This family favorite stir fry recipe normally serves 8 and requires a very large wok skillet, and I have two — one large wok shaped skillet plus a traditional wok, but the recipe can be cut in half or even quartered if desired, plus, it can be made in any large skillet.
In this ravenous male dominated household, however, I’m lucky if it serves four for a single meal — so I like to serve it up over top of the rice — rather than having the rice on the side which they will otherwise ignore — and it helps fill them up quicker!
It is also very versatile so you can add, subtract, increase, reduce, or exchange the meat or vegetable ingredients as desired.
Like any stir fry it is basically down to the choice of the preferred stir fry sauce after which the ingredients of choice are added based upon the time required for each to cook to perfection.
Items that take longer go in first while those that take less time go in last.
With any stir fry, it is all about the timing!
One other thing that makes this particular stir fry so tasty and keeps them coming back for seconds (or thirds) is that the meat is sliced thin and then marinated for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
Tam’s Spicy Cabbage Slaw Bed (for Stir Fry)
Another thing that I like to do for my hungry bunch to help fill them up (and get in some more veggies) is to shred some cabbage or use an already shredded cabbage slaw mix and toss it with a spicy homemade dressing.
I lay down a bed of the spicy coleslaw, top it with rice, then spoon on the stir fry.
The dressing recipe for the shredded cabbage is pretty simple. Just whisk together 4 Tbsp. oil, 4 Tbsp. soy sauce (or pot sticker sauce), 1 tsp. apple cider or rice vinegar, 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, then 1/4 tsp. each: ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and ginger, and finally 2 to 3 drops of sriracha sauce. Toss well with 4 to 6 cups shredded cabbage or cabbage slaw. You don’t want a heavy coating — just very light.
For the oil, I recommend a choice of safflower, sunflower, — or, my most favorite, sesame oil. (I have even used canola and olive oil, however, in a pinch but it tastes better if cut the oil in half and double the soy if using these).
This can also be served like a side salad, but again, my bunch would just ignore it and fill up on stir fry alone, so I like to use it for bedding.
Any shredded cabbage that doesn’t get made into this slaw gets tossed into the stir fry with the rest of the veggies at the appropriate time.
Cashew Broccoli Beef Stir Fry
Yield: 8 servings
2 to 2-1/2 lb round steak or other beef of choice, sliced into thin strips then marinated
1/2 cup mushrooms or skinless egg plant (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1 chopped yellow or red/purple onion
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cups beef broth, divided
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
a dash of sriracha sauce, or to taste (optional)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
5 to 6 cups broccoli florets, steamed
2-3/4 cups uncooked white rice OR 2-1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
4 Tbsp. butter or olive oil (to prepare rice)
1 cup unsalted cashews
2 cans water chestnuts, drained
1 can bamboo shoots, drained
4 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
6 Tbsp. low sodium soy
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups Beef broth
Mix soy sauce and seasonings. Place beef strips in a covered dish and pour in seasoned soy sauce mixture. Toss beef with seasoned soy sauce mixture to coat. Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Add beef broth, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
After beef has been marinaded:
Remove beef from refrigerator. Discard marinade and allow beef to rest for 30 to 45 minutes to come to room temperature.
Toast cashews and set aside.
Toast sesame seeds (unless already toasted). Set aside.
Steam broccoli until tender but crisp. Set aside.
After beef has been warmed to room temperature, prepare the rice:
Melt 4 Tbsp. butter or olive oil in a skillet. Add rice and stir until rice becomes opaque.
Start rice cooking. You can cook it on the stove top, in a rice steamer, or however you usually like to do it. While rice is cooking, make the stir fry.
Set a timer or alarm if required since it can be easily forgotten during the stir frying steps to take place while it is cooking.
When the timer or alarm sounds, remove the rice from the heat and set timer for 5 more minutes before removing the lid and fluffing the rice with a dinner fork.
Once fluffed, it can be re-covered to help keep warm until the stir fry is completed if required. Brown rice tends to take longer than white rice plus time may depend upon the cooking method or the device being used. Usually, twenty minutes is about average.
Saute rice in butter or oil until opaque before cooking to reduce cook time and help with tenderness.
There are “quick” cooking and boil in bag types of rice, but they are often full of artificial additives and preservatives, etc. and they are more highly processed.
Regular white is also processed but a better choice than quick rices due to the lack of additives.
Yellow rice is actually white rice that has been cooked and processed with onion (and/or assorted spices depending upon its country or ethnic origins) before being re-dehydrated and packaged. It is important to read the product labels on yellow rice to check for any unwanted additives.
The healthier choice is brown rice, and the most healthiest choice is wild long grain rice.
Wild long grain rice, however, is usually better suited to Cajun and Creole cuisine than Asian, Chinese, or American-Chinese cuisine. Brown rice works well, however, as a healthier substitute for white rice and, in moderation, is preferred (along with wild long grain rice) over white rice for those with diabetes.
If desired, make the rice the day before and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Simply reheat in the microwave.
Cooked rice has a tendency to dehydrate and dry out even when well covered over a relatively short period of time. Add about 1 Tbsp. water per 1-1/2 to 2 cups rice before reheating uncovered in the microwave which will then steam and re-moisten the rice so it is nice and soft again.
Making the stir fry:
Coat large wok skillet with cooking spray and heat uncovered over medium heat for one minute.
If mushrooms or eggplant are desired, add to heated pan and stir fry for 30 seconds. Then add onion, garlic, carrots, and bell pepper. Stir together.
Stir in beef.
Stir fry until beef is done.
Remove contents of pan to a plate or dish.
Heat 1 Tbsp. cooking oil. Whisk in 2 Tbsp. flour until moistened in oil, then whisk in 1 cup broth.
Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Whisk together cornstarch, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, ginger and soy sauce with the remaining broth until smooth. If desired, may also add red pepper flakes and/or sriracha sauce.
Whisk continuously while pouring mixture slowly into the pan of heated broth.
Return beef and vegetable mixture to the pan of broth and stir.
Reduce heat back down to medium.
Continue cooking until mixture just begins to thicken, stirring constantly.
Stir in broccoli, bamboo, and water chestnuts.
Simmer stirring constantly until additions are heated through well and the sauce has fully thickening as desired.
If find sauce is too thin, whisk 1 Tbsp. of cornstarch with 1/4 cup warm tap water until smooth and no lumps and stir into pan to mix well. Simmer, stirring continuously, for at least five minutes — or more if required until thickened. (It needs at least five minutes to cook away the taste of the freshly added cornstarch).
If sauce is too thick, add additional beef broth or warm tap water 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup at a time until reaches desired consistency and simmer just long enough to heat through.
Remove from heat and stir in toasted cashews.
Serve over rice or with rice on the side as preferred. Sprinkle over top with toasted sesame seeds if desired.
May serve with a bottle of soy sauce and/or sriracha sauce as condiments on the side for individual use as desired.
If desired, lay down a bed of the spicy coleslaw I mentioned above, top it with rice, then spoon any stir fry on top.