Prep time 15 minutes| cooking time 20 minutes | Serves 4
Stir fries are the perfect way to incorporate fresh crunchy vegetables and delicious tender meats in a quick and efficient cooking technique. You don’t necessarily need a wok, but it does make it easy to toss the dish together. A heavy base fry pan is just as good as the secret to a great stir fry is its quick
cooking and high heat. This is a great basic recipe but feel free to add your own combinations of vegetables and meats. Always remember to start cooking your hardest vegetables first finishing with your lighter greens and spinach type vegetables to ensure they all have that fresh, crisp crunch.
450g rump steak cut into strips then flattened with a meat mallet or similar
1 tablespoon light olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 red chili, deseeded and sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
½ bunch bok choy, sliced
¼ white cabbage, sliced
100g snow peas, sliced
For the marinade/stir fry sauce
Makes 1 cup
1 stalk of lemon grass
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fresh ginger
2 long red chili, deseeded, chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons palm sugar*
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
For the marinade, roughly chop the lemongrass and place it into a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients and blend until combined. This will keep in the fridge for up to a month; you can add a couple of tablespoons of light olive oil to make it a great dressing for a salad or steamed vegetables.
For the stir fry, I find that flattening out the beef strips gives a more tender style of beef and quicker cooking instead of the strips which always seem to dry out.
Combine the beef with 3 tablespoons of the marinade and mix well, leaving the beef to marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours, overnight is great as it will help tenderise the beef as well.
In a wok or frypan, heat the oil over a moderate to high temperature and cook the beef in batches, the beef will only take about 6-8 seconds on each side, as it will continue cooking when we add it all together.
Add in another teaspoon of oil and then cook the garlic, chili and the onions for 4 minutes until just starting to soften. Add in the celery and cook for another 2 minutes, then add in the bok choy, cabbage and the snow peas and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir for 3 minutes until the cabbage starts to wilt and the snow peas change to a bright green, add in the cooked beef and another 2 tablespoons of the marinade.
Stir once and then serve with brown or wild rice.
* Palm sugar
Palm sugar is a nutrient-rich, low-glycaemic crystalline sweetener that looks, tastes, dissolves and melts almost exactly like sugar, it’s completely natural and unrefined. It’s acquired from the flowers growing high on coconut trees, which are opened to collect their liquid flower nectar. This nectar is then air-dried to form a crystalline sugar that’s naturally brown in colour and naturally rich in a number of key vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. Unlike white sugar, palm sugar is not refined or bleached like white sugar. So the nutrients it was made with are still there. The flavour resembles that of brown sugar, yet with more rounded caramel and butterscotch notes. Palm sugar adds a special richness to almost any recipe, replacing it for regular white sugar in any recipe. Palm sugar is not a calorie-free sweetener. It has calories like any carbohydrate, but due to its relatively low glycaemic index, its calories are absorbed into the bloodstream at a significantly slower rate than regular refined sugar. Making it a better alternative for anyone who is monitoring their blood sugar levels and attempting to avoid blood sugar spikes.
Palm sugar is available in Asian supermarkets and also in some general supermarkets.