Monday, August 13, 2012

Mongolian Beef

Here's another dish that spawned from gawking in Pinterest, P. F. Chang's Mongolian Beef Copycat Recipe by Six Sister's Stuff. When I saw the picture, my mouth started to water! I gotta have some! No, I gotta make some!

Now, there's no P. F. Chang's here in Bahrain and I have never tried their Mongolian Beef so I have no way of telling you whether that recipe is as good as that of P. F. Chang's, but what I can tell you is that the mongolian beef that I made adapted from that recipe was good...really good.

For my recipe, I made some modifications; a little plus/minus on the ingredients, (like the garlic, I needed more garlic!), and I have my way of cooking the beef. I like to sear the beef until the edges are caramelized and the only way to do that was to fry by batch. It's a little more tedious but sealing the flavor pays off for the extra time spent frying them.  So, if you want the original P. F. Chang's copycat recipe, (original copycat haha!), click the link here. For my version, keep reading. And oh, make sure you've got bowlfuls of steamed white rice.

Difficulty: Medium

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes

500 g flank steak, thinly sliced into bite sized pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying, (after cooking the beef in it, reserve 1 tbsp of the beef oil)
1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp garlic, minced, (the original recipe called for 1 tbsp, but I love garlic so I doubled it!)
1/2 cup soy sauce 
1/2 cup water 
1/2 cup dark brown sugar 
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 tsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted*
*Tip on toasting the sesame seeds: Place the sesame seeds in a dry pan. Heat the pan over medium heat and shake the pan every couple of seconds to make sure the sesame seeds are evenly toasted. Keep a close eye on it, it only takes 1-2 minutes to toast the seeds.


1. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet.

2. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Dredge the beef in flour then put the beef in a sieve to shake off excess flour. You only want a thin coating.
3. Sear the beef by batch, just enough to cover the wok. Do not overcrowd the wok. You want each piece to nicely brown on the edges on both sides, but be careful not to cook it all the way through as it will cook further when you put it back into the wok with the sauce. Drain over paper towels. Repeat the process until all the beef slices are cooked. Set aside.

4. Remove most of the oil from the wok but leave 1 tbsp of the oil. Saute garlic and ginger for 1 minute over high heat. 
5. Add the soy sauce, water and sugar and boil until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Add the beef and toss until well coated. Let simmer for another 2 minutes to infuse the sauce into the meat. Just before you turn off the heat, add the sesame oil. 
6. Serve garnished with toasted sesame seeds and scallions on top.

Makes 2 servings

Home-cooked Meals
07 Apr 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Zaru Cha Soba or Cold Green Tea Buckwheat Noodles

If you have been following my blog for quite some time, you will notice that most of the dishes I cook are easy to prepare. And that's mainly the point of my blog; I would like to encourage the working moms out there that preparing a home-cooked meal is not only doable, it can be fun too and surprisingly a stress-reliever. What's more, you get to choose what you put on the table and what's in it, which sometimes means a healthier version of your favorite meal. And did I mention the dinars you'll save from cutting down on home delivery and eating out? Yeah, some of my favorite resto dishes are so easy to prepare, and I save heaps making it at home, without sacrificing on the quality of the ingredients.

One of my favorite is this Japanese noodle, zaru soba or cold buckwheat noodles. Yes, the noodles are served cold, sometimes on a bed of ice and served with a hot dipping broth.

This version is actually Zaru Cha Soba or Cold Green Tea Buckwheat Noodle. And here's how I make it.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

400g dried cha (green tea) buckwheat noodles
water for boiling the noodles
a big bowl of ice cubes

For the Hot Broth:
4 tbsp dashi granules
4 cups water
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup Kikoman soy sauce
1/3 cup chopped scallions

Toppings & Garnish:
shredded nori (dried seaweeds), as desired 
togarashi (red chili flakes), as desired
toasted sesame seeds


1. Place Cha noodles in boiling water and cook as directed in the package. Drain and transfer the the noodles on a bowl of ice cubes. Set Aside.

2. In a sauce pan, dissolve the dashi granules in water and bring up to a boil. Bring the heat down then add mirin and soy sauce. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

3. To serve, transfer the cold soba on bamboo soba plates, garnish with nori, sesame seeds and togarashi. Alternatively, you may put ice cubes on serving bowls then top it with the soba to keep it chilled. Have a small dipping bowl of broth on the side, add scallions to the broth as desired. Dip, slurp and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings

Home-cooked Meal
24 Oct 2011