Who doesn't love take-out Chinese food? Ok, I'm sure there are some people, but I'm not one of them. When I was growing up, my parents would get it for us maybe once a month, and then we'd also go to restaurants in Philadelphia's Chinatown a few times a year. There were some great Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia...
But around here, not so much. That's why I have re-created so many take-out recipes at home. Not only have they been delicious, I'm also controlling the ingredients, calories, sodium, and fat.
My latest experiment with make-at-home-take-out was last night - Mongolian Beef. I followed this recipe, a PF Changes copycat recipe found on the Recipe Zaar web site, with just a few changes.
The recipe didn't not include a step for marinating meat, and when working with flank steak (or sirloin strips like I did), I think it's important to marinate it mostly to tenderize it. So I marinated the sirloin strips in soy sauce, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes before starting the recipe.
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (I used light - it was all I had)
- Vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup) (I used much less than this)
- 1 lb flank steak (I used sirloin strips)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 large green onions
Directions (I changed the cooking method slightly so these are my notes)
- Marinate the meat as noted above
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger; saute 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, and water. Bring to a steady simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in the same pan over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking.
- Add the beef to the oil and sauté for several minutes until beef is brown on all sides
- Return sauce the the pan and let simmer for several minutes.
- Mix in half of the green onions; use the remaining onions as garnish.
- Serve over rice
Of all the fake-out take-out meals I have made at home, this one tasted the most like real take-out. Jon and I both loved it, and my dad was happy to get the leftovers for lunch today. I'd highly recommend this one!!
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