Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Beef & Green Bean Stir Fry

If you don't own a wok, get one. I just can't live without it. There's just something about a bowl shaped pan that makes me feel at home in the kitchen... which is probably due to growing up and seeing a wok used pretty much every single day for cooking. The latest dish coming out of my wok at home is this Beef & Green Bean Stir Fry. Marinated beef is stir fried with onions and tender fresh green beans with a garlicky sweet sauce. It's easy, quick and well, even good for you!...

Making stir fried dishes comes pretty easily for me without the use of recipes. It's just a matter of throwing in whatever you have, adjusting the seasonings to taste and serving it over rice. But I wanted to branch out and try some different recipes, especially ones that incorporate untraditional ingredients. This recipe involves a marinade made with soy sauce (or tamari for those gluten free), white wine, honey and garlic. The wine in the marinade intrigued me and it came out delicious. For this recipe, I used fresh green beans and I don't recommend substituting frozen unless you absolutely have no choice. The fresh beans really add nice texture and vibrant color after they have blanched briefly before stir frying. Not a fan of green beans? You can also substitute with fresh snow or snap peas too. The original recipe called for sliced red bell pepper. I didn't have any on hand but I assume it would be delicious and would add a nice pop of color to the dish. If anything, you can use your favorite mix of stir fry vegetables in this recipe but the key is the marinade and beef. This would also go well with the use of chicken, pork or even shrimp.

Beef & Green Bean Stir Fry
recipe adapted from Whole Foods Market

1/4 cup soy sauce (or gluten free tamari)
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon mild honey
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean steak, cut into cubes or thin slices
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
Sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Cooked Jasmine rice

Whisk together soy sauce (or tamari), wine, honey and garlic in large bowl. Add steak and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Blanch green beans in large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain well.

Drain meat well, reserving marinade. Add cornstarch to reserved marinade and stir until smooth; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in heavy large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add drained steak to wok or skillet and stir-fry until almost cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add onion and green beans. Stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Return beef to the skillet. Cook until the meat is done, another minute or two. Stir the reserved marinade and add to the skillet. Stir until sauce thickens and coats meat and vegetables, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over rice.