Chinese Beef Broccoli

February 3, 2011

In celebration of Chinese New Year’s, I wanted to post this delicious spin of a favorite Chinese take out dish.  It is even perfect for me because it combines two favorite ingredients at our house. I love broccoli in just about any forms (raw, steamed, sauteed, pureed in soups, etc) and Red loves beef dishes (he’d have them every night if he can!). I haven’t had a lot of luck finding a favorite dish from local Chinese restaurants, so I thought this was an appropriate dish that I should try to be making at home; especially since the ingredients are so accessible. I was pleasently surprised at how quickly this dish was to put together and  how delicious! I do love sauce on my stir fry, so I think in the future, I would double the sauce to make sure that I have plenty leftover. Wishing you a very prosperous the Year of the Rabbit!

Adapted from Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

1 lb top sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced into 1/8-inch thick strips
1-1/2 lbs broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1 tbsp high-heat cooking oil
1 tbsp minced garlic

Beef Marinade
1-1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cooking oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to season the beef

Stir-Fry Sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 tsp Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)


In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the Beef Marinade. Add the beef and let marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.

In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Stir-Fry sauce.

In a wok or large saute pain, add 1-inch of water, and bring to boil.  Add the broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender, and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.

Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Set the pan over high heat and when hot, add the high-heat cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the steak strips, keeping then in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.

Pour in the Stir-Fry sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.

Yield: 4 servings


Grilled Steak with Balsamic Teriyaki

January 14, 2011

I was a big fan of Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen Blog long before she published her book. Her blog is just full of simple unpretentious Asian recipes  with ingredients that can be found in regular groceries. I was so excited when I saw her book in my local library, because this way I can really check out the book before purchasing it. I had so many recipes tagged from her book that I am going to purchase my own copy.

This recipe really caught my eye right away. I was never really a big beef eater until I met Red. But now, I really enjoy cooking beef like this recipe. Obviously, I didn’t grill this outdoor (with a single digit temperature outside), but it turned out fabulous on the pan as well. I think this sauce would be delicious with chicken: it is a bit tangy, sweet, with just enough saltiness. Red and I enjoyed ours with regular *ehm* American salad with croutons and all. But I know it will pair up well with steamed rice or mashed potatoes. I am definitely glad that I tried this recipe.

This recipe is a keeper that I am sure that I will be making again before the summer arrives… **groan** That’s probably another four months for us in the Midwest.  Happy cooking and eating!

Adapted from Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

1 lb of skirt steak (or other steak of your choice)
2 tablespoons high heat cooking oil (if cooking in frying pan)

For Sauce
1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 ts sugar
1/4 cup store bought or homemade beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of mirin (sweet rice wine)

To make the Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce, add the butter to a saucepot and set over medium-low heat. When the butter just starts to bubble, add the shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until aromatic are soft. Watch to make sure that you don’t burn the shallots or garlic.

Pour the balsamic vinegar in and bring to a boil. When boiling, immediately turn the heat to medium low and simmer; uncovered for 15 minutes or until reduced by half. The balsamic should be thick, glossy, and coat the back of a spoon. Add the sugar, stock, soy sauce, and mirin. Stir well and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, immediately turn the heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool and reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce for marinating and remaining 1/4 cup for serving.

If you are marinating the steak before grilling it, place the steak and just 1/2 cup of sauce in a large sealable plastic bag. Marinate 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Thirty minutes prior to grilling, remove steaks from refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature. Discard the marinade and pat the steak very dry.

Grilling Outdoors. If you are grilling outdoors on your barbeque grill (preferred method), preheat the grill for direct grilling over high heat.

Grilling in Pan or Stovetop. If you are cooking the steak on the stovetop, set a large frying pan or griddle over high heat. When a bead of water sizzles and evaporates upon contact, add the oil and swirl to coat.

Add the steak to the hot grill or pan in one layer. The pieces should not be touching. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Skirt steak varies in thickness so you might want to add the thicker pieces to the grill or pan first and give them an extra minute of head start.

Let the grilled steak rest for 5 minutes then cut ACROSS the grain for ultimate tenderness. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of the Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce over the meat.

Yield: 4 servings

Steakhouse Steaks

January 12, 2009

Nobody, I mean nobody, has ever convinced me to cook steak at home. I can count with one hand how many times I have ordered, cooked, or eaten steaks. (Now it looks like it would be up to two hands!) My dad is a meat and potato kind of guy, but I have always relied on chicken, fish, and maybe pork to provide me with my protein requirement. And maybe tofu, because I love tofu. And if I have access to tempeh, I would have them every day as well, with tofu (they are like Jack ‘n Jill, always together, in my opinion)….

BUT after I watched Barefoot Contessa’s show where she made this gorgeous meat, I actually stopped at the meat counter during our grocery run, and asked for two filet mignon. Red’s eyes were wide open, jaws dropped, but quickly recovered – maybe because he didn’t want me to change my mind.

The reviews on Food Network basically said that this dish was pretty salty, and we agreed. But take a look at what she used instead of the regular Kosher Salt, Ina used Fleur del Sel, which I believe has slightly more subtle flavor. So in the future, if we ever make this again, we’ll lighten up on the salt. (I apologize for the quality of the pic, I was in hurry to dig my fork into this handsome steak!).


  • 2 (10-ounce) filet mignon
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fleur de sel
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, optional
  • Roquefort Chive Sauce, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and brush them lightly with vegetable oil. Combine the fleur de sel and cracked pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture, pressing lightly to evenly coat all sides.

When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear them evenly on all sides for about 2 minutes per side, for a total of 10 minutes.

Top each steak with a tablespoon of butter, if using, and place the skillet in the oven. Cook the steaks until they reach 120 degrees F for rare or 125 degrees F for medium-rare on an instant-read thermometer. (To test the steaks, insert the thermometer sideways to be sure you’re actually testing the middle of the steak.)

Remove the steaks to a serving platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.