With a busy schedule shuffling our own activities and the those of the kids, it’s always nice to have a meal that is relatively simple and quick to make, and pretty much stands “on its own” without having to think about side dishes to go with it. As we continue to post recipes and thoughts on this site, you’ll see that theme emerge.
That brings me to today’s recipe. A quick and simple stir fry intended to use up a pile of different veggies from the fridge, along with a healthy helping of protein and some simple seasonings. In this case, we’re going to rely on having a little leftover sauce kicking around from a previous recipe, and then just adding a little more to it. And this recipe leaves plenty of leftovers for at least a couple of lunches during the week.
- Grass-fed beef flank (or skirt) steak – around 1-1/2 lbs
- 1/3 cup leftover Wasabi Teriyaki Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 tsp anise seeds
- 1 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into julienne strips
- 1 whole green bell pepper, sliced into julienne strips
- 2~3 scallions or green onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced into julienne strips
- 2 mushrooms, halved then sliced
- 1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1 med zucchini, sliced into julienne strips
- 1 yellow squash, sliced into julienne strips (this one is actually a “patty pan” squash)
- Fistful (~1/2 cup) of snow peas (check out the footnote on last Friday’s post if you missed it!)
- 1 can water chestnuts, drained
- 1 can bamboo shoots, drained
- a couple of sprigs of mint leaves, discard stems, torn or roughly chopped
- Coconut oil (not pictured)
Start out by cutting the flank steak into strips, across the grain, about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. It works best if the meat is just on the edge of freezing (to hold it firm)…there are two ways to accomplish this. The right way is to have had the meat out thawing the night before in the fridge, and then to put it in the freezer (unwrapped) for about 30 minutes before starting to prep so it will firm up. The normal way is to realize about 30 minutes before dinner is to be ready that you’ve not planned anything for dinner, then run down to the freezer, pull out a package, and toss it in the microwave on defrost. If the latter is your method (as it is mine), then make sure you turn over the package at the recommended intervals (to avoid actually cooking it), and undershoot the weight (if you have the auto-defrost feature) by 1/4 pound or so so that it is still a bit firm.
Mix the ginger powder, anise seed, white pepper, and crushed garlic with the Teriyaki sauce. If you don’t have any leftover sauce, that’s OK – I’ve got the link listed in the ingredient list. Follow that link (it’ll open in a new window or tab), and rather than follow the entire recipe (in the interest of time), simply use 1/4 of the amounts listed and mix them together as a marinade instead. It’ll be a little less thick, but should still work fine. Pour over the meat, stir to coat well, and then set aside to marinate for ~10 minutes or so.
While the meat is doing a quick marinade on the counter (not to be confused with a quick promenade on the counter), turn your attention to prepping all those veggies. Get a big bowl. One almost as big as your wok. Proceed to chop, julienne, slice, dice, and shred all of your veggies as desired. Don’t have everything on the list above? Improvise! Try something different. Throw in some eggplant, or baby spinach, or leeks, okra…whatever you’ve got. I made this the day we picked up our CSA share, so I had a massive selection of things to try. Fill that bowl up.
About the time you’ve got all of the veggies cut up the way you want, your meat should be done marinating. Warm up the wok on medium-high, and melt a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in there. Resist the urge to take another spoonful and simply eat it. Well, don’t resist too hard (I didn’t). Just before it starts to smoke, toss in some meat – enough to cover the bottom of the wok – and sauté in batches until browned on the outside and just about cooked through. Add more oil to the pan as needed to keep things from sticking. Use your draft fan, because things will be a little smoky if you’re doing it right!
When all of the meat is done, add a little more coconut oil into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium. Throw in the veggies. Throw in the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Sauté them for a couple of minutes until they start to soften just a little, then add back in all of the meat (and juices that have collected in the bowl).