I love to cook different kinds of meals and recipes, but Chinese is one of my favorites. This particular recipe ticks all the boxes.
I live about an hour's drive from the city. In between my home and the city there are numerous small villages, a lot of mountains and many narrow roads, but very little choice on the culinary front, apart from pizza and traditional dishes.
Chinese cuisine is one of my favorites; however, with no nearby take-away or restaurant options I cook my own Chinese dishes at home. In recent times, specialized ingredients have become more widely available, too. The following recipe is one of my favorites, and it is a regular Saturday night supper for my family.
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- 400g / 16oz quality beef steak, cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 baby carrots, peeled and chopped into thin strips
- 1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 4 ounces bean sprouts, drained
- 2 spring onions, thinly diced
- 6 ounces egg noodles
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
For the marinade:
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- 1 teaspoons cornflour
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 small green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 cm fresh root ginger, finely grated
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- Make the marinade. In a bowl, blend the cornflour with the Chinese rice wine or dry sherry, then stir in the lemon juice, soy sauce, green chilli, root ginger and crushed garlic and mix together.
- Add the beef strips to the marinade, cover and leave to marinade for 20 to 30 minutes. Set to one side.
- While the beef marinades cook the egg noodles according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and cool under cold running water. Drain again and set to one side.
- To toast the sesmae seeds, place the sesame seeds in a dry wok or pan and dry fry over a moderate heat till golden brown. Remove and set to one side.
- Heat the seasame oil and vegtable oil in the wok. Drain the beef strips reserving the marinade and stir fry till just browned (1 to 2 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Add the carrot and pepper strips. Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the diced spring onions and cook for 1 minute.
- Return the steak to the wok with the marinade, add the beansprouts and the noodles, stir fry for a further 2 minutes mixing throughly to evenly coat all the ingredients with the marinade.
- Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve immediately to the table.
Homemade Chinese takeaway recipes have another huge advantage: the cost. It costs a fraction of the price to knock up a stir-fry for the family and of course you know the quality of the meat and vegetables that you are using in your stir-fry, so it will be much healthier for your family, too. Vegetables, noodles, and rice are the bulk in most Chinese dishes making your homemade stir-fry a more cost-effective and healthier substitute takeaway meal.
Should you decide that homemade Chinese takeaways are the future for your Saturday night supper, one big tip: invest in a wok. I recommend a large, non-stick wok with an extra holding handle (recommended below). The extra handle ensures easy maneuvering while stir-frying, and it also facilitates transferring the hot wok straight to the table for easy serving. Being a generous 14-inches means everything can be cooked in the wok. Your Saturday night stir-fry supper doesn't have to be a chore anymore.
- Use a good quality beef, the marinade helps tenderize the beef but it won't work miracles.
- The beef can be left to marinate for up to two hours beforehand.
- Pork loin also works in this stir-fry.
- Tofu, also known as bean curd (an original Chinese food), can be used as a meat substitute. Use a firm textured tofu, marinate, and stir-fry exactly the same as the beef.
- Green peppers also work in this dish as do small broccoli florets and baby corn.
- Stir-frying is a quick method of cooking over a high heat constantly stirring the food, if you are new to this and your stir-fry is a little dry, add some water.
- To add extra heat, add more chilli and ginger to the marinade or sprinkle extra green chilli over the dish to serve.
© 2020 Gabriel Wilson