Friday, February 17, 2017
Time for Thai
Cashew Beef is one of my favorites. I often make it with the Gardein beef strips for meatless days, but sometimes we splurge on some pasture raised beef and have it with steak strips.
I was able to find all of the ingredients in the oriental section of a large grocery chain or through Amazon. The dark sweet soy sauce is NOT the same as regular soy sauce and is very similar to the sweet soy sauce in the Indonesian kecap family — the essential ingredient in the much-loved Pad See Ew , fried flat rice noodles with sweet dark soy sauce. It is also heavily used in Chinese-influenced red-cooked or braised dishes that are found in Thai cuisine. Nothing else can quit mimic its salty but sweet, caramel-like but almost smoky flavor. I order the Healthy Boy brand from Amazon.
This may look like a lot of ingredients, but it takes just a few minutes to mix up and chop and just a minutes to cook.
I like extra sauce to save as a dipping sauce for wontons or egg rolls later (it freezes well), you can cut ingredient amounts in half and it will be enough to cook the meat).
1 Tablespoon regular soy sauce (or Maggi seasoning sauce/Golden Mountain sauce)
3 Tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce
1 Tablespoon fish sauce (I like Red Boat brand from Amazon)
3/4 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon water
2 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Mix sauces and honey in medium-sized bowl and set aside.
In small bowl mix water with cornstarch and set aside.
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (or small handful bok choy)
1/3 onion, cut into small slices (or substitute some or all of it water chestnuts, up to a small handful, sliced - I had both some green and sweet onion and water chestnuts and used a combination)
6-8 finger-length dried Thai red chilies, seeded and cut into halves (from amazon, less than $4)
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts, rinsed and drained
8 oz beef cut into thin bite-sized strips
one small can pineapple chunks, drained
1 carrot thinly sliced
handful of baby corn
Heat up a wok and add the oil over medium-high. (if you use too low of a temp the meat will poach and be limp) When the oil is heated, add the garlic, onion (or sliced water chestnuts) dried red chilies, corn, carrots and pineapple and stir-fry until fragrant or when you smell the spicy aroma of the chilies. Add the cashew nuts and follow with the beef. Stir-fry the beef until the outside is browning nicely, but meat isn't completely cooked through. Add in the medium bowl of sauce ingredients into the wok and continue to stir-fry until the beef is cooked, stirring in the small bowl of water with cornstarch the last few minutes to thicken the sauce. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
Note: If serving to people that don't know NOT to chew up the big pieces of chili, I remove before serving. They're quite edible and add just the right heat to the sauce but they are also pretty hot if you bite into them.