When I first saw this recipe I did not think it would be good but I was on a quest to try new things. It turned out to be absolutely delicious and has now become one of our favorites. It’s flavorful and comforting so it’s perfect for a winter dinner.
The recipe calls for fresh tomatoes but canned work just as well. I have made it both ways and I can make no discernible difference in the end result. It comes from a cookbook entitled The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young.
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8oz flank steak well trimmed
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp rice cooking wine – if I don’t have this I use sherry
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 1/4 tsp sugar
5 tomatoes – about two pounds or two 15oz cans
1 tsp plus 1 tbs vegetable oil
6 slices ginger
3 tbs oyster sauce
1/4 cup water
4 scallions cut into 2 inch sections – I hate scallions so I never use ’em
I love flank steak. It’s such a useful cut of meat and it’s not expensive. Plus it’s so flavorful a little bit goes a long way. I only used half this package for this meal that served us over two nights.
Cut the flank steak in half and then into strips.
Place the pieces of beef in a bowl and sprinkle with the baking soda. Mix together the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and 1/4 tsp of sugar with the cornstarch. Add this to the meat in the bowl and mix well. Set aside to marinate.
|It’s winter, I’m lazy. These work just as well.|
If using fresh tomatoes skin them by adding them to a pot of boiling water until the skin just breaks. Remove them with a slotted spoon into a sink full of ice water. When cool remove the cores and skins and cut into 1/2″ thick wedges. If using canned – open the cans. I have also used my home canned tomatoes in this dish. It works great with any of the above. It’s also good with tomatoes that aren’t ripe, with tomatoes that are over ripe – it’s a very useful recipe!
Heat a wok over high heat until well, hot. Add 1 TBS vegetable oil and swirl around the wok. Add the slices of ginger. You might be tempted to skip this step. I was. I did. DON’T. It really does add a necessary flavor to the dish.
Remove the ginger slices and add the beef to the hot wok. LET THEM SIT. It takes patience. You need to let them develop a nice sear on one side. It takes at least a minute. With experience with the recipe you will learn by smell when the time is right to stir and then remove the beef. You don’t want it cooked through because you will be adding it back in. It should look like this:
When the beef is browned, yet still rare remove it from the wok and set it aside. There should be nice browned bits on the bottom of the wok. Mmmm, lots of flavor in those bits.
Add the tomatoes and the remaining 1 tsp of sugar and let them cook until you see bubbles around the sides.
Add the water and the oyster sauce. I usually have it ready to go all mixed together. Give the mixture in the wok a stir and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
Add in the beef and let it cook until just heated through.
This way the beef continues to cook but is not so well done as to be shoe leather.
Serve it over a bowl of nice, hot rice. If you like scallions this is where you would add them – just sprinkle them on top for color and crunch. They just don’t agree with me….
Again, this dish surprised the heck out of me. I could not imagine how tomatoes and beef over rice could be anything approaching good let alone fantastic. But it is. I make this quite often and we love it.
This is a lovely meal to add to the Food Blogger’s Challenge for Soups/Stews – enjoy!