sesame ginger beef & baby bok choy

Stir-frying isn’t just for strips of meat & chunks of veggies cut to perfect symmetry. Ground meat – beef, pork, chicken, turkey & lamb, are also excellent alternatives for stir-frying & often cheaper than your regular cuts of meat. This recipe is a great example of how ground meat can be utilized in a stir-fry. The ground beef is stir-fried until it’s not only browned but to the point that it caramelizes a little giving it more flavor & texture – you can’t do that with strips of beef & have them still edible now can you?!

sesame ginger beef stir-fry with baby bok choy

Baby bok choy (seen in its raw state in pic below) has a delicate flavor & a wonderful texture when cooked just right. Baby bok choy belongs to the brassica rapa family along with Napa (Chinese) cabbage. It’s sub species of the turnip, belonging to the same genus as cabbage, cauliflower & broccoli. Nutritious & inexpensive, it can be found at its freshest at Asian markets (unless of course you’re one lucky-duck who has it growing). Because of its mild flavor, it teams up beautifully with almost anything.

baby bok choy

Oyster sauce is the main flavoring in this recipe. If you don’t have oyster sauce in your pantry artillery, I suggest you get some. I use gluten-free now but taste different kinds & see which you like best. It’s true the more expensive oyster sauce is going to be the best. If the label says “Premium” then that’s the one you want – or gluten-free, which ever way you swing. Le Kum Kee make an excellent oyster sauce in both GF & premium. Asian markets worldwide sell it. People assume soy sauce to be the mother sauce of Chinese cooking, they’re wrong, it’s oyster sauce. And don’t be put off by the name if you don’t like oysters *gasp* it’s not what you’d expect (oysters aren’t actually used in the sauce if that makes you feel better). The sauce is thick & smooth with a little sweetness & the right balance of saltiness. If you’ve eaten Chinese food in a restaurant or as take-away, I guarantee you’ve eaten oyster sauce. 

sesame ginger beef with baby bok choy

It’s good to step out of your comfort zone & try new things. I’ve been doing it most of my adult life, especially with food. Boredom & complacency are the top reasons why people cheat on a diet, cheat on their spouse, get fat, dress like they don’t care, eat like they don’t care…you get the picture. Some of the more mundane we can’t do a lot about, it’s part of life but cooking & eating doesn’t have to be mundane. Nowadays there is so many different ingredients readily available to us. I love to shop in the Asian markets but the standard supermarkets now carry an array of Asian greens. They’re easy to prepare, usually only requiring a little steaming…and of course oyster sauce. And if you buy something & don’t know what to do with it, drop my a line & I will help to inspire you. 

baby bok choy

 

sesame ginger beef & baby bok choy
Serves 3
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 6 to 9 baby bok choy
  2. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  3. 1 lb (453g) ground beef
  4. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  6. 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  7. 3 tablespoons oyster sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee Panda brand gluten-free oyster sauce with the green label)
  8. 2 tablespoons grated palm sugar (or use regular sugar)
  9. 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  10. 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red chilies
  11. 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  12. 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  13. sliced green onions, for garnish
  1. Trim a little of the end of each baby bok choy but don’t cut too much off or the stalks will separate. Soak baby bok choy in water for 5 minutes to help remove any dirt. Rinse well under cool water. Pour about 1/2 inch (1.25cm) of water into a large saucepan & add a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add beef, cook, breaking up any lumps until beef is browned & some of it is a little crispy. To do this, once you’ve broken up the larger lumps then don’t stir-fry the beef constantly. This allows it to brown & become a little crisp. Drain any fat from wok.
  3. Place saucepan of water over high heat. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add bok choy & cover. Cook about 3 minutes or until just tender; drain.
  4. Add garlic, ginger & sherry to beef. Stir-fry 1 minute or until fragrant. Add oyster sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, crushed red chilies & sesame oil. Stir-fry until hot & beef is well coated.
  5. Arrange bok choy on plates. Spoon beef over the top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds & green onions. Drizzle with extra oyster sauce if desired.
The Fresh Aussie http://thefreshaussie.com/
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