How does a quickie meal sound, today? This Chinese dish is literally all about the pan! Oh, and when I say pan…I mean either a wok or a heavy duty skillet. In the past, I’ve used any old large pan and let me tell you there is a reason why my meat wasn’t as tasty. This time around I chose my cast iron skillet and it made the world of a difference. The other tip I have for you is not to over-crowd the pan. Cook the meat and veggies in stages and then…..toss it all together like one happy family. Another step that I was omitting from my authentic Asian fare was “corn starch” Now, I’m not saying this ingredient won the healthy food of the year award, but a little won’t hurt you. I promise. And…just “a little” will make a world of a difference in the cuisine. What it does is act as a binder for the various ingredients and pull them together creating a sealed meat and thickened dish. That about does is for Chinese Cooking 101..hahaha!!!
• 1/4 cup heaping hoisin sauce (This is considered the “Asian” BBQ sauce)
• 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 1/4 cup plum sauce
• 2 teaspoon crushed or grated garlic
• 2 tablespoons grated ginger
• 1 tablespoon corn starch + 2 tablespoons hot water
• 1 lb. pepper steak or skirt steak (slice into thin strips)
• 2 tablespoon canola oil (more if needed)
• 4 cups washed and trimmed snow peas (snow peas are plumper than snap peas which add a bigger crunch)
Whisk first 5 ingredients together in a large glass bowl and combine thoroughly until smooth.
Add meat to the marinade and using clean hands massage the mixture all throughout. Transfer to refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
In a large nonstick skillet or grill pan heat oil until sizzling hot. Add half of meat and cook until just starting to brown. Save the extra marinade from the meat that you just refrigerated for later use. (Be careful not over-cook..meat is going back in the pan.)
Remove from the pan and add remaining steak and cook. Transfer to the meat that was already cooked.
Toss in snow peas and mix around with the leftover juices and oils from the steak. Drizzle in the extra marinade from the meat. Cook for 1-2 minutes until crisp-tender.
Now add the meat back into the dish (along with the corn starch that has been diluted into the arm water) and mix it all together for another minute or two until the dish looks thick and rich.