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Chinese

Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Mongolian Beef

Once in awhile I get a craving for “Westernized” Chinese food. You know what I mean? Like sweet and sour pork, ginger beef, chicken lettuce wraps, stuff that you would find on the menu at P.F. Chang’s. Speaking of P.F. Chang’s, what is all the hype about? I hear people rave about this place all the time, so my husband and I went there for dinner when we were in Vegas last summer. I do not see what the big deal is – the food was very generic and Westernized Chinese food (seriously, I can guarantee you that chicken lettuce wraps are not enjoyed in traditional Asian households anywhere!). If you want an elevated Asian food experience in Vegas, check out Tao in the Venetian or Koi in Planet Hollywood. Those are my two must-go Asian food places while in Vegas.

Anyways, I digress. As much as I rag on “non-authentic” Asian food, I do sometimes crave the strong comforting flavours that they provide. Like this Mongolian beef dish. It’s not Vietnamese, it’s not really authentic Chinese cuisine, and one could only guess that it’s not really Mongolian either, despite its name. Yet it has the familiar  and typical Asian flavourings of brown sugar, soy sauce, green onions and ginger that make it so comforting.

For the beef, I used a couple of top sirloin grilling steaks but you can probably use any cut of beef. Thinly slicing the beef against the grain, tossing it with cornstarch and doing a quick sear will make any cut of beef super tender.

The best part of this dish is that it takes minutes to make. There is no pre-marinading or extensive prep involved. If you have all the ingredients at hand, it takes 15 minutes to prepare!

Serve the beef over some hot jasmine rice for a filling and comforting meal! You can see in my pictures that I had paired it with a Riesling but I wasn’t too impressed with the pairing. I think Mongolian beef is one of those basic meals that is best paired with a cold light beer!

Mongolian Beef

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BEEF:
  • 2 top sirloin grilling steaks (or any cut of beef), very thinly sliced against the grain
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thai red chili pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
  • 5 green onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Instructions

1

Toss the sliced beef in a large bowl with cornstarch and set aside.

2

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk together. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low while you prepare the beef.

3

Heat canola oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the thai red chili pepper and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the ginger begins to brown, about 2 minutes.

4

Add the garlic and sliced beef to the skillet, spreading the slices of beef in an even layer across the skillet. Sear the beef well, about 1 minute per side.

5

Pour the sauce from the saucepan into the skillet with the beef. Mix well so that the sauce coats all the beef. Let simmer for one minute.

6

Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle the green onions on top

7

Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy!

Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Baby Bok Choy Salad

Baby Bok Choy Salad

I love eating salads….but I hate making them at home. Whenever we go out, I will usually order a salad of some kind because I hate making my own salads. What do I hate about it? I hate washing all the produce. I hate having to prep multiple ingredients to make a colourful, flavourful salad. My thought process is: if I’m going to spend lots of time in the kitchen prepping food, I’d rather it be for a comforting, hearty, hot meal…not a salad.

However, I have been known to suck it up and make this baby bok choy salad from time to time.  Bok choy is a Chinese leafy cabbage that has been gaining more popularity in Western cuisine recently due to its high nutritional qualities. Bok choy is low in calories, and high in vitamins K, C, and A. Bok choy is more commonly known as “that vegetable in Chinese stirfrys”.

Baby Bok Choy

I received some beautiful baby bok choy in the organic bin that I got from Body Fuel Organics a couple weeks ago. Baby bok choy is just the less mature version of bok choy, and its taste is milder which makes it perfect for raw salads.

When prepping bok choy, make sure you wash them really well. Growing straight from the ground, there’s always a lot of dirt caught in the bottom of the crunchy stems. I like to cut the bottom couple inches off the bok choy and discard, then chop the remaining stems and leaves up into bite size pieces, then wash and drain the cut pieces really well. You can add whatever other vegetables you want to the salad but I like to stick to other vegetables commonly used in Asian cuisine, such as red peppers, shredded carrots and green onion.

Baby Bok Choy Salad

What makes this salad so delicious is the salad dressing. The salad dressing is light and bright, with Asian flavours that ties everything together. I usually just eyeball the salad dressing ingredients, so I’ve just estimated what the measurements are for this recipe. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your taste!

Baby Bok Choy Salad

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15 prep time

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of baby bok choy
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
  • DRESSING
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 soy sauce
  • Drizzle of olive oil (less than 1/4 cup)

Instructions

1

Cut the bottom two inches or so off the bok choy and discard. Chop the remaining stems and leaves into bite size pieces, wash well and drain.

2

Prep the other vegetables and add to the bok choy.

3

For the dressing, whisk together the white vinegar, sugar and soy sauce.

4

Drizzle in the olive oil, while whisking, until combined into a smooth consistency. (I don't like much oil in my salad dressings, so I don't put much olive oil in mine).

5

Toss the salad with the dressing and enjoy this bright and crunchy salad!