of wine

Open beer or pour glass of wine. Start drinking. (A little vino always makes cooking more fun!)
Whisk together sesame oil, soy sauce, Sake wine, rice vinegar and brown sugar. Set aside.
Turn stove top to medium high, let heat a minute or two. It should be hot enough to elicit a sizzling sound from steak.
Sear flank steak for less than 1 minute on each side. Move it around to avoid major sticking. Set aside on carving board.
In same pan, cook white part of scallion with Canola oil for 5 minutes, until soft
Add cabbage and toss around
Pour in half of sauce
While cabbage cooks down, slice steak in 2-inch long strips
Add to pan, and pour in other half of sauce
Add green part of scallions
Cook 8 minutes, cover for second 4 minutes.
Spoon stir fry over rice and toss with whatever Asian-inspired garnishes you prefer. Tonight, I am on a Thai kick, so am using cilantro, green scallion and lime. Other nights, I have added Hoisin sauce to sauce mixture and sprinkled sesame seeds. It’s your call.

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