Simple, Authentic Stir Fry Vegetables and Beef

Hello 2016, and welcome back! We took a little bit of time off to enjoy some extra time with loved ones, but we are back today with a tasty recipe that will be sure to start your New Year off right!

Stir Fry- collage

I travelled back to Arizona for Christmas and was lucky enough to be joined by my brother and his girlfriend who travelled from Shanghai, China. My brother, Eric, has lived in China for about 5 years now, and his girlfriend, Emily, was born and raised in China.

Stir fry- eric and emily

I am always fascinated by the differences in diet across various cultures and was quizzing Emily about how she normally eats, what foods are available etc. One of the things she pointed out is that American food is very rich- creamy, sweet, salty etc. She talked about how traditional Chinese food (not American Chinese food like Panda Express, and many other “Chinese” restaurants in America), is very simply prepared and focuses primarily on vegetables, meat and rice. Fried/breaded foods are uncommon, cheese is not used, and sweets are hard to come by.

They wanted to prepare a dinner for the family one night, so I watched carefully, took notes, and snapped some pictures to learn how a traditional Chinese meal is prepared. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with the end result. You see, I don’t like Chinese food. Sweet and sour chicken? No thanks. Beef and Broccoli? No sir. After talking with Eric and Emily, I realized its not that I don’t like Chinese food, I don’t like American Chinese food that is fried and slathered in overly sweet or overly salty sauces.

Our meal included vegetable stir fry, beef and vegetable stir fry and fried rice. All of these dishes were prepared with fresh ingredients obtained easily in a typical grocery store- no fancy spices or sauces needed!

Vegetable Stir Fry- cut veggies of your choice into bite sized pieces. We used bell peppers (4 total for all recipes below), broccoli (1 bunch), snap peas (~2 cups), mushrooms (1 small package) and onions (~1 for all recipes below). Mince a couple of cloves of garlic for taste.

Stir fry- cutting veggies

Stir fry- bell peppers cut Stir fry- bowls of veggies

Soften broccoli either by steaming it on the stove or microwaving until tender crisp.

Heat skillet on high heat. Add about 1 tbsp olive oil to hot skillet. Add onions and garlic first. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add bell peppers. Cook another minute. Next add softened broccoli, mushrooms and snap peas.

Stir Fry- veggies cooking

Sprinkle some salt and soy sauce. (We didn’t measure this, but it was probably about 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tbsp soy sauce). Set aside.

Stir fry- veggies done

Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry–  follow the same directions as the vegetable stir fry, but add meat of your choice. Emily chose thinly sliced steak. She cut it into bite sized pieces, smothered with potato flour (about 1-2 tbsp) and one egg. While cooking, add 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp cayenne as desired (will be spicy).

Stir Fry- meat in bowl

Stir fry- meat and veggies done

Beef Fried Rice- Prepare rice according to package instructions. You’ll need about 2-3 cups cooked rice. We used white rice- though brown rice could easily be substituted to increase the fiber content! Set aside.  Dice 1 bell pepper, 1/2 of a small onion, 4 green onions, meat of your choice (again, we used beef), and 2 cloves garlic.

Stir fry- cutting meat

Beat three eggs in separate bowl and set aside. Heat skillet over high heat, add one tbsp olive oil to hot skillet. Add onion and garlic- sauté for one minute. Next add beef- sauté for a minute. Next add peppers- cook for a minute. Lastly add green onions.

Stir fry- meat cooking

Add cooked rice to vegetable and beef mixture, and add 3 eggs (beaten). Stir until eggs are incorporated and fully cooked. Top with soy sauce (again, not measured, but likely about 3-4 tbsp).

Stir fry- rice with egg

Stir fry- rice done

 

Hope you enjoy this veggie packed traditional Chinese stir fry!

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