From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This dish is a favorite of the Silver Fox. He is a committed carnivore and the relative lack of vegetables in this stir-fry make it more to his liking than some of the other Asian-inspired dishes I make. He also likes the sweet and salty flavor of good oyster sauce. Traditionally, the sauce was made by simmering oysters in water until the juices caramelize into a thick brown sauce with a rich flavor that the Japanese call umami. These days shortcuts are taken to produce that flavor at a lower cost. Most oyster sauce today is made with a base of oyster extract to which salt, sugar and cornstarch are added. Soy sauce and MSG can also often added to deepen flavor and color. One of the techniques that improves the flavor of this dish is velveting. Velveting is a technique that is used in Chinese cuisine for preserving the moisture of meat while cooking. It literally softens the texture of animal protein by pre-coating it in a mixture that can contain oil, eggwhite, cornstarch and sherry or Chinese rice wine. Meat treated in this fashion can then be sauteed, stir-fried, deep-fried, simmered or boiled and still retain its moisture. This is an easy dish to prepare and can be table ready in 30 minutes. Better still, it is delicious. I hope you'll give this recipe a try. Here's how beef in oyster sauce is made.
Beef with Oyster Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Nancie McDermott
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 pound thinly sliced beef
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
1) Combine soy sauce, sherry and cornstarch in a medium bowl, stirring to mix well. Add beef and toss to coat it evenly. Let sit for 10 minutes.
2) Combine oyster sauce, chicken stock, sugar and salt in another small bowl, stirring to mix well.
3) Heat a wok or large high-sided skillet. Add oil and heat until it shimmers. Add ginger and toss or stir until fragrant. Add beef to pan, and cook without stirring for about a minute and then toss or stir.
4) Add carrots and cook, stirring, until they are softened, about 30 seconds. Add oyster sauce mixture and toss to coat ingredients. Cook until beef is cooked and sauce thickens. Add green onions and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
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