Friday, March 25, 2011

Pepper Steak & Onion

Here's another fabulous recipe that my father-in-law taught me how to cook. I consider myself extremely lucky to have such nice in-laws. I just love when they come to visit us and stay for a couple months at a time. My in-law's used to own their own Chinese restaurant so the last time they were here visiting, my father-in-law offered to teach me anything I wanted to make. This is one of the first dishes he taught me. The hardest part about learning how to cook Chinese food is that they don't use measuring utensils. They just eye-ball everything! I did my best at "guestimating" how much of this and that he would poor into the pot. Use the measurements below as a guideline but let your tastebuds be the true judge. You can always adjust the flavors to fit your style.

Pepper Steak & Onion has always been a favorite of mine. This recipe tastes just as good as what you'd order in a Chinese restaurant!

Pepper Steak & Onion
Source: my wonderful father-in-law

Flank steak
1/2 green pepper
1/2 onion
2 plum tomatoes
White Rice
1 egg
Garlic, minced
Soy sauce
Sesame oil

1. Prep Meat:
Open up flank steak and cut into 3 long strips along the grain. (I used 1 1/2 of these strips and then saved the rest for another recipe.) Take strip and cut small strips of meat against the grain, cutting at an angle. Put strips of meat in a small metal bowl and add:
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. sugar
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 c. water
1 egg
2-3 large T. cornstarch
3 T. oil
Stir well.

2. Prep Veggies:
Cut up 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 onion into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
Cut up 2 tomatoes into 1-inch pieces.

3. Prep thickening agent:
In a small bowl stir together 1 1/2 heaping T. cornstarch and 1 1/2 T. water.

4. Cook Meat and Veggies
Heat medium saucepan on high then add approximately 1/2 inch of oil. Deep fry half of the beef at a time for 2-3 minutes at medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from oil and cook the rest of the beef.
Put oil back on high heat and add green pepper and onion. (Make sure oil is very hot before adding the veggies.) Stir fry for 2 minutes then add tomatoes. Stir gently. Remove after 1 minute putting the cooked veggies on a plate.

5. Prepare gravy/sauce:
Drain grease out of pan but set aside 1 T. to use later.
Rinse out pan with soap and water. Put 1 T. oil back into clean pan on high heat. Add 1 t. minced garlic and saute. Add 1 c. water, 3 T. soy sauce, 2 t. sugar, 1/4 t. pepper, and 1 t. sesame oil. (Continue boiling on high heat.) Add cornstarch mixture very slowly, stirring in a little at a time. Continue stirring and adding in the cornstarch mixture until the sauce thickens to your preference. (The sauce should still be boiling on high heat.) Add the beef back in and then the veggies. Stir and then serve with white rice.

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