Saturday, January 16, 2010

P.F Changs' Mongolian Beef

Pin It Now! I'm 5 months pregnant living in Germany.  German has an abundance of brats, potatoes, typical German food, Turkish food and Italian food.  But there is no chinese food worthy of mentioning (that I have found anyway).  Which is why it's a good thing cooking has become such a huge interest for me.  Because if I didn't like cooking I'd starve and be the grouchiest person alive.  Back home there are several chinese takeout places I love.  But P.F Changs has the best mongolian beef hands down. And a few weeks ago I had a strong, strong craving.  I found a recipe from Chaos in the Kitchen.  If you haven't been to her blog, check it out.  It's one of my go to's for recipe ideas.  Anyway it came out really good.  I think if the meat was marinated it would taste way closer to the Changs version.  And perhaps a better cut of meat.  The commissary overseas has a minimal selection to choose from, so I use what I'm given.  Anyway definitely worth a try and will make again.

  • 2 lbs flank or skirt steak

  • 1/4 cup corn starch

  • 2 tsp vegetable or peanut oil

  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2-3/4 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1 cup vegetable or peanut oil

  • 8 oz button mushrooms, quartered if large

  • 1 bunch green onions, green part only, cut in half

  1. Trim all fat and silver skin from meat.  Lay steaks out horizontally on the cutting board.  The grain in running vertically.  Make several vertical cuts to slice the slab into manageable sized pieces.  Then cut the meat opposite the grain (horizontal) into two bite-sized pieces.  Cut with your blade at a 45° angles to get wide diagonal slices.

  2. Dust steak pieces lightly in cornstarch and set aside while preparing the sauce.

  3. In a small sauce pan heat oil over medium high heat.  Add ginger and garlic.

  4. Add soy sauce and water to the ginger and garlic before it browns.

  5. Add brown sugar and whisk until dissolved.

  6. Bring sauce to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes or until slightly reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat and reserve.

  7. In a large skillet or wok heat 1 cup oil over medium high heat.

  8. Working in batches, add the steak a few at a time to the hot oil.  Cook about 1 minute without touching the meat then flip each piece and cook 1 minute more.

  9. Remove meat while still rare inside, and continue with next batch.

  10. Once all meat is browned, pour off oil and wipe out skillet.

  11. Heat skillet over high heat and add mushrooms.

  12. Cook without stirring a couple of minutes or until mushrooms are slightly softened and browned.  Reserve.

  13. Add steak to the hot pan and cook about 1 minute.

  14. Add sauce to the pan and simmer and toss meat and sauce about 1 minute.

  15. Add mushrooms and green onions.  Toss with steak and sauce and heat 1 minute.

  16. Use tongs to remove meat and veggies to a serving dish, leaving excess sauce in the pan.  Serve over rice.

Use a very light dusting of cornstarch when breading the steak pieces.  This process is referred to "velveeting" and gives the meat that perfect texture.  If there is too much cornstarch you will get a Swiss steak texture instead of a good sear. 

Don't let the steps or ingredients turn you off.  It's actually a pretty simple recipe. Just be sure to prep your food and read over the directions in your head before cooking.

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