As much as I like making dinner at home, there is something about take-out I really enjoy. Besides the minimal kitchen clean up, take-out is a chance to try cusine that we don’t usually make at home. Often these are Asian cusines such as Korean, Indian, Thai, or Chinese. I particularly like Chinese take-out. The problem is, the Chinese food that is available where we live is not very good. I don’t know about you, but I find it really frustrating when I get in my car, drive to a resturant, and spend good money all for food that is mediocre at best.
Lately, when we want Chinese take-out, I have been taking matters into my own hands. This recipe is a great example of how just a few ingredients put together really quickly can turn into a fantastic dinner… one that would put most of the Chinese resturants around here to shame.
Since there are so few ingredients in this dish, make sure you use the best you can get. For the beef I used an eye round rump roast that I sliced as thinly as possible. The baby bok choy was young and tender and came from our deep winter CSA distribution (I love greens in the middle of winter!!). The addition of a little sherry is really what makes this dish. While this isn’t a classically Asian ingredient, when you add the dry sherry and it somehow takes the whole dish beyond the sum of the individual parts. I don’t know how to explain it, but trust me, it happens. Served over steamed rice, the whole meal comes together in less than 30 minutes… you can’t even get take-out delivered that quickly.
Beef and Baby Bok Choy
Adapted from The Produce Bible
1 lb baby bok choy (about five small bunches)
2 tbls peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 ounces rump steak, thinly sliced*
2 tbls Tamari soy sauce (low sodium is best)
1 tbls dry sherry (please use something that you would drink on its own, the so-called “cooking sherry” is nasty stuff)
2 tbls chopped fresh basil
2 tsp sesame oil
Wash the baby bok choy and drain. Cut the leaves into thin strips. Heat 1 tbls peanut oil in a large frying pan (or wok) over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Heat the remaining tbls peanut oil; add the meat in small batches, and stir-fry for 3 minutes over high heat until the meat has browned but not cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Stir-fry the bok choy for 30 seconds or until it is just wilted. Add the meat, soy sauce, and sherry. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the meat is tender. Add the basil and sesame oil and toss well.
Serve immediately over steamed rice, pouring any remaining sauce from the pan onto the plates. Serves two as an entree.
* To make it easier to thinly slice the steak, put it in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to slicing.