Food & Drink

Steak meets stir-fry: Here's what happens when you treat the ingredients right

Stir-Fried Beef With Ginger and Scallions. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by The Washington Post’s Bonnie Benwick.
Stir-Fried Beef With Ginger and Scallions. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by The Washington Post’s Bonnie Benwick.

If you know your way around cuts of meat, you might balk at the initial directions here to first slice this flank steak with the grain. In this case, that means the long way, knife running parallel with lines of muscle fibers so clearly evident. But wait . . . there’s more! You are then instructed to cut each of those long pieces against the grain, into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Whew. That’s more like it. Your knife work will pay off in tender, slightly chewy pieces of steak, their edges crisped via pan sear.

Ginger makes a statement in this dish, although its piquant ways are mellowed with time spent in the pan and a bit of honey. You will, I bet, spend most of the prep time prepping the 6 ounces of ginger required. Don’t scrimp on a single ounce. To make the peeling as easy as possible, toss your large hand of ginger into the freezer for 10 minutes before using the edge of a spoon to scrape down to the flesh.

We did cut back on the original recipe’s amount of fish sauce, by a third. If you love the stuff, go all in with a full 3 tablespoons. (And if you are not a fish sauce fan, try a combination of 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce.)

Recipe

Stir-Fried Beef With Ginger and Scallions

4 servings

Ginger makes a statement in this dish, although its piquant ways are mellowed with time spent in the pan and a bit of honey. The flank steak is cut in a way that yields meaty, tender pieces.

We tested this in a nonstick skillet and a wok; the latter creates more crisped bits of browning on the meat, but both pans work well.

Serve with jasmine or basmati rice.

1 1/2 pounds flank steak

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed

6 ounces fresh ginger root

12 scallions

4 medium cloves garlic

3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons honey

Cut the steak with the grain (lengthwise) into 3-inch wide sections, then cut those against the grain (crosswise) into ½-inch thick slices. Season the slices evenly with the salt and pepper.

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Use a spoon to scrape away the peel from the ginger; you may find it’s easier to first cut apart a few smaller knobs to do this. Cut the ginger crosswise into thin coins. Trim the root ends of the scallions, then cut the scallions into 2-inch pieces. Chop or mince the garlic (your preference).

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meat in a single layer; cook for 2 to 3 minutes total, until well browned on both sides, turning the slices only once. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remaining meat.

Reduce the heat to medium; add the remaining tablespoon of oil to your now-empty skillet. Add the ginger and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until lightly browned on some edges. Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, stirring, until fragrant.

Stir in the scallions, fish sauce and honey, then return the all the meat and its accumulated juices to the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce in the pan is slightly thickened and the stir-fry mixture is evenly coated and warmed through.

Taste, and add more salt and/or pepper, as needed. Serve hot.

Nutrition | Calories: 420; Total Fat: 23 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Sodium: 950 mg; Carbohydrates: 15 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 38 g.

Source: Adapted from Milk Street Magazine

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