Stir-fried Beef with Bamboo Shoots and Pickled Peppers

中文菜谱: 泡椒春笋炒牛肉

Bamboo shoot has been an important part of Chinese cuisine for thousands of years.  The best season to eat it is late winter and early spring.   The ones sold in winter are more tender, juicer and a lot expensive because they have to be dug out from underground by hand.  

Bamboo shoot hunt in spring time is very fun.  I went on a few such trips with my family when I was little.  We hiked into high mountain area where wild bamboos grew into a forest.   A couple days’ spring rain may expedite bamboo shoot growing.  At the right timing, we could harvest between 60 to 80 lbs bamboo shoots on one single trip.  

Good old times...

And now my family is still doing their traditional annual bamboo shoot hunt in spring for fun.  I do mine too, here in China town O(∩_∩)O~

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Pickled vegetable is an old traditional way to preserve food when food was scarce.  There is a pickle jar in my kitchen which I brought back from China so that I can make my own pickled peppers and other vegetables at home. 

They taste great straight out of the pickle jar.  Sometimes I sauté pickled peppers with pork or beef.  The combination is amazing! 

Ingredients for beef marinating:

200 g beef chuckeye roast
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon rice cooking wine
1 to 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons water/ chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Ingredients for stir fry:

200 g bamboo shoots (sold in most Asian grocery stores, fresh & frozen)  
a handful pickled red chili peppers
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 gloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
salt to taste
vegetable oil for cooking

 

Directions:

Thinly slice the beef

Add the beef to a bowl, along with soy sauce, ground ginger, corn starch, oyster sauce, oil, rice cooking wine, ground white pepper, sugar, chicken stock/ water. 

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Mix everything together.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

Thinly slice the bamboo shoots.  Blanch them in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds.  Drain well.

Homemade pickled chili peppers straight out of the pickle jar

Heat a cast iron wok over high heat.  Add oil, along with pickled peppers, garlic and Sichuan peppercorns.

Add marinated beef

Stir fry the beef just until they turn colors.

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Add bamboo shoots, along with soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and salt.

Continue stir frying for another couple minutes.  Remove from heat and serve hot immediately.

Pickled chili peppers are essential to the dish.  They add a surprisingly nice delicate flavor to the beef; spicy, a little bit savory and sour.  It well balances the richness of beef flavor.  Love it! O(∩_∩)O~

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Charcoal Grilled Beef Short Ribs

中文菜谱: 碳烤牛仔骨

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When it comes to BBQ, what Asian people have in mind is quite different from American style BBQ.  We prefer to grill skewed meat over hot and smooth flames coming out from burning charcoal.  People gather around the table where the meat is being grilled drinking, talking, laughing and waiting for the meat to be ready.  That is how we do BBQ O(∩_∩)O~

One of my favorite meats to grill is beef short ribs.

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Cut into smaller pieces

I don’t always marinate the ribs prior grilling.  So a dipping sauce or seasoning is necessary.  A simple mix of salt and pepper will do.  But I like to go extra miles to make a lot better O(∩_∩)O~

Ingredients:

A handful dried chili peppers
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
3 to 4 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1/4 cup dry roasted peanut
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium low heat.  Add Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers and sesame seeds.  Pan roast until the sesame seeds turn into pale yellow color.  You should be able to smell intense aroma Sichuan peppercorns at this point.

Add Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers, sesame seeds, peanuts, salt, and sugar along with freshly ground black pepper to spice / coffee grinder

Finely grind them

Charcoal fire

Put on a grill wire mesh.  When it gets hot, add beef short ribs

Flip them over from time to time.  It is the key to great Asian tabletop style BBQ

Smells amazing

When the short ribs are done, coat them with dry seasoning.

It is not perfect until you have cold beers in your hand! O(∩_∩)O~

Sometimes it is hard to find long cut beef short ribs, this one will do too.  It is widely available in most American grocery stores.

make some thick cuts

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Start grilling!

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Dried seasoning is really good for grilled beef short ribs.

And don’t forget the beers!

When unfortunately I can’t find any kind of beef short ribs, I buy skirt steak.  It is good for tabletop grilling too.

Thinly cut with an angle

Grill them over charcoal fire

The reason I love Asian style tabletop grilling is that it requires just some very simple ingredients but very tasty if done the right way.  Burning charcoal add smoky flavor to the meat.  Flipping the meat from time to time can prevent burning and also helps the meat to cook more evenly. 

The most important thing is that families and families gather around the table chatting and drinking when waiting for the BBQ.  It is very relaxing and heart-warming moment. O(∩_∩)O~

Smoked Sausage with Pork, Beef and Cheese

中文菜谱: 奶酪熏肠

After smoking ducks, chickens, ribs and beef briskets, I finally move on to sausages!  The electric smoker is truly a great addition to my kitchen O(∩_∩)O~

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Ingredients:

2 pounds pork belly
1 pound beef chuckeye
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of your favorite grill seasoning ( I use McCormick Montreal steak seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly grinded black pepper
1 to 2 teablespoons brown sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 to 2 teaspoons corn starch
salt to taste
chicken stock/ water(about 1cup)
sausage casing

Directions:

Dice up pork belly and beef chuckeye.  Finely grind them together with a meat grinder

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Add paprika, ground ginger, onion powder, garlic powder, grill seasoning, black pepper, brown sugar, parmesan cheese, corn starch and salt.

With a pair of chopsticks or wooden spoon, whisk clockwise until the meat mixture becomes sticky and elastic.  Add chicken stock / water in between little by little.  Make sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more stock. 

Switch meat grinder attachment to sausage stuffing attachment.

Prepare sausage casing

Start stuffing sausage

Use a thin bamboo stick to aerate the sausage.  By doing so, we can get rid of extra air bubbles inside the sausage to make sure even cooking and they will not explore during cooking process.

Preheat the smoker to 225F/107C

Add sausage.

3 to 4 hours later.  Aren’t they pretty?

The sausages are golden brown, smoky, a bit crunchy and crispy on the outside, but very tender and juicy on the inside.  All the spices in there and parmesan cheese are the reason how the sausages get so flavorful. O(∩_∩)O~

Spicy Ground Beef with Diced Dried Tofu

中文菜谱:

香辣牛肉豆干酱

The spicy ground beef here is more like spicy meat sauce.  It is not served as an independent entrée or appetizer in our house.  Instead it is used as a condiment or topping in rice and noodles. 

In China, there is a long time tradition to make meat sauce with heavy dose of salt and oil, in some areas chili peppers too.   The original purpose in doing so is to preserve meat and other food ingredients when food was scarce.  However, as time goes by, people get attached to this type of food.  Pick any Asian grocery store you like.  Go in there.  You will see so many different varieties of chili oil sauces, meat pepper sauces and pickles on the shelves.

Sometimes I buy meaty sauce from my favorite Asian grocery stores.  Other times I like spending time in kitchen whipping up my own special spicy meat oil sauce. 

I usually add spicy ground beef to the freshly homemade noodles as a topping.  The flavor is enhanced and the noodles are so much more appetizing  O(∩_∩)O~

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef (95% or 100% lean)
2 gloves of garlic, peeled and finely diced
1 small piece of ginger root, fine chopped
2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4  to 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup Pixian chili paste
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
1/3 to 1/2 cup crushed red chili pepper/ cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1/2 cup of cooking oil
1 package of dried seasoned tofu (weighs around 200g.  Usually sold in fridge section in Asian grocery stores)

Directions:

Dice the dried tofu.

Heat a light weight cast iron wok over high heat.  Add oil, and then ground beef, along with chopped ginger and garlic. 

Stir fry the beef until it turns slightly golden brown. 

Reduce the heat to medium low.  Add rice cooking wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, Pixian chili paste, oyster sauce, ground Sichuan peppercorns, crushed red chili pepper/ cayenne pepper.

Sauté the mixture over medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes

Add diced tofu.  Season with salt.

And then continue to sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat

The spicy ground beef can be stored in Ball Mason jars in the fridge for up to a week.

It goes really great with noodle soup and steamed white rice.

I posted how to make noodles at home before: Homemade Noodles in Thick Pork Broth  

Cook the noodles in boiling water for 45 seconds to one minute.  Add to a bowl, along with soy sauce, sesame oil, Sichuan peppercorn oil, chili oil sauce, spicy ground beef with dice tofu, finely shredded cucumber, chopped cilantro, green onion, and of course, crunchy soybeans.

Crunchy soybeans was posted recently: Crunchy Soybeans

Use pair of chopsticks to toss everything together.

Bon appetite! O(∩_∩)O~

Fire Grilled Pork Belly and Beef Short Ribs

Fire grilled is food is one of my biggest additions O(∩_∩)O~   It is also my guilty pleasure as well as comfort food.

On the top of my grilling list are beef short ribs, steaks and pork belly.  They all have something in common.  They are high in fat and loaded with rich meaty flavors.  When grilled with as simple seasonings as sea salt and black pepper, you still get that amazing meaty and a bit of smoky flavors.

For grilled beef short ribs:

1 package of sliced beef short ribs (weighs about 1 and 1/2 lbs)
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar

 

For grilled pork belly:

1 package of thick cut pork belly (weighs about 1 lb)
1 to 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste

Directions:

Rinse the short ribs and pork belly under running water.  Pat dry with kitchen paper towel.

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Thick cut pork belly with ribs is usually available in Asian grocery stores.

Add beef short ribs and seasonings to a medium bowl.  Mix with hand or a wooden spoon.

Cut pork belly into smaller pieces and mix them with seasonings too.

Preheat the grill to 425F/218C

Add beef short ribs and pork belly

Pork belly is very high in fat and there will be a lot of greasy drippings.  So don’t go away when you are grilling pork belly.  It gets burnt pretty quickly if you don’t keep a close eye on the grill.

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Pork belly pieces are sizzling on the grill and color turns gold brown.

Meanwhile, beef short ribs are looking good too

Grab a cold beer, pull up a chair and let’s eat! O(∩_∩)O~