Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stir Fry Sesame Beef

I love my mom's stir fry. I always request it when I'm home. I've tried to recreate it with little success. My stir fry, even when I follow the exact same recipe, is edible, but not delicious. Brett thinks it's the quality of the beef, but I'm pretty sure that my mom gets her beef at the grocery store; there's not some mystery butcher with fabulous stir fry beef that she goes to. So if it's not the beef, then it's either my equipment or me that's the problem, and I don't want to admit to either one of those. I had pretty much given up on making stir fry until I was making the menu for the week and stumbled across some recipes that sounded pretty good.

What really caught my eye about the sesame beef recipe in my "Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh" cookbook was the hoisin sauce. I LOVE hoisin sauce. The recipe calls for asparagus, but I immediately switched that to broccoli (and lessened the amount). I could have used more toasted sesame seeds as not all of the meat was coated. I also made the decision to blanch the broccoli first because I hate undercooked broccoli.

I got everything prepped first as anyone who's ever cooked stir fry knows to do.

I cooked the sliced red onion and broccoli florets in canola oil for about two minutes.

Then I added the beef for about 3 minutes, until it was completely brown.

Then I turned down the heat and added 2 T of hoisin sauce and 1/3 cup of water, and let it bubble for about two minutes. The sauce was very thin. I think it would have been better to just add the hoisin sauce, see how the thickness was, and then gradually add the water little by little. I let the sauce bubble a little longer with the hopes of thickening, but it did not happen. Lastly I dumped in two teaspoons of sesame oil. Again, it would have been better to add a little bit, taste, and then maybe add more. It ended up with too much sesame oil.

The final product was ok. The meat was not very tender, the broccoli was sadly overcooked (which is better than undercooked) and the sauce was way too thin. Lessons learned. We might see this one again with some key changes, but then again we might not.


Nancy said...

Hi Kim,
You're stir-fry looks wonderful! When I make stir-fry, I thicken the sauce at the end by mixing 2 T. soy sauce, 2 T. water, and 2 t. corn starch and adding it to the stir-fry on medium heat. Let it bubble and thicken then reduce the heat, then serve. I also add 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes to the corn starch mixture to give it a little kick.

Kim in the Kitchen said...

Hi Nancy! Thanks for the tip. I think that's what my mom does too. Can you believe this recipe didn't have any soy sauce? Maybe that would've helped with the too strong sesame oil flavor:)

~kelly marie~ said...

This looks really good! When you perfect the recipe, I would love to try it! :)