I have always loved Chinese food. Where I grew up we had some amazing Chinese food restaurants. Every Wednesday growing up we went to the local Chinese food restaurant for the Pu Pu Platter and some Shirley temples for me and my sis. I couldn’t get enough of the appetizers. Not sure if it was the food or the FIRE that was in the middle of our platter that enthralled me more. My sister and I would fight over who could stick their chicken wing in the fire first to burn the skin. I know, gross…I still love the appetizers but as I got older I actually branched out and started trying the dishes. As I started to get into cooking I tried my hardest to figure out the ingredients to no avail. When I go to the grocery store all I am familiar with is soy sauce. Actually, wrong. My mom used to BBQ spareribs in that Ah So sauce, I have to admit it was pretty good…On my quest to overcome my fears (publicly) I attempted to make a Chinese food dish. I wanted one that I have had before in a restaurant so I could at least compare it with my version and I needed to pick something that my husband would eat since he isn’t nearly as adventurous as I am. His requirement is that it not be spicy. I chose two recipes from Allrecipes and off I went to the supermarket. To my delight most of the ingredients I was somewhat familiar with, the only foreign one was the oyster sauce. To me it sounds gross but hey I was on an adventure.
Both of these recipes came out fantastic! Are they restaurant quality, probably not, BUT when a husband who refuses to eat leftovers asks if we are having leftovers that night for dinner, you know you did something right. To many, this dish might be on the sweet side so feel free to throw in some heat (maybe chili?). I did the beef in my wok and the rice in my 6qt sauté pan. Next time I would just serve the beef dish with plain jasmine rice. The fried rice was a meal in itself. You might want to double the sauce it was so good especially over plain rice. I wish I could come up with something else to do with the sauce. ..
Crispy Orange Beef
1 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
Toss dried beef in cornstarch to coat. Lay beef strips out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow to dry in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice concentrate, salt and soy sauce. Set aside.
Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Fry in the hot oil in small batches until crispy and golden brown; set aside. Drain all of the oil from the wok except about 1 tablespoon.
Add orange zest, ginger and garlic to the remaining oil, and cook briefly until fragrant. 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.
2 cups enriched white rice (I use Jasmine)
4 cups water
1 ½ Cup frozen peas & carrots thawed and drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 scallions sliced thin
soy sauce to taste (I used 2 T)
sesame oil, to taste (optional) (I used about ¼ t)
oyster sauce (I used 2T)
In a saucepan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, boil carrots in water about 3 to 5 minutes. Drop peas into boiling water, and drain.
Heat wok over high heat. Pour in oil, then stir in carrots and peas; cook about 30 seconds. Crack in eggs, stirring quickly to scramble eggs and scallions with vegetables. Stir in cooked rice. Shake in soy sauce, and toss rice to coat. Drizzle with sesame oil, and toss again.
Notes: If you can make the rice in advance this dish is much better. The drier the rice the better. If you want to add in shrimp do so with the peas and carrots.