As I've mentioned a couple of times before, my favorite food magazine while in the UK is EasyCook magazine from BBC. It may not be gourmet cuisine, but the recipes in there are easy and very student-friendly. Of course, doesn't mean you have to be a student to enjoy them. I am particularly fond of food which is cooked simply yet are so very tasty. Cucur ayam and spicy oven fried chicken are particular favorites. As are our chocolate chip cookies, which are sooooo easy to make!
Anyway, this particular recipe is adapted from one in the Summer 2008 issue of Easycook, an oldie but I never got to try many of the dishes while I was there, as I was just too busy. This is quite similar to Ibu's prawns with broccoli but using beef and made more spicy. =) Here we go!
What you need:
300g beef, sliced thin then cut into strips (I marinated them in a bit of salt and chilli powder for a couple of hours first)
3 tablespoons cornflour
Vegetable oil, for deepfrying
Small head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 cloves of garlic, sliced - didn't have time!
5 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped - didn't have time!
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, or 1 dried chlli chopped finely
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
Pinch of sugar
1/2 bunch of spring onions, sliced diagonally - forgot to put this in, oopsie
Salt and chilli powder, to season
What you do:
- Toss the beef strips in the cornflour. Heat a 2cm depth of oil in a wok or deep frying pan until very hot.
- Fry the beef in batches until dark and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
- Pour off most of the oil and stir-fry the broccoli, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes for one minute.
- Mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar, then add to the vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Toss in the beef and spring onions. Serve immediately, with steamed white rice or noodles.
I'll be honest with you here... I don't like broccoli. The main reason I wanted to make this was because the picture in the magazine looked sooooo good and while I am in Brunei... well, my family loves broccoli so it's a good chance to try it out. Unfortunately, I was running a bit late when preparing this and didn't have time to be too fancy. (The pictures are in fact taken using my phone, so apologies if they look poor in quality. There were starving people clamouring for food! =P)
The original recipe actually seasoned the beef with soy sauce and (a lot of!) caster sugar, but I decided to use mostly oyster sauce instead. Also, I probably didn't fry the beef until it got crispy enough - just till it was cooked. Not only that, I had also fried it in advance so by the time lunch rolled around, they had already lost their crispness.
But! But... despite all that, this dish was soooo tasty! I even ate the broccoli - and actually liked it! I can't tell you how many times I've tried to eat broccoli and never liked it. This was the first time I actually wanted to eat more of it. Even one of my favorite pasta dishes - Farfalle with Chicken, Broccoli and Peppers - hasn't managed to convince me. But after having this dish, I actually ate the broccoli happily when I cooked the pasta dish sometime after. Pretty amazing, let me tell you. Ibu and Babah should be happy, haha.
But enough about the broccoli... what about the beef? That, too, was oh-so-delicious! Granted, they could have been crisper. I shall fry them more next time I make this. But the oyster sauce was a great substitution, I think. Am not sure what soy sauce + sugar would taste like (why not just use kecap manis?) but I've always liked oyster sauce, so I loved this. And so did the rest of my family. =D I think though, next time I might fry some fresh chilli together with the garlic and ginger. Maybe even add more chilli powder/flakes to the pan. I didn't think it was spicy enough, but had to tone it down somewhat for one of my sisters. In any case, this is an easy delicious recipe and I am plonking it under the recommended label. =) Hope you will enjoy it too!
Quote of the day: Using words to describe magic is like using a screwdriver to cut roast beef.