Today is Chinese Take Out Day. Yep, it’s that day again when we talk about how we don’t do Chinese Take Out and why. You all know my stand – it’s not that I object to Chinese Talk Out, we just don’t do much in the way of take out period. The only exception, for the most part, is take and bake pizzas.
Those of us in California can easily trace the foundations for what we call Chinese Foods to the mid-1800s. The Gold Rush was in full swing, and the rail roads were being forged. This meant Chinese immigrants were flooding into California. Restaurants stepped up to meet the demand to feed the new arrivals. When Chinese restaurants first became a part of mainstream culture, these restaurants offered two menus: a Chinese Menu and an American Menu. The American menu soon became the only menu offered due to the high demand among young Americans for the savory sauces on American-Chinese cuisine.
Did you know that despite their popularity in American Chinese dishes, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots and onions aren’t typically found in true Chinese dishes found in China. These vegetables aren’t native to China, but are readily available in America.
Like most Americans, I like American-Chinese dishes with our native vegetables and all. And for the record, if you insist your Chinese needs to come from one of those take-out boxes that double as serving plates, you can always buy them in bulk and use whenever the need arises.
Enjoy National Chinese Take Out even if you cook it at home. Fair warning – your kitchen will smell so wonderful while everything is simmering; you cannot help but get excited.
Slow Cooker Flank Steak Mongolian Beef
1 Garlic Clove
1 teaspoon Ginger
1 large Shallot
1 medium Carrot
1 large Hot Red Pepper
1 lb Flank Steak,
3 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Chill Sauce (Sambal Oelek)
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1/3 cup Beef Stock
2 cups White Rice for serving
Peel and the garlic and ginger, set aside. Peel and thinly slice shallot, set aside. Peel carrot, slice into matchsticks and set aside. Stem and thinly slice hot pepper, set aside.
Trim Flank Steak then thinly slice against the grain, set aside.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, Hoisin Sauce and Chili Sauce. Set aside.
In another small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and beef stock. Add slurry to the brown sugar mixture.
Scatter beef into the bowl of the slow cooker. Scatter garlic, ginger, shallot, carrots and hot pepper slices over the meat. Pour brown sugar slurry over beef mixture. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours.
Make rice during last 30 minutes of cooking.
Place rice on a large serving platter. Top with beef mixture. Serve and enjoy.
Steamed broccoli makes a delicious side. And you can always mix the broccoli into the beefy rice. Yum!
The brown sugar and matchstick carrots impart a touch of sweetness that helps to offset the heat from the Sambal Oelek and hot red pepper.