I am never very good at doing vegetable side dishes. The whole idea of having to cook another dish alongside my main dish is just a step too far. I have some favourite dishes where vegetables are one of the main ingredients such as this mushroom risotto. This risotto is a bit of a go to staple when I want a low calorie meal that is super filling. I keep a stock of dried porcini mushrooms in the pantry so I can make this at any time.
I also like stir-fries to get to vegies in my diet. One of the many things that I like about stir-fries is that they often incorporate vegies in with the main meat event. No need to whip out that extra pot, no need to think about what flavours will go with the main dish, no need to come up with a different sauce. It is all in one lovely dish. The only think I need to worry about is cooking some rice to go with the main part of my meal.
This particular recipe for Szechuan beef has a lovely amount of broccoli in it. I particularly love broccoli in stir-fries because the broccoli is soooo good at taking on the flavours you are cooking with it. In this case it takes on the chilli flavours of the szechuan sauce. The recipe is available here.
The recipe is for one so no major modifications to the ingredients or recipe. However, the list of ingredients is missing the chilli flakes mentioned in the recipe. I added a ¼ tsp where indicated in the recipe. I used sambal olek as my chilli paste. The recipe suggests adding cornflour for a thick gooey sauce but I found my sauce reduced quite a bit and the cornflour was definitely not needed.
I wasn’t 100% sure what ground ginger was. Or at least I was – I used what is sold in Australia in the spices aisle as ground ginger. But I was reading another recipe written by an American which suggested ground ginger was actually fresh minced ginger. The fresh minced ginger sounds like it would fit in more with the other ingredients but the ground ginger I used didn’t detract from the dish. Can any Americans shed light on what it should be?
It is important with stir-fries to get the meat beautifully thin. Years ago someone told me to slice the meat very thin, cut it whilst it is still slightly frozen. This does make a huge difference in how easy it is to cut and because it is so thin, it effectively defrosts as soon as it hits the hot pan.
I didn’t have sesame seeds so didn’t add them as a garnish.
The preparation time on the Szechuan beef was under 10 minutes because I used pre minced ginger. Only the broccoli and beef needed any real preparation, the rest came out of the pantry or fridge. The cooking time is about 11 minutes. I found the beef only took 2-3 minutes to cook but I quite like my beef rare so I err on the side of undercooked. A good quick meal. Without rice there are about 357 calories. If you really wanted to keep the calories down I would have the beef without a carb side and add more broccoli.
I like but don’t love this recipe. Like most stir-fry recipes, it is quick and flavoursome, but just not knock your socks of fabulous.