Tomato Beef - Chinese cooking - Fan Ke Gnul Yok
One day I came home to find a message on the answering machine from my
brother, Douglas, asking if I remembered to include the recipe for Tomato Beef
in my book. It was my brother's and my own favorite dish as we were growing up.
It is a wonderfully uncomplicated recipe that my parents used to make with
regularity during the week, when they had less time to devote to cooking. Thick
wedges of tomato cook with oyster-flavored sauce and beef that has been
stir-fried with ginger to make a flavorful and delicious sauce over rice. Oddly
enough, this is amazingly good even when tomatoes are not in season.
8 ounces flank steak, well trimmed
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons thin soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1-1/4 teaspoons sugar
5 tomatoes, about 2 pounds
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 slices ginger
3 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch sections
Halve the flank steak with the grain into two strips. Cut each strip across
the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices in a shallow bowl and
sprinkle with the baking soda; stir to combine. Add the soy sauce, cornstarch,
rice wine, sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a large pot, bring about 1-1/2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add
the tomatoes and cook 1 to 3 minutes, or until the tomato skins just break.
Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and, when cool enough to handle, peel
skins. Core tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.
Meanwhile, stir 1 teaspoon vegetable oil into the beef mixture. Heat a 14-inch
flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the
remaining tablespoon vegetable oil and ginger, and stir-fry about 1 minute.
Carefully add the beef, spreading it in the
wok. Cook, undisturbed, 1 to 2 minutes, letting beef begin to brown. Then, using
a metal spatula, stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until beef is browned but still
slightly rare. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.
Add the tomatoes and remaining teaspoon of sugar to wok, and stir-fry 1 minute
on high heat until tomatoes begin to soften. Add oyster sauce and 1/4 cup cold
water, cover, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes are just limp. Add
the beef and any juices that have accumulated on the plate, and the scallions,
and stir-fry 1 minute, or until just heated through. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6 as part of a multi course meal.
Source: The Wisdom
of the Chinese Kitchen: Classic Family Recipes for Celebration and Healing by
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