My guys love Asian-Oriental foods. I remember many moons ago, when Kiddo was graduating from Elementary School, we decided to go out to lunch to celebrate. Pick a place – any place I told him. I had even suggested some of the popular pizza joints that his friends were talking about. Kiddo picked our favorite Chinese Restaurant.
One of the things I love about this dish is the contrast in color – the richness of the beef and the bright green of the broccoli. For an easy short-cut, use Green Giant’s Broccoli Florets found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Simply pop a few holes into the bag with a fork and zap it in the microwave. I rather buy my broccoli in packages of florets. It saves on the time of breaking apart the big bunches of broccoli and the cost of paying for a heavy stem that I’m not going to use.
When preparing the beef, the sharper the knife the better. You will want to get the strips of beef as thin as possible. Laying the beef on paper towels and letting the strips it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes will dry the meat. What does that do? The dryer the meat, the better it browns and the deeper the consideration of flavor develops. Think about it for a minute – some of the best meats are Dry-Aged. While 30 minutes in your refrigerator is not going to produce a Dry-Aged piece of meat, some of the benefits will be there. The dryer the meat, the crisper the crust. After all, we are making Crispy beef stir-fry so this is a step you won’t want to skip.
Crispy Orange-Beef Stir-Fry
1 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 Orange, zest only
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, grated
1/4 cup cornstarch
8 broccoli florets, lightly steamed or blanched
Sesame Oil for frying
Line a rimmed baking pan with double sheets of paper towels. Set pan aside. Make sure you have room in the refrigerator to lay the pan flat for 30 minutes when ready.
Cut beef into thin strips. Lay beef strips out in a single layer on the baking pan lined with paper towels. Place pan into the refrigerator, uncovered, and allow strips to dry for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice concentrate, salt and soy sauce. Set aside.
Zest half an orange. Set zest aside. (Eat orange if you like while you’re cooking. I fed mine to Hubby).
Peel and grate 3 garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to use.
Remove beef from refrigerator. Sprinkle with cornstarch. Toss to coat beef strips well.
Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the beef strips small batches until crispy and golden brown on the outside while still pink on the inside; set aside. Drain all of the oil from the wok except about 1 tablespoon.
Note: Beef can also be flash-fried in a large skillet.
Add orange zest, ginger and garlic to the remaining oil, and cook briefly until fragrant, no more than 45 seconds.
Add the soy sauce mixture to the wok, bring to a boil, and cook until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add beef, and heat through, stirring to coat.
Note: Broccoli can be “steamed” in the microwave for about 3 to 5 minutes. This can be done while the beef is heating through.
To serve; spread broccoli out on a rimmed serving platter. Arrange beef strips on top of the broccoli. Spoon any remaining sauce over the beef.
Serve with bowls of white rice on the side.
A nice alternative to the broccoli as a vegetable side would be Sesame Soy Green Beans. Instead of white rice, Basic Fried Rice would also be good. If you are a noodle fan, Spicy Asian Stir-Fry Spaghetti would also be a nice alternative.