Monday, December 30, 2013

Gluten-free, Wok it To Me! Beef and Pork Stir-fry(s)

 Chili Beef with Onion

Dan called this an "11" on the 0 to 10 scale for heat.  "Too intense" was the exact phrase. "That's why there is a salad and pickles to tame it," I said.

5 Spice Pork, Broccoli, and Noodles
The broccoli/onions contributed sweetness to counter the peppery vinegar marinated pork and spicy noodles.  A "4" on the heat scale.

The buckwheat noodles (thinner, grey color) were stretchy and so similar in texture to wheat noodles that I had to re-check the ingredients.  The rice noodles (yellow color) absorbed a lot of flavor, but broke into pieces when re-heated.

This wok is 25 years old - and my favorite for stovetop use.  I have four in all.

RECIPE:  Any take-away menu gives typical meat/vegetable combinations.

The core of success lies with the marinades and sauces - and technique (videos everywhere on the 'net).

I marinate about a pound of cubed meat in vinaigrette overnight - either one I made myself using rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, grapeseed oil, white wine- or just plain old Italian from the bottle.   Drain meat before frying - reserve marinade for the sauce.

Everything fries in 1-2 TB peanut oil - onions first, then meat, then veggies.  Set each aside as they are almost finished.

Now comes the sauce!

Prepare 1 cup of wine or stock mixed with 1TB cornstarch.  Set aside, this goes in last.

I add the reserved marinade to the wok and let it simmer for a few seconds.
Now add options: minced garlic, freshly grated ginger, 5-spice, black pepper, Union Brand chili garlic paste.

Add "side bottles" according to the amount of sesame and salt desired.  These are: sesame oil, fish sauce (I need to be both gluten-free and soy-free), soy sauce, oyster sauce - even worcestershire!

Add the cornstarch mixture.  Let it simmer until clear.*

Add meat and veggies to wok and toss until coated.

*I always have another cup of stock or wine on hand in case the mixture is too thick.