I admit, there are random times throughout the year when I crave Chinese American food. Whether it's on a cold and rainy day when I don't feel like going outside, or whether I'm in the mood for something fried and crunchy, these cravings come time to time. Of course, an easy solution would be Chinese delivery. It usually takes less than 30 minutes to arrive, the food is relatively cheap, and the best part-- you don't have to take one step outside of the house! Yet... when I remind myself of the sodium and sugar content and the amount of oil and MSG that the food contains, it makes me think twice. Now that I think about it, I actually haven't ordered Chinese delivery or takeout in 4-5 years...! That's not saying that you can never enjoy Chinese American food, but a lot of the popular recipes (orange chicken, sesame chicken, mongolian beef, sweet & sour pork, lo mein, etc) can be replicated at home-- the best part is that you can control exactly what goes in your dish! Cutting down the sugar, sodium, oil, and MSG! And... you can actually accomplish this in less than 30 minutes! (less than the time it takes for the delivery guy to get to your door).
currently listening to:
EXO- Baby don't cry (Chanyeol, D.O., Baekhyun, Suho)
ingredients: (this is the marinade for 1 lb of meat, but adjust according to how much meat you're using)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain ( I asked the butcher to do this)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup olive oil (for frying the flank steak)
2 green onions (thinly sliced)
Note: for the sauce, you will need to proportion it according to the amount of your meat. For example, if you only have 0.5 lbs of meat, then cut down all of the ingredients by half. If you have a surplus of sauce vs. the meat, then it will be too salty.
Note: It is much healthier to deep-fry in olive oil, rather than vegetable oil. Refer to [this link] about dispelling the myths of frying with olive oil. The ideal frying temperature is around 350-375 F; many believe that the smoking point of olive oil is too low for frying, but this is not true, as most olive oils' smoking point is actually around 375-380. Since you want to aim for a 350-360 temperature range, the smoking point will not be an issue.
prep time: grating ginger, mincing garlic, etc. (5-7 minutes)
cook time: 20 minutes
adapted from damn delicious and from Tish at food.com
1. Grate the ginger, mince the garlic, and chop the green onions.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, water, oil, and brown sugar until well mixed.
3. Heat the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
4. In a large bowl, combine the flank steak and cornstarch until the meat is well coated.
5. Heat the 1 cup of olive oil in a large saucepan. Wait for the temperature to reach 350F. If you do not have a deep fry thermometer, then stick the top of a wooden spoon into the pan. If you see bubbles forming around the spoon, then the oil is hot enough to start frying.
6. Add the beef (may need to do 2 batches, as you do not want to overcrowd the pan), and fry until cooked through and brown, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to draw the excess oil.
7. Add the beef to the pan with the sauce, and heat on medium heat until the sauce thickens (3-5 minutes). Stir in the green onions and sesame seeds.