Beef And Kimchi Stir-Fry

What I really love about this recipe is the kimchi. The smoky heat, sour brine, and the crunchy cabbage make this dish soar. Also super fast and easy, this is an any night of the week friendly meal. Husband and I visited Seoul a few years ago and fell in love with its cuisine, both high and low. The streeet food is amazing and cheap, its purveyors taking immense pride in what they do. My humble stir-fry is a pale imitation of the magic they work with grills and condiments.

When I cook beef, which isn’t very often these days, I splurge on grass-fed meat from ranches in the northwest. It’s lower in fat, and I have always preferred lower fat beef even before I started paying attention to my blood cholesterol levels. To me it tastes better.

Put brown or white rice on to cook and then prepare the stir fry ingredients. Once the rice is cooked, make the stir-fry. It comes together very quickly. Serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients

for the sauce…

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth.
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch.
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.

for the stir-fry…

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated.
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil.
  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed of fat, sliced first with the grain into 2-inch (5 cm) wide strips, then sliced against the grain into 1/4-inch (.5 cm) thick slices.
  • 1 cup of kimchi, drained, but saving 1-2 tablespoons of the kimchi liquid.
  • A package of mung bean sprouts (4-6 ounces). Washed.
  • 5 scallions, sliced including white and green parts.

Method

  1. Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine garlic, ginger and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a bowl. (Don’t use olive oil. Pick something with a high smoke point and neutral flavor.)
  3. Heat enough oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok to coat the pan. I use a 12-inch nonstick skillet.
  4. Add half of the beef and spread the pieces out so that they aren’t touching each other. Cook for 1 minute without stirring. Then stir the meat and cook the other side until browned, another 1-2 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate. Repeat this process with the rest of the beef.
  5. Add another tablespoon of oil to the now empty skillet and heat it until it’s nearly smoking. Add the kimchi and its liquid, stir-frying it for 2 minutes, just until it’s heated through.
  6. Stir in bean sprouts.
  7. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan and place the ginger-garlic mixture into the center. Stir this up for 15 seconds or so until the aromatics release their fragrance and then stir the entire contents of the pan together.
  8. Return the beef to the pan with any accumulated juices.
  9. Add the scallions.
  10. Whisk the sauce and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. About 30 seconds.
  11. Serve with rice.

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