The theme of this circuit breaker period is compromise. The willingness to compromise has its rewards.
For too long, I had ignored the flavourful goodness of less popular cuts. I spent most of my life salivating over ribeye, tenderloin and the ultimate porterhouse. But I was clueless when it came to cuts such as flank steak.
Upon the advice of a butcher, I finally caved in and gave it a try. Marinated and stir-fried, flank steak packs flavour and is surprisingly tender. My only regret is missing out on this delicious cut all these years.
The first step to enjoying flank steak in a stir-fry is to get the slicing done right.
I notice different butchers slice flank steak differently, but the rule of thumb is to slice the meat against the grain, not along or parallel to the grain - unless you fancy a great jaw workout.
You can also cut the flank steak on the bias, which means slicing across the grain at a 45-degree angle.
Either method renders pretty good results. Once the meat is sliced right, half the battle is won.
The next thing to tackle is the marinade. I favour the use of Chinese rose wine and Shaoxing wine. But you can do without and add a little ginger juice if you want to skip cooking with alcohol.
With the marinade, there is no need to season the beef when stir-frying. By all means, do a taste test and season with a little salt if you prefer it slightly saltier.
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STIR-FRIED BEEF WITH GINGER AND SCALLION
280g flank steak, sliced
1/8 tsp Chinese rose wine
1½ Tbs Shaoxing wine
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ coarse black pepper
1 Tbs light soya sauce
1 Tbs oyster sauce
1½ Tbs cornflour
3 Tbs cooking oil
15g ginger, sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise
10g spring onion, cut into 5cm lengths
1. Place the beef in a bowl. Add the Chinese rose wine, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, coarse black pepper, light soya sauce, oyster sauce and cornflour.
2. Mix well. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and place it in the fridge for two hours.
3. Heat cooking oil in a saute pan and add the ginger slices. Fry over medium heat for a minute or until edges are slightly browned. Remove the ginger from the pan and set aside.
4. Add the sliced garlic to the pan and fry for a minute until the edges begin to brown.
5. Add the beef into the pan. Fry for two to three minutes.
6. Add the fried ginger slices into the pan.
7. Throw in the spring onion and toss for 30 seconds.
8. Serve immediately.