I’ve saved the best for last in my Chinese food week. Sometimes in life, I just feel like some steak and Mongolian Beef is my favorite thing to get when I go to Pei Wei’s (PF Chang’s mid priced restaurant chain). I love the simplicity of it: beef with sauce, and green onion. Very simple and very good. I went looking for a comparable dish that I could make at home and I have to say that Spend with Pennies PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef recipe was pretty spot on. I really didn’t change this recipe at all, which says a lot. I just have a couple of tips that I learned along the way.
The sauce for this came together in minutes. The part that took a little while was browning the outside of the beef. I think that my batches were too small at first. I figured out that I should have been able to do it in 3-4 batches. You may want to divide the meat into batches ahead of time so you don’t make my mistake.
I used a top round roast because that was what was on sale. It tasted great. I would say to use whatever is on sale and you think would work OK (sometimes top sirloin is cheaper than anything else; watch the sales 🙂 ).
My tip for slicing the meat thin is to have it slightly frozen. This will help immensely with keeping the thickness uniform. You also want to make sure to cut against the grain, no matter which cut of meat you are using.
At Pei Wei’s they serve their Mongolian Beef with green onions and mushrooms. I didn’t have any mushrooms available when I made this, but it would be a welcome addition if you enjoy mushrooms.
Overall, I really loved this recipe from Spend with Pennies and I loved that I could make enough for my family for about the same price as one serving would have cost me in a restaurant.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small pan over medium low. Add ginger and garlic and stir just until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add soy sauce, water and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Let boil 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Set aside.
Slice the flank steak into ¼" slices and toss with cornstarch. Gently shake off any excess.
Place 1 tablespoon at a time of oil in a pan or wok and heat over medium high heat. Cook the beef in small batches for about 2 minutes. (It doesn't need to cook all of the way through, it will cook completely when combined with the sauce).
Once all the beef has been cooked, combine with the sauce and heat over medium until hot and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in green onions. Serve over rice. Chopsticks optional. 🙂
This week is Chinese food week here at AnneOpinion. I have three recipes coming to you to make Chinese takeout a thing of the past. Chinese is one cuisine that has taken me longer to learn how to cook well then others. I think that’s because it’s one that my mother never cooked and so with no knowledge of it from my main cooking teacher (my Mom) I’ve had to learn about the ingredients and techniques on my own. I’ve worked on learning how to make it because cheap Chinese food is my husband’s favorite and he could eat it everyday for a week and still want it tomorrow. Over the years I’ve learned to make a mean stir fry and this Sweet and Sour Chicken from Mel’s Kitchen Café will knock your socks off. I’ve tried fried rice a few times in the past to just OK results. It wasn’t bad, but nothing special either. Then I found this recipe for Fried Rice on Gimmie Some Oven and it all changed! This was as good as from a restaurant and it only took 15 minutes to make. I am hooked! I’ve made it 3 times over the last month and a half (which is pretty often for me) and I love having a recipe that uses my ham leftovers (I have plenty of those from Easter yesterday!) If you’re looking for some other ham ideas Ham and Cheese Pasta and Easter Eggs Benedict are two great options! Here’s what I love about this Ham Fried Rice
The first secret is using butter; real butter. This makes everything fry up beautifully and gives it that flavor that you’re looking for.
This has become a weekend night dinner for me which means that I want to put zero effort into it. I use a bag of frozen peas and carrots and dried onion because I don’t want to chop anything up. The original recipe used fresh veggies and if you want to take a look at it you can go here.
Chilling the rice ahead of time is key! In that way, this is not a last minute meal. I normally throw some rice in the rice cooker the day before and then leave it in the fridge until I’m ready for it. It really doesn’t take any time, but I do have to plan ahead.
The original recipe didn’t have ham, but because dinner always has to have meat at my house, I’ve always added it. I also increase the amounts of everything else because I have a large family. If you are wanting to make a smaller meal go to Gimmie Some Oven for amounts.
Oyster sauce, I think, takes a Chinese dish from homemade taste to restaurant taste. I love it and use it in most of my Chinese dinners. If you’ve never used it, I think you’ll be glad you found it. Sesame oil is another ingredient that I love. It adds this wonderful nutty undertone to everything it is added to. I also have become picky about my soy sauce and only use Aloha brand (not an ad, just my opinion)! It adds a completely different (less salty) flavor than other soy sauces. If you can’t find it in your grocery store, Amazon carries it.
My last little tidbit is a large skillet works fine, but a wok was designed to do this. It has the deep bowl that prevents the rice from going all over the oven and it fries more rice because it has a larger surface area. Woks don’t need to be expensive either. I picked up mine at Ikea about 10 years ago for $10 and it’s still going strong!
Over a medium-high heat melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet or wok. Add eggs, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove eggs onto a plate. Add an additional 1 1/2 T of butter into the wok and melt. Add peas/carrots, onion and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender. Add the ham, and salt and pepper them. Stir fry until tender. Turn heat up to high and melt remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp of butter. Add the rice, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Mix well making sure to break up any clumps of white rice. Let the rice on the outside edge get a little bit crispy, then stir and repeat two more times. Add the eggs and the sesame oil and stir to combine. Serve warm.