Garlicky Hoisin Beef

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

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 mintues.  Pour the sauce into a bowl and set aside.

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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