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Food
Pepper Steak

Making the shift from American style pepper steak -- with canned tomato soup and bouillon cubes -- to the more authentic Chinese version is a good way to begin eating more healthfully. Serve this dish with rice.

For the marinade:

2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce, see note
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch freshly ground white pepper
3/4 pound London broil, sliced into thin strips
For the sauce:
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons fermented black beans, washed, rinsed and drained, see note
3 tablespoons peanut oil
One 1/2-inch-thick slice fresh ginger, peeled
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 2-by-1-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 2-by-1-inch pieces

In a large bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the beef; allow to set for at least 30 minutes and reserve. In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and reserve. Place the smashed garlic and black beans in a bowl and mash into a paste. Reserve.

Heat a wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil and coat the wok with it using spatula. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the ginger and stir until the ginger turns light brown. Add the peppers and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, transfer the peppers to a small bowl, and set aside. Wipe off the wok and spatula with paper towels.

Heat the wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil and coat the wok with it using the spatula. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the garlic-black bean paste and stir. When the garlic turns light brown, add the beef and marinade and spread in a thin layer. Cook for 1 minute, tipping the wok from side to side for even cooking. Stir beef over and cook for 30 seconds until the beef changes color. Add reserved peppers and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Make a well in the mixture, stir in the sauce and pour in. Stir and mix well until sauce thickens and turns dark brown, about 11/2 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a platter and serve with cooked rice. Serves 6

Note: Found at Oriental markets.

Adapted from "The Chinese Kitchen"

Thursday, March 07, 2002

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