Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hunan Beef with Cumin


Hooray for me - I have done it.  I've sat down, eaten and enjoyed our dinner and then amazingly found time to share it with you.  Sorry for the long delay but the new job which I started on the 18th of January has had my head in a spin along with all the multitude of things we have been doing recently.  I actually thought I would of had a smooth transition to the new job and I did.  In fact I now have more time due to less work hours but yet I seem to be struggling to cope with finding "ME" time.  

To be totally honest I cannot believe that we are more than half way through February... YIKES!!
Anyways I have to say since the beginning of the year our eating has been out of control (definitely no dieting happening in our house) so its been a food fest which, of course, means lots of comfort foods, lots of quick dinners, and the odd takeaway here and there!!  We definitely need to get back on track.
Tonight I wanted something full of flavour, easy, quick and of course, healthy.  Well at least healthier than I have been eating.

As well know by everyone, we love cooking Asian style dishes so this one from the Hunan Region excited our tastebuds by just reading about it.  The Hunan Region is located in South Central China, south of the middle course of the Yangtze River, and south of Lake Dongting.
Hunan cuisine, known for it's abundant use of chillies, garlic and shallots, is also known as Xiang cuisine. It is one of the Eight Great Traditions of Chinese cuisine and is well known for its hot spicy flavour, fresh aroma and deep colour.  Hunan cuisine is often spicier than most other Chinese dishes because or the pure chili content.  The meals also contain a larger variety of fresh ingredients, and generally tends to be oilier.

After modifying parts of the recipe to reduce the oil content without compromising on the flavour we were happy with the outcome... tender beef strips, crispy vegetables with a sauce bursting with flavours.  Combinations of chilli, garlic, ginger and cumin!!  Magnificent even if a little on the hot side.... but not to the point of breathing fire!

Hunan Beef with Cumin
(Recipe adapted from Serious Eats)

Serves: 6
SmartPoints per Serve: 9

2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour
500 grams skirt steak or steak of your choice, cut into thin strips against the grain
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh red chilies, stems and seeds discarded, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 brown onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
100 grams snow peas
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Whisk together wine, soy sauce, cornflour, and one tablespoon water in medium-sized bowl. Add beef to marinade, mix with hands, and let sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature.

Pour oil into large wok. Heat oil in wok over high heat.  Add beef and cook for two minutes, tossing gently. Remove beef with tongs, and drain on paper towel.

Pour out all but three tablespoons of oil.
Turn heat to high again, and once lightly smoking, add ginger, garlic, chilies, chili flakes, and cumin. Stir constantly with wooden spoon for about 15 seconds.

Add onions and capsicum, stir fry for a further 3 minutes, continually tossing.  Once starting to soften return the beef back to wok.  Add snow peas and coriander.  Cook until beef starts to sizzle, about 1 minute. Stir well and transfer beef to a large plate.

Drizzle sesame oil on top. Serve beef with white rice, if desired.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)