Comfort food does not have to be complicated. Stir-fried beef on rice is one of my favourite dishes to cook at home.
But to make it a little more luxe, I prefer the dish with short-grained rice, especially Uonuma koshihikari rice. Uonuma, which is in Japan's Niigata prefecture, is famous for this short-grained variety which is fluffy and tender yet chewy when cooked.
It costs about $30 for a 2kg pack, so it is an indulgence I save for days when I cook dishes that beg to be eaten with rice.
Two cups of the grain will yield four fairly generous portions of beef and rice.
I find that for most Japanese short-grained rice, a ratio of one rice cup of uncooked rice to 11/4 rice cups of water renders a texture I am happy with. One standard rice cup is 180ml.
I like my rice with a slightly chewy bite. If you prefer yours more tender, use up to 11/2 cups of water for each cup of rice.
The amount of water required varies with the type of rice. If you are unsure, start with less water. If the rice turns out too hard after the first round of cooking, add a little more water and let it cook longer.
Of course, this dish works perfectly with whatever rice you have at home.
As for the beef, pound each slice to tenderise the meat. You can also substitute the beef with pork collar or chicken fillet and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
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STIR-FRIED BEEF ON RICE
280g beef slices
130ml cooking oil (reserve 2 Tbs for stir-frying)
30g ginger, sliced
5 shallots, halved lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
2 dried red chillies
120g oyster mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs oyster sauce
2 green chillies, deseeded and sliced
1 tsp dark soya sauce
100g bean sprouts
15g unsalted butter
80g spring onion, sliced into 5cm lengths
3 drops of Chinese rose wine
2 Tbs Chinese rice wine
1 Tbs light soya sauce
1 Tbs sesame oil
¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbs cornflour
1. Use a meat pounder to pound each slice of beef thinly.
2. Marinate the beef with the Chinese rose wine, Chinese rice wine, light soya sauce, sesame oil, coarsely ground black pepper and cornflour for 45 minutes to an hour.
3. Heat enough cooking oil in a wok to deep-fry the beef. Once the oil is hot, place beef in the hot oil for a minute. Remove and set aside.
4. Heat 2 Tbs of oil in a wok or frying pan. Fry the ginger until fragrant, add the shallots, garlic and dried red chillies.
5. Add the oyster mushroom. Fry for 1 minute. Add 1/2 Tbs oyster sauce.
6. Add the beef slices. Season with remaining oyster sauce.
7. Add the green chillies and dark soya sauce. Stir-fry quickly for 30 seconds.
8. Add the bean sprouts. Stir-fry briefly and add the butter.
9. Once the butter has melted, turn off the heat and add the spring onion. Stir through to let the spring onion cook in the residual heat.
10. Serve hot with rice.
Makes four servings