July 7, 2020
This week’s bounty includes sugar snap peas, those delicious and crunchy gifts from Mother Nature. Since they lend themselves so well to Chinese cooking, today’s recipe is a stir fry. It’s beef and sugar snap peas. You can use any cut of beef you like as long as it is thinly sliced across the grain. You could also use chicken, pork or tofu. Give it a try.
I love Chinese cooking. In my early days in the restaurant business, I worked at a prominent Manhattan restaurant with a full staff of Chinese kitchen and service workers. They used to cook for the rest of us late at night, using just what was available in the refrigerators. They even stir-fried spinach stems, and it was all delicious!
STIR-FRIED BEEF AND SUGAR SNAP PEAS
- 1 lb. lean beef, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 3 TBS tamari or dark soy sauce (really, any soy sauce will do)
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil, more for drizzling
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 3 fat scallions
- ⅔ cup chicken broth
- 2 ½ TBS Madeira or sweet sherry(any fairly sweet red wine will do)
- 1 TBS cornstarch
- 3 TBS peanut or olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (or chopped)
- Rice, for serving
- 2 TBS toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Sriracha or any other hot sauce, or rice wine vinegar for garnish
- chili oil, for garnish
- In a medium bowl, mix beef, 2 TBS tamari, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Set this mixture aside.
- Thinly slice the sugar snap peas crosswise. Thinly slice the scallions, saving the dark green parts for garnish.
- In a small bowl, mix the chicken broth, Madeira, 2 TBS water, the remaining 1 TBS of soy sauce and the cornstarch.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 2 TBS of peanut oil. When the pan is hot, stir-fry the beef until it is browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the beef and any liquid to a plate.
- Add the remaining TBS of peanut oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and white and light green scallion parts until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the sugar snap peas and chicken broth mixture, lower the heat to medium and cover. Let cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the beef and juices to the skillet and stir-fry 2 minutes. Serve over rice, garnished with more sesame oil, sesame seeds, the dark parts of the scallions, and hot sauce or vinegar and chili oil.
HELPFUL HINT: In Chinese cooking, all the lengthy work is done ahead of time. You can prepare the ingredients and refrigerate them until you’re ready to cook. The rest is just assembly and heating.
Enjoy! And have a delicious week.