Garlicky Hoisin Beef

4.21.10 § 7 Comments

Many of the recipes that I love are for dishes that are pretty easy to make but still manage to impress others with their deliciousness.  Garlicky hoisin beef is definitely one of those recipes.

My good friend Alex introduced me to this recipe a few years ago and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.  I crave it once every few months, but it’s always best when Alex and I cook it together.  For some reason it just tastes better that way.  Maybe its the memory of that first time or maybe it’s the fact that we usually accompany it with too much wine…Regardless, this dish rocks my socks.

There are two things (other than fond memories) that make this dish so great.  First, the sauce is to die for.  You need to tweak it to your own liking, I like it spicy.  (Be careful though – one time  I made the sauce so hot it made my nose run.  I still loved it, but I’m not sure anyone else would have.)  Second, it is really unusual (and surprisingly awesome) to have sweet potatoes in a stir-fry.  Thirdly (I guess there are more than two things that make this dish great), the colors are really pretty on a plate.  If you want, you can throw in a yellow bell pepper for more color.  Lastly (ok, way more than two great things about this meal), you can easily substitute one ingredient for another.  I like to swap green beans in for the peas sometimes and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the addition of broccoli.

In summation, this is a great stir-fry.  Don’t buy cheap meat though – the one time I did not enjoy this dish is when I was scrimping and the excessive need to chew the beef definitely outweighed the deliciousness factor.

Garlicky Hoisin Beef
adapted from Real Simple
*it looks long, but that’s only because there are two recipes involved*

Sauce:
1½ tbsp olive oil
4 minced scallions (white parts only)
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste, I usually do a bit more)

¾ cup hoisin sauce (available with the asian food in the supermarket)
½ cup water
1½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar

Combine hoisin sauce, water, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl and stir.

Heat olive oil in  a wok or skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds.  Add the scallions, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds.  Then add the liquid mixture and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring occasionally while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.  Pour the sauce into a bowl and set aside.

Stir-fry:
2½ tbsp olive oil
1 lb boneless sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced ¼-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup water
1/3 lb snow or sugar snap peas (or green beans)
4 scallions, green parts only, cut into 1-inch lengths
cooked rice

Wipe out your wok or skillet after making the sauce.  Add 2 tbsp olive oil and heat for 30 seconds.  Add the steak and stirfry until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove steak.

Wipe out skillet again and add the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil, heat for 30 seconds.  Add the bell pepper and cook for about a minute.  Add the sweet potato and water, cover partially (I use a baking sheet if the skillet/wok doesn’t have a lid) and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove cover, add peas and scallions, cook 1 minute more.

Increase heat to high and add the hoisin sauce you’ve made.  When it starts to bubble, put the steak back in the skillet.  Stir while the steak warms through, about 1 minute.

Serve immediately over rice.  Try to remember that if you don’t have a microwave, buying that minute rice that is microwavable is probably not a good idea.  Boil-in-a-bag is your next-best option.

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§ 7 Responses to Garlicky Hoisin Beef

  • Eric says:

    soooooooo goood!!! come cook for me please!

  • Alex says:

    when i made this last week i totaaally went overboard on sweet potato and ended up not having as much sauce as i like, but other than that…delish! also mine had yellow peppers and sugar snap peas (small variation, better crunch!). i’m not sure it’s ever been as good as that first time we made it together…or as epic as the time we had to run out in the cold TWICE because we forgot sweet potatoes and had no hoisin sauce. wooooops musta been the wine 😛

  • reba says:

    This is to sweet for my taste. I printed this recipe out and for some reason it printed 3/4 cup hoisin which was way to strong. Very disappointed.

  • Looks delish. Will try it now!

  • kjones618 says:

    I just found this recipe this morning and made it for lunch today. OMG its soooo good. I used green beans instead of peas. I used 1.5 teaspoons of red pepper because I was scared lol it has a slight kick. Next time I will use the full 2 teaspoons. I like that it has plenty of sauce. Thank you so much for sharing.

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