Wednesday dinner: Hoisin beef and sugar snap stir fry

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The debate was whether to stop at Wegmans or go home and make Thursday’s dinner on Wednesday. In my week of mental meal planning, I was going to make a hoisin beef stir fry last night (Wednesday) and a lemon thyme chicken recipe on Thursday. My Sunday grocery list failed to include hoisin sauce, an important element in the stir fry (I could have sworn that there was a bottle in the fridge.).

Wegmans after work can be treacherous, particularly in the parking lot. I compromised tonight, parking illegally and doing an express run to the Asian foods. The kitchen gods were with me, as I had my choice of checkout lines. All told, I was in the store three minutes.

The recipe is based on one I found at Caramel Potatoes, another food blog out in the cosmos. My only real change was the inclusion of sugar snap peas. The Wife doesn’t like scallions, but with another veggie on the plate, she will deal with them. I also opted for sesame oil for a more authentic stir-fry flavor.

2013-01-23 at 17-57-00WHAT WORKED: Breaking down the hoisin. Ordinarily, I would toss the hoisin, water and rice vinegar in the pan and cook it together. I thought that blending everything together was a good idea, keeping the hoisin from sticking to the pan and burning.

2013-01-23 at 17-51-10WHAT DIDN’T: Flank steak. I ended up with a thin-sliced piece of top round. Flank steak is way too expensive for this type of dish and prep. The difference between flank and top round was about $5 per pound.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “This is good. Have I had hoisin before?” The answer is yes.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: As long as I have hoisin on hand.

2013-01-23 at 18-08-46Hoisin beef and sugar snap stir fry
Adapted from Caramel Potatoes

  • 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup water
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (I eliminated this step)
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (I used sesame oil
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 pounds flank steak cut diagonally across the grain into approx. 1/2 x 3 inch strips (top round or sirloin will work)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 bunches scallions, sliced about 1 1/2 in, white and green parts kept separate
  • prepared rice for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup water, hoisin sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes; set aside.

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Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat. In two batches, cook steak until lightly browned, turning once. (2-3 minutes per batch). Transfer to a plate.

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Add remaining teaspoon oil to pan along with garlic and whites of scallions (if large, cut in half lengthwise). Cook, tossing often until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Whisk hoisin mixture to combine; add to pan along with scallion greens. Return meat to pan; cook tossing to coat steak with sauce. Remove from heat. Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkled with additional red pepper flakes.

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