Monday, September 19, 2011

Beef and Pepper Stir Fry

This was the last meal that I made Jim before he left for his California business trip. It was quick to pull together, giving me more time to snuggle with him on the couch. Even though it's Beef with PEPPERS, it was not at all spicy. Besides it being easy and quick to make, the second best part was that the leftovers tasted even better than it did fresh out of the wok.

Not pictured are the peppers, onion, flank steak and rice noodles. This photo are the ingredients I used in the marinade:
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Corn Starch
Fish Sauce
Dry Sherry
Chili Garlic Sauce
Brown Sugar

I'm not saying you have to have ALL these ingredients, but this is what I used on this particular day...and it was so so so yummy! Here is how it all went down:

In a large mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Be sure to pack the brown sugar into your measuring spoon.

Next, add 2 tablespoons of corn starch - this will help to thicken the sauce and cling to the meat.

Using a whisk, blend that together until the cornstarch is dissolved.

Now for mucho flavor! Chop 2 cloves of garlic, mince 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger and add that in the marinade along with 3 tablespoons of dry sherry and as much chili garlic sauce as you can handle. I used a teaspoon of the chili garlic sauce but wish I had used more. We like things spicy down here in Austin and this turned out pretty mild.

Fish sauce. I wouldn't recommend smelling this...or tasting it for that matter. Trust me! When just a splash of fish sauce is added to savory cooking, it creates that mysterious fifth taste that makes people say, "Mmm, this is good, and I can't quiet put my finger on what it is." At that point you just grin and keep quiet about the secret ingredient. Believe it or not, you can find fish sauce in most grocery stores now. I had to go to the Asian market for this bottle - and it will last forever, you only need a squirt. I added about a teaspoon to the marinade.

Now that the marinade is made, lets chop all the meat and veggies. Once you start the stir fry, it goes quickly. I've mentioned that we love the heat in this house so I left the seeds in this jalapeno and sliced it up.

Slice an onion.

Flank Steak is perfect for a stir fry and my secret for slicing it paper thin is to stick it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.

When it is partially frozen you can take your very sharp chef knife and slice against the grain into thin strips. Once the flank steak is sliced, add it to the bowl of marinade.

Slice two bell peppers - whatever color you have is fine! Lop the tops off and throw away the seeds, then slice into strips or rings.

It's time to Wok and Roll! I know I'm cheesy. I like to use a combination of oil in my stir frys. You need an oil that has a high smoking point like Canola. I like to also add peanut oil for the flavor. Add 1 tablespoon of each or two tablespoons of canola oil in your wok.

When the wok is very hot, toss in your onions and sliced jalapeno. Spread these out and let them char quickly and then toss and let them char a little bit more. We want to give them quick color without them wilting too terribly much.

Remove the onions to a plate and then do the same thing with the peppers and remove those to a plate.

If you need more oil in the wok, add a splash and let it heat up again. Add about a third of the meat slices to the wok and spread them out in one layer. After about 30 seconds, flip the meat. This goes fast because the very thinly sliced meat will cook fast. Remove each batch of the cooked meat to the plate with the onions and peppers.

When all the meat has been seared, add all the ingredients back into the wok and pour the remainder of the marinade over everything.

Toss this around and let it cook for a few minutes.

Have a pot of water already boiling on the back burner. I like these vermicelli rice sticks because they are so thin and seem to absorb flavors really well.

I only cooked about 1/3 of the package and used my sharp kitchen shears to cut just what I needed off this large nest of hard noodles.

When the pot of water is boiling, add the rice noodles and they will cook in less than 3 minutes. I lifted them right out of the pot and transferred them over to my wok.

Stir this all together and watch the flavorful sauce coat the noodles. It's ready!

If you have chopsticks, use em!

These bowls? Why they are two of my favorite noodle bowls EVER and we received them as wedding gifts from thoughtful friends. The holes on each side are perfect for threading your chopsticks through when you are not using them. They are from Crate & Barrel. Love.

Every bite is incredibly flavorful, the meat practically melts in your mouth. You could throw literally ANY vegetable into your wok and make this stir fry your own. My version was loosly based on a PW recipe which I of course changed as I went. Try carrots, broccoli, snap peas, mini corn, mushrooms (if you like that sort of thing). Instead of noodles, try serving the meat and veggies over brown or white rice. However you make yours, be sure to save some for the next day - I swear this gets better overnight in the fridge.


  1. Ohhh yum. This looks like the perfect send off meal!!!

  2. Beef and Pepper Stir Fry is one of my favorites. I always order this in a restaurant, specifically Chinese restaurant. I'll add this recipe in my list. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Thanks Mark for the comment. I hope you give this recipe a try and come back to let me know how you like it.

  4. Thank you for this recipe. I have my own version of the sauce you made where i substituted Dry Sherry with sweet wines to make it more sweeter.
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