New Orleans Yakamein

1 (2 1/2-to 3-pound) boneless chuck or eye of round roast
8 to 9 cups water
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s
1/2 to 2/3 cup soy sauce, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon ketchup, plus more for topping if you like
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce, plus more to taste
1 (1-pound) package of spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced
5 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half

Place the beef roast in a large stockpot. Cover with water, and then add the Creole seasoning. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, until the beef is tender. Remove the beef to a large bowl and allow the beef and stock to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

Shred or chop cooled beef, removing and discarding any large chunks of fat. Skim the fat from the top of the stock. Add the soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to the stock, tasting as you go and adjusting the seasonings if needed. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the skimmed stock over medium heat until simmering.

To serve, divide the spaghetti and meat among 10 bowls. Top each with scallions and half an egg and ladle some stock over the top. Serve with hot sauce or ketchup.

Cambodian Beef Salad

?1 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and sliced about 1/8 inch thick (see note)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice, plus lime wedges to serve
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil, preferably toasted, plus more to serve
1/2 small head red cabbage, finely shredded (about 4 cups)
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and sliced into thin rings
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

In a medium bowl, toss the beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. In a large saucepan, stir together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, oil and 1/4 cup water.

Bring to a simmer over high, then add the beef and cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes; the beef will release liquid as it cooks. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cucumber and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables with your hands, rubbing in the salt, until they just begin to wilt. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to the bowl with the vegetables, then add the chili and scallions.

Add 1/4 cup of the beef cooking liquid and toss to combine. Taste and, if desired, toss in additional cooking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until the salad is dressed to your liking. Transfer to a serving bowl, then top with the peanuts and drizzle with additional oil. Serve with lime wedges.

Stir-Fry Sauce for Any Meat and Vegetable

1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable or mushroom stock; 350ml)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (can sub gluten-free soy sauce or tamari)
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (or vegetarian or gluten-free oyster sauce)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a jar with a tight lid (must hold 2 cups of liquid), combine all of the stir fry sauce ingredients together and shake well.

This sauce should keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator; all you need to do is measure and pour out what you need for your dish.

Makes enough sauce for about 3 dishes. Nutrition info is for one out of twelve servings of sauce, assuming that there are 4 servings per dish

HOW TO USE THIS STIR-FRY SAUCE:

1. MARINATE YOUR PROTEIN:

Marinate 12 ounces of sliced beef, chicken or pork with:

2 tablespoons water
A pinch or more of baking soda (for beef only)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

2. PREPARE AROMATICS:

Mince 3 cloves of garlic, grate a teaspoon of ginger, and perhaps slice 1 or 2 scallions into 2-inch lengths.

3. SLICE VEGETABLES:

Prepare the vegetables ahead of time, slicing celery, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and/or broccoli. Use whatever you like and make sure to cut the vegetables small/thinly enough so that they’ll cook quickly (i.e. a couple of minutes).

4. PREPARE YOUR THICKENER:

2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

5. SEAR MEAT:

Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your hot wok (it should be almost smoking). Add the meat, sear on both sides, and set aside.

HOW TO USE THIS STIR-FRY SAUCE:

1. MARINATE YOUR PROTEIN:

Marinate 12 ounces of sliced beef, chicken or pork with:

2 tablespoons water
A pinch or more of baking soda (for beef only)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2. PREPARE AROMATICS:

I like to cut my aromatics fresh, so I will mince 3 cloves of garlic, grate a teaspoon of ginger, and perhaps slice 1 or 2 scallions into 2-inch lengths if I have some.

3. SLICE VEGETABLES:

I’ll prepare the vegetables ahead of time, slicing celery, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and/or broccoli. Use whatever you like and make sure to cut the vegetables small/thinly enough so that they’ll cook quickly (i.e. a couple of minutes).

4. PREPARE YOUR THICKENER:

2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

5. SEAR MEAT:

Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your hot wok (it should be almost smoking). Add the meat, sear on both sides, and set aside.

Searing Meat in Wok, thewoksoflife.com

6. ASSEMBLE STIR-FRY

Add another tablespoon of oil and add the garlic and ginger. (If you also sliced scallions, you can add the white parts of the scallion at this stage.)

After a few seconds, add the vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute or until just softened.

Add about 2/3 cup of stir fry sauce (more or less depending on how much sauce you like), and heat until simmering.

And add in the seared meat.

Bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch slurry until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon (you may need a little more or a little less cornstarch slurry depending on how much sauce you added and how high your heat is). Add the green parts of your scallions (if using), and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds.

Serve over rice.

Grilled Flank Steak with Worcestershire Butter

FOR THE STEAK:
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, finely grated or mashed to a paste
1 jalapeño, minced
2 tablespoons minced chives, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
3 ripe plum tomatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Handful of torn fresh basil, plus more for serving

FOR THE WORCESTERSHIRE BUTTER:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced chives
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, grated or mashed to a paste
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Season steak all over with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. In a bowl or resealable bag, combine thyme, garlic, jalapeño, chives, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and lemon juice. Add meat and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Prepare the Worcestershire butter: In a bowl, mash together the butter, thyme, chives, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Spoon the butter onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, form into a log and wrap well. Chill for at least 2 hours before using.

Light the grill or heat the broiler, arranging the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Grill tomatoes, or broil them on a rimmed baking pan, turning them, until charred on all sides, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board to cool.

Brush off any pieces of marinade clinging to the steak, pat steak dry and coat it lightly with oil. Grill or broil steak until it reaches desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare (125 degrees).

Transfer steak to a cutting board. Slice butter into coins and place them on the steak to melt slightly. Let steak rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the tomatoes.

Roughly chop tomatoes and place in a bowl with scallions, basil, a pinch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss well, adding more salt or lemon juice, or both, to taste.

Slice the steak thinly, across the grain, and serve with the charred tomato mixture spooned on top. Garnish with more chives and torn basil, if you like.

Korean Rice Cakes with Beef, Cabbage, and Chili Sauce

8 ounces fresh or thawed frozen tteok (see note)
4 ounces beefsteak, such as chuck or sirloin, very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cups green cabbage, cut crosswise into large pieces (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chile paste)
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
2 scallions, cut into 1-inch batons
Sesame seeds

Soak tteok in cold water to cover while preparing the other ingredients, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Combine beef with soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and garlic.

Heat a wok or skillet over high heat until very hot. Add beef mixture and stir-fry just until lightly browned, 1 minute. Add onion, scallions, and cabbage, if using, and stir-fry until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add gochujang and mix. Add about ? cup water, remaining teaspoon sesame oil, sugar and tteok. Mix and let simmer until sauce is thick and tteok is soft, adding water a little at a time as needed. Adjust seasonings with sugar and gochujang.

Mix in scallions and serve hot, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Tip:
Tteok (Korean rice cakes, also spelled dduk or toppoki) are available in Asian markets. For this dish, the traditional shape is long cylinders; cut them crosswise in half before cooking. If using dried tteok, cook according to package directions and do not soak.

New Mexico Hot Dish

1 pound ground beef
Flour
Salt
Chopped onion
Chopped garlic
Chopped jalapeno
Chili powder
Ground cumin
Oregano
Chopped tomatoes
Corn tortillas
Grated American and cheddar cheese
Raw onions, sour cream, and salsa for serving

First, sauté a pound or so of ground beef in a splash of oil, with a little flour and a pinch of salt, then set it aside.

Use the same pan to cook chopped onion, garlic and jalapeño.

Return the meat to the pan, and hit it with chile powder, ground cumin and oregano, to taste. Add chopped tomatoes and a little water to loosen everything up. Let it reduce a little.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425, and grab a casserole dish. You’ll need corn tortillas as well, and grated cheese mixture of Cheddar and American.

Put a little chili in the bottom of the casserole, warm tortillas in a dry skillet and lay them across the chili as if building the first layer of a lasagna.

Do that again and again, and finish with the remaining chili and cheese.

Bake in the oven until everything’s bubbling.

Serve with chopped raw onions, sour cream and salsa on the side.

Sloppy Joes

Chopped onions
Diced celery
Diced jalapeno
Diced red pepper
Minced garlic
Half pound ground beef
Tomato paste
Pureed canned tomatoes
Worcestershire sauce
Potato buns

Put a Dutch oven over medium-high heat on your stove, then add a glug of olive oil and sauté in it a handful of chopped onions, a couple diced ribs of celery, a diced jalapeño and a small diced red pepper.

When the mixture is supersoft, add a few cloves of minced garlic and cook for a couple more minutes, then dump a pound and a half of ground beef into the pot — ideally the sort that is 20 percent fat — and stir and sizzle until it is well browned, about 10 minutes.

Bring the heat down a bit and add a lot of tomato paste — say 3 tablespoons, maybe 4 — and let it get a little toasty before adding a cup or more of puréed canned tomatoes. Cook that down for a few minutes, then add quite a few glugs of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to taste, and continue cooking until the mixture is quite thick, another 15 or 20 minutes.

Season to taste and serve on toasted potato buns.

Classic Beefaroni

1 pound elbow macaroni or other tubular pasta, such as cavatappi
Kosher salt
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large green pepper, finely diced (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley leaves
1 pound 80/20 ground beef
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, plus more for serving
1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound low moisture whole milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 ounces roughly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Place macaroni in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Season generously with salt. Let rest, stirring twice during the first ten minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients.

Using a hand blender directly in the tomato jar or a regular countertop blender, process tomatoes until mostly smooth. Set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a 5 quart straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, swirling, until better is mostly melted. Add onions and peppers, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and half of parsley, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Clear a space in the center of the pan and add meat. Increase heat to high. Cook, breaking it up first with a wooden spoon, then with a potato masher, until broken into small pieces. Continue cooking until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

Drain noodles in a large colander set in the sink. Add to pot with beef. Add Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock and stir, folding noodles through the sauce until noodles and sauce are well-integrated. Cover and cook at a hard simmer until noodles are mostly cooked, about half of cook-time indicated on box.

Remove lid and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add half of cubed mozzarella and stir to incorporate rapidly (do not overstir or the mixture will stretch and stick to your spoon). Spread remaining mozzarella over surface of dish. Sprinkle half of Parmesan over dish. Cover and cook over the lowest possible heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest with cover on for 5 minutes.

Uncover, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and herbs and serve immediately, passing extra Worcestershire sauce at the table.

Ginger Beef with Peppers and Bok Choy

1 lb (450 g) flank steak cut to 1/2-inch thick strips
1/3 cup cornstarch

Marinade
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauce
1/3 cup broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Beef and stir-fry
1/3 cup peanut oil
3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 thumb ginger, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
2 baby bok choy, quartered

Beat the egg in a medium-sized bowl. Add the sliced beef, vegetable oil, and salt. Mix well and let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.

Combine everything for the sauce in a big bowl and mix well.

When you’re ready to cook, add the cornstarch. Stir to coat the beef, until it forms an uneven coating with a little dry cornstarch left unattached.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet (or a cast iron paover medium-high heat until hot. Add the beef and spread it into a single layer in the skillet. Separate the beef pieces with a pair of tongs or chopsticks.

Cook without touching the beef for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom turns golden. Flip to brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the beef to a big plate and remove the pan from the stove. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place the pan back onto the stove and turn to medium heat. You should still have 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. If not, add more.

Add the green onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir a few times to release the fragrance.
Add the bell pepper and baby bok choy. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Stir the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch completely. Pour into the pan. Stir and cook until it thickens a bit.
Add back the beef pieces. Stir to coat the beef with sauce.

Transfer everything to a plate immediately and garnish with roasted sesame seeds, if using.

Serve hot over steamed rice as a main dish.

Soboro Donburi (Gingery Ground Beef with Peas over Rice)

1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1/3 cup sake
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Dashi or water
1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup frozen English peas, thawed
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
5 cups hot Cooked Rice
2 tablespoon beni shoga (Japanese pickled ginger) or 1 large tomato, sliced

Stir together ground beef, sake, soy sauce, dashi, and sugar in a small Dutch oven or medium-size, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high, stirring often to break up large lumps of beef, 5 minutes. Stir in peas and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is mostly evaporated and beef is no longer pink but is still moist, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Divide rice evenly among 4 large bowls. Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture over each. Garnish with pickled ginger.

Cantonese Ground Beef Rice and Eggs

1 lb (450 g) ground beef

Sauce
2 cups chicken stock (or beef stock, or veggie stock)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce (or soy sauce)
1/8 tsp white pepper powder
Cooking
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 yellow onion , minced
2 teaspoons ginger , minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup frozen green peas
1 tsp Sesame oil (optional)
5 large eggs

Serving:
2 cups steamed rice

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan (or carbon steel paover medium heat until hot. Add the ground beef and spread it with your spatula. Let it cook without touching until the bottom is browned. Break up the beef into smaller bits.

Add the onions and ginger. Cook and stir occasionally, until onion turns tender and the edges are lightly browned, 5 minutes or so.

Pour in the sauce. Stir to mix well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Your pan should still have some sauce left, just enough to cover the beef. If not, you can gradually stir in more broth.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.

Once the beef is cooked, add the frozen peas. Stir the cornstarch slurry again to dissolve the powder completely, and pour it into the pot. Stir to mix well. Crack 5 eggs onto the beef. Cover immediately and let it steam until the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Or you can cook the eggs to the degree you prefer. Make sure the sauce doesn’t come to a full boil, which will reduce the cornstarch’s ability to thicken the sauce. Move the pan off the heat for a few seconds if the pan gets too hot.

Once done, uncover the pan and remove it from the stove. Use a spatula or ladle to transfer the beef with an egg and some sauce onto a bowl of rice. Serve hot as a main dish.

Hunan Beef

For the beef:
1 pound flank steak (sliced 1/4-inch thick)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/3 cup cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
1 red Holland pepper (25g, deseeded; can substitute red Fresno peppers)
1 small green bell pepper or poblano pepper (100g, deseeded)
1 small red bell pepper (100g, deseeded)
2 banana peppers (80g, deseeded)
8 whole dried chili peppers
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil (for frying)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (8g, sliced)
1/2 cup shallots (thinly sliced, 40g)
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
5 cloves garlic (15g, sliced)
2 tablespoons fermented black beans (20g, rinsed)
2 scallions (60g, cut at an angle into 2-inch lengths)

In a medium bowl, combine the sliced flank steak with the baking soda, water and oyster sauce. Massage these ingredients into the beef until any liquid has been absorbed by the meat. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Lightly dredge all of the beef slices in cornstarch. Set aside until ready to fry.

Slice all the fresh peppers crosswise into thin slices on the diagonal. Set aside the dried red peppers. Do not break them open or chop unless you want a very spicy Hunan Beef!

Stir the sugar into 2 tablespoons of hot water until dissolved. Add the Chinese black vinegar, soy sauce, and ground white pepper. Mix until well combined and set aside.

Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Spread ? cup oil around the wok, and sear the beef in three batches on both sides until browned and slightly crispy on the outside. Be sure the wok and oil are hot each time you add a batch of beef.
Drain the crispy beef by moving it up to the side of the wok. The oil will drain to the bottom and you can then transfer the beef to a sheet pan or plate. No need for paper towels or wire racks!

After frying the beef, leave about 2 tablespoons of the oil in the wok, and remove any excess. If your wok got burned in the frying process, this is a good time to wash it. While you want the beef flavor from frying, you definitely don’t want burned bits in the stir-fry if you got carried away with the heat during frying.

Assembling the stir-fry:

Set the wok over medium heat. Add the sliced ginger and fry until caramelized, about 30 seconds.

Next, add the shallots. Continue to fry for another 30 seconds, and add the fresh peppers (except for the red holland or fresno peppers). Turn the heat up to high and stir-fry for 1 minute to get a nice sear on the peppers.

Clear a section on the bottom of the wok, and add the dried chili peppers. Let them toast in the oil for 20 seconds. (If you want your dish spicier, add the dried chili peppers earlier, along with the shallots.)

Next, pour the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok. Add the sliced garlic, fermented black beans, and the red Holland or Fresno peppers. Stir-fry for another 30 to 60 seconds on high heat.

Next, add the fried beef and pour over the pre-prepared sauce. Maintain the highest heat possible and stir-fry everything together for 20 seconds. Add the scallions. Continue to stir fry until most––if not all––of the sauce has evaporated.

Seared Skirt Steak With Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and Polenta

1 1/2 pounds skirt or flank steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons), divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup coarse-ground polenta (corn meal)
1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
1 quart cherry tomatoes
2 small red chilies such as Fresno or Thai bird, thinly sliced
3 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Chopped chives, scallion greens, or parsley, for garnish

Season steak generously with salt and pepper. Rub with 2 minced cloves garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside at room temperature.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat until butter is foaming. Add 2 minced cloves garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisking constantly, slowly add polenta in a thin stream. Reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until polenta is completely tender and creamy, about 40 minutes, adding water as necessary to keep it loose.

When polenta is fully cooked, stir in heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add steak in a single layer and cook, turning frequently, until well browned on both sides and center of steak registers 110°F for medium-rare or 115°F for medium, 6 to 8 minutes total. 1 minute before steak is done, add tomatoes to pan. Remove steaks and set aside. Add chilies, scallions, and remaining 2 minced cloves garlic to pan. Add 1/4 cup water and scrape up browned bits. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until tomatoes burst and release their juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in lemon juice and soy sauce off heat, adding water as necessary to reach a creamy sauce-like consistency.

To serve, transfer polenta to a pre-heated plate. Slice steak thinly against the grain. Transfer to polenta, top with blistered tomatoes and pan sauce, sprinkle with herbs, and serve.

Pica Pau (Portuguese Steak with Olives and Pickled Onions)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 12- to 14-ounce beef strip steaks, each about 1 inch thick, trimmed of fat and gristle, patted dry
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds
3/4 cup dry white wine
5 bay leaves
2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 2 pieces and chilled
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Piri-piri oil, to serve (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Season both sides of each steak with the mixture, rubbing it into the meat. Set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the onion, olives, vinegar and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Let the steaks and onion mixture stand for 30 minutes, stirring the onion mixture once halfway through.

In a nonstick 10-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until barely smoking. Add the steaks and cook without disturbing until well browned on the bottoms, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until well browned on the second sides and the centers reach 120°F (for medium-rare), another 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

Pour off and discard the fat from the skillet, then wipe out the pan. Set over medium-high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic and chili. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and bay, then bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 2 to 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in the butter until melted.

Transfer the steaks to a cutting board. Cut each steak lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into ½-inch pieces. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Add the parsley and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Drain off and discard the liquid from the onion mixture and transfer to a platter. Pour the steak mixture over the onions, then drizzle with piri-piri oil, if using.

Note: The dish, eaten with toothpicks, is served as as appetizer or small plate with crusty bread and cold beer as accompaniments. Pickled cauliflower and carrots are often, but not always, included. The bed of vinegar-marinated red onions and olives balance the beef’s richness.

Beef Fried Rice

2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 lb (225 g) ground beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce , separated
3 eggs , beaten
4 green onions , chopped
3 cups cooked rice , chilled
1 cup frozen veggies (broccoli, carrot, corn, and/or peas)
1 bell pepper , diced
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick (or carbon steel paover medium-high heat until hot. Add the ground beef and quickly spread it across the pan with your spatula to form a thin layer. Let the bottom cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle with soy sauce. Flip the beef and chop it into smaller pieces with your spatula. When the beef is almost cooked through, move it to one side of the pan.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and green onions onto the empty side of the pan. Stir a few times.

Add the rice and pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce over the rice. Stir and cook for 30 seconds until evenly mixed. Stir everything together.

Add the frozen veggies, bell pepper, cumin powder, chili flakes, and sprinkle with the salt. Stir and cook for a minute. Move everything to one side of the pan.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil onto the other side of the pan. Add the beaten eggs onto the oil. Let them cook for a few seconds until the bottom sets. Scramble the eggs using your spatula, cut them into smaller pieces, and mix them with everything else.

Transfer everything to a plate and serve hot as a main or side dish. Enjoy!

Sambalado (Sambal Balado – Indonesian Chili Sauce)

While typical sambal is usually served as a condiment on the side, Balado is usually cooked with other food to make Sambal Terong Balado (Eggplant Balado), Telur Balado (Egg Balado), Ayam Balado (Chicken Balado), Udang Balado (Shrimp Balado), Squid Balado (Cumi Balado), Dendeng Balado (usually made with Beef), Kentang Balado (Potato Balado), etc. You get the idea! Pretty much anything!

Ingredients to grind:
100 gr shallots or purple onion
200 gr large red chili or use premade garlic sambal chili
2 cloves garlic

Other ingredients:
1 large tomato
1 Tbsp cooking oil
3 kaffir lime leaves optional
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sugar

Place shallots, chili (if using fresh chili), and garlic in a food processor and finely chopped them

Preheat a skillet with cooking oil. Add the ingredients you chopped above (if using premade garlic sambal chili, don’t add just yet) and stir fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the premade garlic sambal chili (if not using fresh chili) and stir fry for another minute.

Add tomato pieces and kaffir lime leaves (if using). Continue to cook until the tomatoes are wilted and softened. Squeeze in lime juice and sugar. Stir to mix. If you are preparing a balado dish, this is the point you add them in and toss with the balado sauce, otherwise, remove from the heat and serve as a condiment to your meal.

TO MAKE A BALADO DISH: If you are preparing a balado dish, this is the point you add your other cooked ingredient in and toss with the balado sauce, otherwise, remove from the heat and serve as a condiment to your meal.

Storage:

REFRIGERATOR: Sambal can be stored in an air-tight glass jar for up to one week in the refrigerator.

FREEZER: For longer storage, portion the sambal into smaller portion and freeze them. They can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.

Semur Daging Kecap (Indonesian Beef Stew – Pressure Cooker or Stove Top)

1 kg beef you can use chuck, round, rump
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Water see instruction for the amount
50 gr bean thread noodles optional

Aromatics:
8 shallots thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger

Herbs:
2 bay leaves

Seasonings:
4 Tbsp kecap manis
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp coconut sugar or more to taste
Salt to taste

Spices:
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
Vegetables (cut into large chunks if cooking with Instant Pot):
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large tomatoes quartered

Garnishes:
Fried crispy shallots
Chinese celery leaves finely chopped

Grind the aromatics:

Place ingredients for aromatics in food processor and grind into fine pieces or a paste.

Cooking with pressure cooker:
Melt the butter in an inner pot of Instant Pot pressure cooker. Add in ground aromatics and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add the beef, herb, spice, and seasonings. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Pour in the 1/4 cup of water (yes, I know that sounds like not much at all). Stir to mix. Not much liquid is lost and you’ll be surprised by how much liquid you ended up with later. Scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is stuck there.

Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to “sealing”. Set timer to 25 minutes and make sure it’s on “high pressure”. Wait 5 minutes and then release pressure completely after that. Unlock the lid and have a taste and season with salt if needed. It should be savory and slightly sweet. Proceed to serving.

Cooking on the stove:
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add in ground aromatics, nutmeg and bay leaves. Stir fry until fragrant. Add the beef and seasonings. Pour in the 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and slowly simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Add the potatoes and tomatoes after 30 minutes of cooking. Gently stir everything to mix. Have a taste and season with salt if needed. It should be slightly sweet from the sweet soy sauce.

When ready to serve:
If using cellophane noodles, blanch the cellophane noodles in boiling water, it just take few seconds to soften. Portion into individual bowl and portion out the beef and potatoes over each bowl. Laddle the hot broth over the noodles. Garnish with fried shallot crisp and celery leaves. Drizzle with some kecap manis and you are good to go. Or just serve this with rice on the side.

Notes:
Traditionally, we used deep-fried potatoes, you can deep fry the potatoes or you can just add the potatoes and carrots in 30 minutes before end of cooking time. Roasting or deep-frying the potatoes first sure makes it taste even better.

Stir-Fried Green Beans with Pork

For the pork & marinade:
8 ounces ground pork (225g, can substitute ground chicken or beef)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ginger (minced)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
3 tablespoons oil (divided)
1 pound green beans (450g, chopped to ½-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1/2 red bell pepper (diced finely)
4 red chilies (chopped, optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (a pinch, or to taste)
2 tablespoons water

Combine the ground meat with all the marinade ingredients. Stir until any standing liquid has been absorbed by the meat. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the chopped green beans. Stir and spread the beans into a single layer. Cook for 30 seconds. Then stir and repeat the spreading step several times until the green beans are slightly charred, wilted, and cooked through. Turn the heat lower if needed to avoid burning. It takes about 5-8 minutes to cook the green beans this way. (To speed up the cooking, add a few drops of water each you stir, to create some steam.) Transfer the cooked green beans to a dish and set aside.

Now add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok, with the heat turned up to high. Add the ground meat and brown it. Don’t stir too much; give the meat a chance to brown and crisp. Once the meat has browned, reduce the heat to medium.

Next, add the garlic, bell pepper and chilies. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add in the cooked green beans, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, r, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper, a pinch of salt (to taste), and 2 tablespoons water. With the heat all the way up on high, stir-fry for a final 10-15 seconds and serve.

Beef Suya

1 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1/4 cup peanut oil, plus more for grilling
2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade ground suya spice blend (see Note), plus more for serving
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
Kosher salt
2 medium plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch strips, seeds discarded
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
1 lime (optional)
1/4 cup toasted peanuts, chopped

Lay several strips of meat on a piece of plastic wrap, leaving about 1/2 inch between each slice, and top with another piece of plastic wrap. Pound the meat strips with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy frying pan until 1/8-inch thick. Repeat this process until all the meat has been flattened. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup peanut oil and 2 tablespoons suya spice blend with ginger and garlic. Add beef, toss to coat and season with 2 teaspoons salt. Cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours.

Heat a gas grill or grill pan over medium-high, and brush with peanut oil.

Skewer the beef pieces on 12 individual presoaked wooden or metal skewers, wiping off any excess marinade. Brush the meat generously with more peanut oil and set the skewers on a baking sheet.

Working in batches if necessary, grill the beef skewers until meat is cooked through and lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the skewers to a platter and sprinkle with more suya spice blend. Repeat until all the beef has been grilled.

Place the tomato and onion slices in a bowl and squeeze lime juice all over. Season with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Strain any excess liquid.

Top skewers with red onion and tomatoes, sprinkle with toasted peanuts, and serve with additional suya spice, for dipping.

Tip
To make suya spice blend, combine 1/4 cup dry roasted peanut powder, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground cayenne, 2 teaspoons hot paprika, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon fine sea salt. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Basic Stir-Fry Sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a jar with a tight lid (must hold 2 cups of liquid), combine all of the stir fry sauce ingredients together and shake well.

This sauce should keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

To use:

MARINATE YOUR PROTEIN

Marinate 12 ounces of sliced beef, chicken or pork with:

2 tablespoons water
A pinch or more of baking soda (for beef only)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

PREPARE AROMATICS

Mince 3 cloves of garlic, grate a teaspoon of ginger, and perhaps slice 1 or 2 scallions into 2-inch lengths.

SLICE VEGETABLES

Prepare the vegetables ahead of time, slicing celery, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and/or broccoli. Use whatever you like and make sure to cut the vegetables small/thinly enough so that they’ll cook quickly (i.e. a couple of minutes).

PREPARE YOUR THICKENER

2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

SEAR MEAT

Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your hot wok (it should be almost smoking). Add the meat, sear on both sides, and set aside.

ASSEMBLE STIR-FRY

Add another tablespoon of oil and add the garlic and ginger. (If you also sliced scallions, you can add the white parts of the scallion at this stage.)

After a few seconds, add the vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute or until just softened.

And add in the seared meat.

Bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch slurry until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon (you may need a little more or a little less cornstarch slurry depending on how much sauce you added and how high your heat is). Add the green parts of your scallions (if using), and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds.

Serve over rice.