Friday, 13 June 2014

Asian style strip steak (with peppers, onion and ginger-soy sauce)

Asian style strip steak (with peppers, onion and ginger-soy sauce)
I don't eat (and don't cook either) a lot of meat. There is no ethic or ideological or merely dietetic motivation behind this; and not even the fact that I don't like meat, in fact I love it (of course only if it is quality meat, but this is true for any kind of food). The reason is simply that I rarely long for having some meat and probably I could live without it (while I cannot stay one day without eating some kind of vegetable). And the weird thing is that when I crave for meat I want something raw or very close to: and so if I prepare meat at home, most of the times it is something not requiring slow cooking or roasting. When I lived in Turin (where local beef breed - Fassone - has a high quality, tender and flavorful meat) I used to prepare a mix of tartares with different seasonings or a simple tagliata. Now that I live in Dubai I like to experiment "fusion" recipes where Italian flavors I am used to combine with ingredients and ways of cooking coming from different culinary traditions, and the recipe I want to share is a perfect example of this idea: the meat is rapidly stir - fried (something similar to what we call "straccetti"), but before is marinated in a ginger-soy sauce-sesame oil- garlic-chili mixture which gives an oriental deep flavor, and is paired with onions and peppers cooked in the same sauce; and everything in cooked in a wok (which I really like because it permits to make very tasty and perfectly seared food limiting the quantity of fat used).
I admit that the dish is not the most photogenic in the world - especially if pictured when prepared for a family dinner, as I did - but it gives a lot of satisfaction; and, not less important, is fast and easy to make.
I have not done yet, but I think it would be perfect for being eaten with chopsticks.
   Asian style strip steak (with peppers, onion and ginger-soy sauce)

Asian style strip steak (with peppers, onion and ginger-soy sauce)
serves 4
500 g boneless beef strip steak
70 g soy sauce 
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
4 cm fresh ginger, grated
3 red onions
3 green peppers
4 garlic cloves
1 pinch chili powder
olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
optional: boiled jasmine or basmati rice, to serve
Keep the meat in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile finely grate the ginger and garlic and mix with the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and chili powder (you can increase or decrease the quantity depending on how hot you want the dish). Remove the steaks from the freezer and slice them into 1 cm thick strips. Place the meat in a bowl, cover with half of the soy-ginger marinade, mix to coat well and marinate for at least one hour stirring from time to time (if you are going to marinate the meat for more than one hour, keep it in the fridge and  take it out one hour before cooking so it returns to room temperature). Slice the onions and place them in a wok (or heavy non stick large pan) with one  tbsp olive oil and 5-6 tbsp water; cook on medium heat, stirring from time to time, for about 10 minutes or until they soften.  In the meantime wash and clean the peppers, cut them into 1 cm strips and cover with the remaining marinade; stir to coat, then  add to the wok with onions, turning the heat to high, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, frequently stirring. Place the vegetables in a bowl with all the juices;  clean the wok with kitchen paper, add 2 - 3 tbsp oil over medium-high heat, stir in meat strips with all the marinate and cook 1 or to 2 minutes turning with kitchen pincers, put back the vegetables in the wok, mix and cook for 1 more minute (medium rare meat is more tender and tasty in this recipe, but you can adjust cooking time according to your preferences). Serve straightaway.
Since the dish is spicy and mildly hot (unless you increase significantly quantity of chili powder) It goes well with boiled jasmine or basmati rice.    
Asian style strip steak (with peppers, onion and ginger-soy sauce)

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