Growing up, my family didn’t eat in restaurants very much. Maybe once or twice a year we’d go out for Chinese food. This made it more of an event. We still enjoyed our meal as a family, but going to eat something exotic, at least to a kid who ate largely a modified Canadian diet heavy on Hungarian influence, was considered a treat.
Amidst the vast selection of meat dishes, we always veered to dishes with a lot of vegetables too. Eating our veggies was never an issue in our household growing up. My dad’s large vegetable garden probably had something to do with that. One of my favourites was always a beef and broccoli dish. Some places did it with a pungent amount of ginger. And since I was a kid brought up on bold flavours like garlic and chillis, ginger wasn’t a shock to my tastebuds. Tonight, I made an intense version of my own, immediately transporting my brain to a simpler time, a time of comfort. A time where a treat came in the form of quick stir-fried beef and broccoli.
Ginger Beef and Broccoli
1-225g/8 oz beef striploin steak, thinly sliced, fat removed
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 sweet bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced
2-1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup water, for the marinade + 1/4 cup water, for simmering
1/4 cup water + 2 tsp potato starch
1 tsp cold pressed canola oil
In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and 1/4 cup water. Add the beef slices and marinade for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and pull the beef from the marinade, draining as much moisture away as possible. Sear the meat on both sides for 45-60 seconds. Remove from the wok and add the onions and peppers. Add 1/4 cup water and simmer for 3-4 minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Add the marinade and simmer for another 3-4 minutes to reduce the liquid by half. Add the broccoli and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Return the beef to the wok, whisk together the water and potato starch and add to the wok. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the liquid thickens into a sauce. Serve immediately with rice. Serves 2.