Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Fast-food Inspired Chinese Dish

Is it just me or do you too notice that a lot of fast food Chinese dishes have a common taste? Is it the oyster sauce or the sesame oil? Or perhaps the cooking wine? It seems that no matter what the meat is or what combination of vegetables there is in the dish, there is that basic sauce/ingredient that gives that same flavor. Don't get me wrong...I do like the taste. That is why whenever I want to come up with something 'Chinese-like' that has all the meat and veggies thrown in one dish, I use a basic mix of ingredients.

Ok, if you find the photo above appealing enough, then read on. That is what we had for dinner last night. I had some left-over cuts of beef and chicken in the fridge. I had to use them before they spoiled so I thought of this.

Beef and Chicken with Mixed Vegetables

250 g lean beef, sliced thinly and into strips
250 g chicken breast, also sliced thinly and into strips
2 tbsps. cooking white wine
2 tbsps. corn flour
1/4 cup soy sauce (preferably Kikkoman)
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large onion, sliced into rings
1/2 of a large red capsicum, sliced
250 g cauliflower florets
150 g sugar snap peas or snow peas
2 tsps. oyster sauce
a few drops of sesame oil

1. Marinate beef and chicken in wine and cornflour for about 30 minutes (or more if you have the extra time).
2. Combine sugar and soy sauce. Set aside.
3. Place cauliflower florets in a microwavable bowl with some water. Microwave on high for about 3 minutes. Drain water and set aside.
4. In a large pan or wok, heat oil until very hot. Drop the meat all at once. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until meat is brown. Drain any excess oil.
5. Add soy sauce/sugar mixture, sliced onions, capsicums and sugar snap peas. Stir to combine well and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Mix in oyster sauce and sesame oil. Stir in cauliflower florets (coat with the sauce).
7. Serve immediately with rice (basmati is the best!). Enjoy!

Some additional notes:
* You can use 1/2 kilo of just one kind of meat (beef, chicken or pork).
* Try this recipe with other veggies such as broccoli, carrots, celery, zucchini, young corn, etc.
* I microwave the cauliflower only because I tend to overcook or undercook when I cook it in the pan. I do this with broccoli as well.

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