Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce

I’ve been a fan of Jamie Oliver’s for years, and I really like his crusade to change eating habits to battle obesity for better health. This recipe, from his Food Revolution website, was so easy to prepare and so full of layered flavors. While the recipe calls for beef, other proteins can easily be substituted, such as chicken, pork, shrimp, or even tofu (for a vegetarian option). Be careful not to over-season with the soy sauce or it can get salty quickly—better yet, use low-sodium soy sauce. What a fast, healthy, and tasty dish!

Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce, Jamie Oliver

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long-grain or basmati rice
1 ½ pound top loin or sirloin
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
½ fresh red chile
2 scallions
A small bunch of fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of good-quality black bean sauce
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 limes
1 egg, preferably free-range or organic

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the rice and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the rice in a strainer, run it under a cold tap to cool, then allow to dry out in the fridge. Trim any excess fat from your steak and slice the meat into finger-sized strips. Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic. Finely slice the chile. Cut the ends off your scallions and finely slice. Pick the cilantro leaves and put to one side, and finely chop the cilantro stalks. Get yourself a big bowl and put in the ginger, garlic, chile, scallions, cilantro stalks, and steak strips. Add the sesame oil and mix everything together.

Preheat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat and once it’s very, very hot add a good lug of peanut oil and swirl it around. Add all your chopped ingredients from the bowl. Give the pan a really good shake to mix everything around quickly. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, taking care to keep everything moving so doesn’t burn. Add the black bean sauce, and stir in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and the juice of half a lime. Keep tossing. Taste and season with black pepper and a little more soy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer everything to a bowl, and cover with aluminum foil. Give the pan a quick wipe with ball of paper towels and put back on the heat. Add a lug of peanut oil and swirl it around. Crack in your egg and add a tablespoon of soy sauce - the egg will cook very quickly, so keep stirring. Once it’s scrambled, stir in your chilled rice, scraping the sides and the bottom of the pan as you go. Keep mixing for a few minutes until the rice is steaming hot, then taste and season with a little soy sauce.

Divide the rice between two bowls or plates. Spoon over the meat and black bean sauce and sprinkle over the cilantro leaves. Serve with wedges of lime — great!

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