Asian Spicy Beef with Vegetables

Tempura.  Crisp and crunchy.  Melt in your mouth goodness chased by Soporro.  Hello Friday night!

I’m a fair weather fryer.  What does that mean?  If I am going to use the deep fryer, I use it outside in good weather.  I think the household authorities actually arrest, if not seriously fine people for frying indoors and I am almost sure that someone somewhere was issued a citation for frying without a hood.  Further, it makes an oily mess of your kitchen, not to mention everything in it will smell like its from a 1955 diner.  Hell no.  Take that thing outside and fry by day, fry by night.  Fry, baby, fry away!  Besides, you would agree that bottled beer tastes better outside, especially when you are slurping it back near some sort of intense heat source meant to, grill, roast or….FRY!

The other night I had to get rid of some organic vegetables since my new bin was coming soon.  I threw together cauliflower, broccoli and these amazing carrots that were yellow, purple and red.  I dredged them through the tempura batter and into the fryer they went to rest until they were light, crisp and golden.  Truth be told, I added a few jumbo mexican prawns and it was a feast.   Here’s a tip:  Try using a sweet chili sauce such as Mae Ploy as a dipping sauce.  It’s spicy and sweet and you will be buying gobs of it this summer.  I first bought it years ago when it was virtually undiscovered and cheap.  Now that its all the rave, it’ll run you about $4.99 a bottle.  It’s worth it, so put it on your shopping list.  Asian section, usually around the top shelf.  Serving it at your next big Fry will make you famous and don’t you think your fame is worth $4.99?  I put it on everything; rice, pot stickers, egg rolls, sushi.  It’s genius.

As I stood outside listening to my dinner crackle and watching the sun go down and it’s reflection on the west facing windows of my neighbors house far off in the distance, I was almost giddy that the only thing I smelled was the fresh outdoor evening air and the pilsner in my hand.  I wondered, “now what dish could I make that would marry nicely with tempura…..”

Asian Spicy Beef with Vegetables
1 lb beef cut into thin pieces
Peanut oil or Sesame oil
1 T soy sauce
2 t. cornstarch
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 medium head of broccoli, florets cut
2 carrots thinly sliced
1 handful of snow peas
1/3 C beef broth
1 handful bok choy thinly sliced

Assemble marinade (recipe follows).  Heat oil in a large deep skillet on stovetop.  Add marinaded beef and cook for a couple minutes, stirring occassionally until cooked through.  Remove beef from pan.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, cornstarch and red pepper flakes and set aside.

Add the remaining oil and vegetables to pan and seer for about two or three minutes.  Add broth to pan and steam until vegetables are tender, about two minutes.  Add to pan, beef, bok choy and soy mixture and cook until sauce is thick, stirring occassionally.
Serve over rice or with noodles and garnish with fresh pieces of bok choy or sesame seeds.

1/2 T soy sauce
2 t cornstarch
1 t sugar
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T sesame oil
1 T cooking sherry

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Add beef and cover.  You can marinate in the refridgerator for several hours or you can set aside for 30 minutes. 


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