Fan favorite here!! This is one of my favorite things I make and it is also one of the most requested from friends and family. Oddly enough this was one of the first recipes I mastered of my Americanized Chinese food. Once I figured out the kinks on this one it made making other kinds of these dishes much easier because I learned my basics. I learned that the tart taste in Chinese food is vinegar and there is also a lot more sugar then what you would think…..yeah you won’t be losing any weight eating this one between the sugar and the frying… I also learned how to thicken the sauce with cornstarch. So if you haven’t adventured into this type of recipe before here is your chance!
Beef (flank steak, strip steak, or any lean cut)
Oil for frying
For the breading:
Cornstarch (about a cup)
Flour (about a ½ cup)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
couple pinches of black pepper
For the sauce:
5 tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp. rice vinegar (white vinegar will also work if you don’t have rice)
7 tbsp. brown sugar
chili paste (I use sriracha)
¼ cup water
1 ½ tbsp. honey
3 tbsp wok or stir-fry oil (you can get this in the Asian food aisle of your grocery store)
3 cloves fresh garlic
You want to have a good sharp knife and slice up your steak into thin pieces, I make my stripes normally around a 1 ½ to 2 inches long. In a mixing bowl add your cornstarch flour and black pepper and mix together, now add your soy sauce…and now the hard part, adding the water. You are making a batter but you do not want it to be too thin or it won’t make a good breading on your meat. Start with about a cup of water and stir and then add small amounts at a time. The cornstarch will make it difficult to stir because when you mix cornstarch and water it creates a non-newtonian fluid…but that’s a science lesson for another day…..anyhow…so keep stirring in the water until you get to this consistency (see video)
Slice up your bell pepper and cook in a skillet until it is tender, I like to cook mine in wok oil, it adds a really nice flavor. If you aren’t a big fan of bell pepper I have also used fresh French green beans which is really good too. Once they are cooked I just turn my skillet off and leave them in there.
I make my sauce before I start cooking my meat so it will get a chance to cook the garlic and I can add it to the finished beef while everything is still hot. In a small saucepan add your sauce ingredients and use a garlic press to mince your garlic and add this to your sauce. if you want your sauce to be hot add about 3 tablespoons of your chili sauce if you are not so into the hot then add about 1. Most of the time I double the sauce because we are a big fan of sauce in my family, worst-case scenario you will have extra to put over some rice or use as a dipping sauce sometime. Cook your sauce on low for about 10 minutes, I just let mine cook until my beef is done. In a small bowl add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and enough water to dissolve it. Turn your sauce up so it is to a slow boil and add your cornstarch mixture to it, let it continue to boil until the sauce thickens.
Once your batter is at the right consistency then add your beef in. Heat up your oil and be sure it’s nice and hot before you put in your beef. Drizzle some batter in your oil and if bubbles form around it right away then its hot enough. This will get messy just a warning. Start adding in your beef, you do not want to overlap or layer it! If you do it will stick together. Cook in small batches until it is all done.
Add to your skillet with your peppers and pour over as much sauce as you like, I use all of it. Stir all of your ingredients until your beef is completely coated, let it stand for just a couple of minutes, this allows time for the breading to soak up the sauce. Serve over rice!
REMEMBER TO TASTE AS YOU MAKE!!