If you like to stir-fry—or want to learn—try this tasty dish of beef and green peppers. You may need to shop at an Asian market to find the peppers, wine and vinegar that are called for, or you can substitute other peppers, rice wine and rice vinegar.
- 10 ounces (285 g) flank steak, trimmed
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for velveting
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for stir-frying
- 1 (one-inch) piece ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 5 ounces (140 g) shishito peppers (or other green peppers), tops removed
- 1 teaspoon huangjiu (Shaoxing) wine
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Zhenjiang (Chinkiang) vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon potato starch or cornstarch
- Cut the flank steak along the grain into 2-inch strips. Cut each strip against the grain into 1/3-inch (8 mm) slices. Further cut each slice into 1/3-inch (8 mm) matchsticks.
- To marinate the beef: Mix the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, baking soda, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the beef. Mix and stir by hand while gradually adding the water. When the beef mixture becomes sticky, about 2 minutes, add the egg and potato starch or cornstarch and continue to mix until well incorporated. Marinate the beef for 2-3 hours. Stir the beef from time to time while it marinates.
- To velvet the beef: Drain excess liquid from the beef. In a wok or skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. When the oil reaches about 270°F/130°C (when tiny wisps of smoke start to rise), add the beef in a single layer and stir quickly. When the meat just turns color, about 1 minute, transfer to a strainer to drain. Alternatively, you can velvet the beef in gently boiling water.
- To finish the dish: Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a hot wok or skillet over high heat. Add the ginger, scallion, garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the peppers and stir-fry until the peppers start to blister, about 90 seconds. Return the beef to the wok. Add the wine, dark and light soy sauces, vinegar and sugar. Stir-fry until the beef is just cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Plate and serve with rice.