Steak and Broccoli Stir-fry
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
Once you learn one stir-fry, you pretty much have mastered the art, and you can make a different one every day of your life and never encounter a repetition unless you wanted to. This one works with just about any combination of vegetables and protein, which might be boneless chicken breasts or thighs, sturdy white fish, shrimp or squid, or pork shoulder. You could also skip the meat altogether and substitute tofu. The other ingredients are equally flexible. I like broccoli here, but try, alone or in combination, bell peppers, cabbage, bok choy, fennel, spinach, snow peas or snap peas, asparagus, summer or winter squash, green beans, mushrooms, carrots, or cauliflower. For a change from rice, serve with whole-grain soba or rice noodles. From VB6: Vegan Before 6:00
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces beef flank or sirloin steak, very thinly sliced (easiest if you freeze the meat for 30 minutes)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh hot chile (like jalapeño or Thai; optional)
1½ pounds broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
Juice of 1 lime or ½ lemon (optional)
¼ cup chopped peanuts or cashews
3 cups cooked long- or short-grain brown rice
1. Put a large, deep skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, swirl it around, and add the beef. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt and some pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate.
2. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, then the garlic, ginger, and chile, if you’re using it. After 15 seconds, add the broccoli and all but a handful of the scallions. Cook, stirring infrequently, until the broccoli is bright green and beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the broccoli is almost tender, another minute or two more.
3. Return the meat to the pan along with the soy sauce and lime juice, if you’re using it, and a little more water if the mixture is dry. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced slightly. Stir in the peanuts, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary; garnish with the remaining scallions, and serve over the rice.
Nutritional Info (with ¾ cup brown rice):
Calories: 572 • Cholesterol: 55mg • Fat: 28g • Saturated Fat: 5g • Protein: 31g • Carbohydrates: 54g • Sodium: 1510mg • Fiber: 10g • Trans Fat: 0g • Sugars: 6g
MARK BITTMAN is one of the country’s best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with one million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen. Bittman is a columnist for the New York Times, writing on food policy and cooking in the Opinion and Dining sections and the New York Times Magazine.