We recently moved into a new home, and in this new home is our first gas stovetop. Our last home didn't have any gas, so cooking with gas wasn't an option, obviously. Wok cooking isn't that great on an electric stovetop, especially the glass top kind that we had. It just doesn't get hot enough. SO, now that we have gas, we had to get a wok! It's carbon steel, and my husband spent a lot of time seasoning it last weekend. Our inaugural use was to make fried rice, which turned out excellent. For our 2nd foray into wok cooking we made Mongolian Beef. This is a favorite dish of ours at a local Chinese restaurant, and I have to say, ours turned out just as good, maybe even better! It is relatively simple too, and comes together quickly, all marks of a dinner we plan to repeat again and again.
Rice Sidebar: I now exclusively make rice in my InstaPot. It is the epitome of set it and forget it. I have gotten sidetracked before and not released the steam at the prescribed time, and guess what, no big deal, the rice was still just fine. This is my kind of appliance cooking. For this recipe, I used brown basmati rice in the InstaPot. 1:1.25 ratio of rice to water. Rinse the rice, add to Instapot. Using manual pressure cooking, set to 22 minutes. After it is done cooking, let it stay on natural steam release for 10 minutes, then manually release the steam. I then left it in the Instapot undisturbed for another 30 mins (with it unplugged) while we made the Mongolian beef. Fluff with a fork right before serving. Viola, non-mushy rice.
Mongolian Beef: You will need to marinade the beef, so some forethought into making this is required. Start the beef and get it in the marinade, then get the rice going, and you should be just fine on timing. After the beef marinades for about an hour, you will dredge it in corn starch. Then you are ready to cook! Once you start cooking it all comes together pretty quickly.
|First batch of beef hitting the hot wok
|Don't let it sit to long, keep it turning in the pan
|First batch done and sitting off to the side
|More beef ready, keep it stirring in the wok
Prepare the Beef Marinade: Combine 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Toss in the sliced beef and let it sit and marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour.
When ready to cook, dredge the marinated beef slices in 1/4 cup of cornstarch until lightly coated. The beef will want to clump up, but you want to separate it out and make sure all the pieces are coated with cornstarch. It's better to over coat them than to undercoat them.
Make the sauce: In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and hot water until the sugar is dissolved. Mix in 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce and cornstarch/water mixture. Mix until well combined. Set aside. You will add this in near the end.