Stir-fried beef, leeks and bell peppers with basil

by admin on April 16, 2007 · 7 comments

We included this beef-leek stir-fry in last week’s root source but we didn’t post it here. (For a while, we’ve been in the bad habit of pre-dating recipes so that we can link to them without them showing up on the blog’s homepage. This has resulted in, among other things, our archives going back to January 2006, even though we didn’t start blogging until July 2006. Oh well. Something to fix soon.)

Anyway, we hadn’t planned to post this recipe, but Rasa Malaysia left a comment yesterday about her favorite leek recipe, stir-fried firm tofu with leeks, shrimp, and bean sauce. It re-inspired us vis-à-vis stir-fried leeks and it got us browsing again (for way too long) around Rasa Malaysia.

We love this blog for its openness, its spry wit, its clean design, the beauty of its photographs and, most of all, the incredible-looking food and recipes it exposes us to regularly (this penang rojak, for example, which has been on my to-make list for a while).

Let us know what you think of this stir-fry.

Stir-fried beef, leeks and bell peppers with basil

serves 4

for the stir-fry:
1 1/2 pounds beef steak (blade, round, filet, flank), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 medium leeks, cut into 1-inch ribbons
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced (optional)
1 cup basil leaves

for the sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water

1. Put the beef in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it easier to slice. Then slice it thin across the grain.

2. In a small bowl, toss the beef with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and the black pepper. Marinate 10-20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prep the remaining ingredients. Stir together the ingredients for the sauce until the sugar dissolves. Heat 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil in a large, preferably nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. When it’s barely smoking, add half the beef to the pan in a single layer. Leave it alone to brown well on the first side, about 2 minutes. Stir briefly, then leave it alone to brown on the other side, another 1-2 minutes.

3. Remove the beef to the plate, then repeat with another 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining beef. Briefly rinse and dry the pan to prevent the accumulated juices from burning.

4. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot and shimmering, add the leeks and bell peppers. Cook, stirring often, until the peppers turn soft, 2-4 minutes. Add the ginger and serrano and cook 30 seconds. Return the beef to the pan along with the sauce, and toss to combine. Stir-fry another 2 minutes.

5. Stir in the basil and serve.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lydia April 16, 2007 at 6:54 am

I love Rasa Malaysia’s blog, too. Thanks for reminding us that leeks are for something other than leek-and-potato soup. They are lovely and sweet,and make a nice counterpoint to hot pepper in a stir fry. Thanks for the recipe and for great photos, too.

Rasa Malaysia April 17, 2007 at 12:32 am

Hey Cookthink,

Thanks so much guys for the plug…I am blushing (with happiness!). You are too kind. :)

Your stir-fried beef, leeks, and bell peppers is top-notch, or in Malay language “bagus!” (meaning excellent). Your pictures are truly beautiful and you captured the cooking process so well (which I am too lazy to do now). I can see some mighty wok hei coming out of the pan, too.

Two thumbs way up. :)

Bart April 18, 2007 at 10:22 am

Great learning recipe.
Great one-pot meal.
Flavors are mild, balanced, subtle.
Leeks are where it’s at.
Great sauce.
Don’t fear the serrano chile.

LOVE Cookthink’s balance of simplicity and assumed audience competence. A few more of these recipes and I will have a great foundation in stir-fry technique and Asian flavoring.

Mistake: I didn’t read the leek prep article first, so I had to go back and rinse after I’d prepped.

Mistake: Never stir-fry naked. I had my shirt off when I put the slightly wet veggies in the hot-oil…ouch.

Suggestion: A cookthink 1-900 helpline that costs $1/minute and rings Brys or Chip directly between 9am-10pm.

Request: More one-pot meals…more Asian.

MeltingWok April 21, 2007 at 4:32 pm

I’m in total melt down ! Bid goodbyes to the sichuan peppercorns, and hello to cookthink’s sizzling breath of wok !:)

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